No. I just got back from Central America. All travel advice suggested leaving phones at home because you can’t really use them there without big fees.
I think saying, “I left my phone at home so the cell company doesn’t give me a reason to file for bankruptcy,” would not be perceived as anything out of the ordinary.
Also, if you’re concerned about that, you could always obtain a Go Phone or some other thing that is pay-per-use and simply hand it over. Questions could be answered similar to the above.
I did take my phone, but I turned it off when my flight to leave the country boarded and I didn’t turn it back on again until we landed. Doing so made me realize I didn’t really need it with me anyway.
This was two days after the big ban mess, which I am very grateful for… if I had been confronted with that level of madness in customs I think I would have just gotten back on a plane to anywhere else. Thinking about the fact that I missed all of that because I didn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t read (and get upset) about it… well that only strengthens my resolve.
I won’t be traveling outside the US with my electronic devices again. Its not worth it or necessary.