And when I think about it, my phone is my most trusted travel companion, communicator, navigator, and memory-maker. For those reasons, I definitely pride myself in taking the appropriate measures to protect it from being stolen or damaged when I pull out my phone in unusually hazardous places to check on the map or take a photo of my kids.
Have you ever had that unwished-for feeling? You know, the one where you helplessly watch your hard-earned smartphone slip from your hand in slow motion, feeling powerless as it drops to the ground and cringing when it makes a glass-shattering, terrifying sound? I have, and it’s awful, something that happens to many people and apparently is even more likely to happen when you’re away on a trip.
Nowadays, when we rely so much on our smartphones, we sometimes overlook the fact of how vulnerable they are to theft and external damage. Therefore, one should always take the extra steps to keep their phone safe while traveling, and there’s no better way to protect your device than to protect it with a rugged, handmade phone case.
Phone Case Options For Traveling
While there are so many heavy-duty phone cases on the market, each one providing various features such as shockproof, waterproof, dirtproof, dustproof, or snowproof, I find most commercial case models rather expensive for frugal people like me. And while I want my phone case to have all the features mentioned above, I definitely don’t look forward to overpaying for a phone case, which is why it’s worth doing every bit of research before you narrow down the best case for traveling.
Anyhow, I want my case to offer at least drop-resistant protection to withstand the kinds of bumps and scratches that might happen while taking a selfie with my kids while on a trip. So, in the end, my selection of the best travel phone case always comes down to the three essentials: function, security, and convenience. To get all three, the phone case material is out of utmost importance.
Choosing The Best Material For Your Traveling Phone Case
Just a casual browse through the endless Amazon or eBay listings will disclose one thing: phone cases can be made out of nearly any material. From wood to silicone to plastic, there are so many different options to choose from. Nevertheless, with so many options available, it might be challenging to select the best material for your future phone case. To make things easier for you, I’ve narrowed down the three best materials that cover the three essentials (function, security, convenience) when it comes to phone cases for trips.
Wooden Phone Cases
Speaking from my point of view, between all those plastics, pixels, and politics, sometimes I find it challenging to remember our connection to the real world. Therefore, when I travel, I want to rekindle that missing link to the earth by using a handmade wooden phone case.
My wooden iPhone case adds an organic, handcrafted charm to my device that’s completely different from what you typically get from phone cases. As a material, wood is definitely at the top of my list thanks to its durability and lifespan, plus it can actually handle more wear and tear than most plastics.
Such handmade phone cases are far more sustainable than plastics or other synthetics, are extremely elegant, stylish, and thicker and bulkier than all other options, which might prove very important if you accidentally drop your phone while navigating through rough terrains.
Plastic Phone Cases
Needless to point out, in this day and age, plastics are pretty much everywhere around us. Their manufacturing value, flexibility, and durability make them one of the top picks for most commercial phone case manufacturers.
Plastic cases are the most lightweight option, so there’s no added weight to your backpack, pocket, or hand while outdoors. They also tend to be the cheapest to purchase. However, this might not be the most favorable option for traveling as, depending on the plastics’ quality, they can occasionally feel hollow and cheap. In addition, plastic is not an eco-sustainable material and can turn yellow with time because of sunlight exposure.
Silicone Phone Cases
Made from the element silicon and bases of petroleum, silicone is a distant cousin of conventional plastic that’s an advantageous material for phone cases and beyond. Besides being a fantastic shock absorber that feels comfy in one’s hand, silicone phone cases are also a highly eco-friendly option.
On the other hand, silicone phone cases do not wear exceptionally well, attracting hair, fuzz, and dirt over time. In addition, their grippy finish makes them not so easy to slot quickly into a pocket, and they tend to slip off of devices after some time.
How To Make A DIY Phone Case For Traveling?
While all of the above-mentioned phone case solutions are great and fit for your next adventure, they all have one not-so-favorable feature in common—depending on the brand you go for, they can be a bit pricey.
However, if there’s a single thing that frugality has taught me over the years that I share with everyone I know, is that oftentimes, it proves to be way more cost-effective to sometimes pay for a top-quality, durable product and spare yourself from future unwanted expenditures like servicing the product, or getting another one, etc. This is particularly true for phone cases because they endure so much wear and tear. I must admit that I’ve been using the same wooden iPhone phone case for the past two years, and it still looks brand new! I guess that’s exactly what you call a good buy.
Anyhow, if you’re a DIY enthusiast like myself, you can even create your own custom-made smartphone case on your kitchen table or in your garage. Yes, doing it all on your own is easier than you’d initially think. All you need is an hour or two of free time and a hot glue gun for the most basic DIY phone case version. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make your first phone case and perhaps even save some money along the way. Still, keep in mind that this phone case will come with an “expiration date” label, as you practically stand no chance of producing a robust final product like a brand that specializes in wooden phone cases, for example.
First, tape a template of your choosing to the back of your device. Crafting a perfectly smooth phone case with hot glue is rather tricky, so most DIY-ers opt to make some patterns, such as mandalas or swirls. Tape the template to the back of your device.
Afterward, cut a sheet of parchment paper that’s rough twice the size of your smartphone, and wrap your phone like a present with it. First, ensure your phone is wrapped as tightly as possible and turned off to prevent overheating. Next, mark off the sockets, camera, and buttons with a colored pencil, so that you don’t accidentally sheathe them with hot glue. After that, together with the speaker and mic holes, carefully outline them because if you cover them up with hot glue, you won’t be able to use your device correctly.
Start filling the side edges with a nice, thick layer of hot glue. Then, fill in the back. Finally, outline the front as you can draw a thin line around the front of your phone, right next to the side edge. Finally, remove the case and the parchment paper, and once the glue has hardened, peel it off of your device.
Next, remove the parchment paper from the phone. At this point, you might even want to test the case on the phone. If there’s any glue covering a socket or a button, cut it away with a blade. Paint the case if you want to personalize it even further. Voila! That’s how you make your first DIY handmade custom phone case!
For most people, phone cases are a popular accessory that showcases their personality, style, and trendiness. However, for frugal parents like myself, having a rigid phone case is not only an accessory but a necessity as I want to keep my phone protected from harm at all times, particularly when I enjoy a hard-earned trip with my kids.