Mobile phones are a necessity – especially when you are travelling. We use them to find our way when we get lost, to look for interesting places to go and the best restaurants to eat at, to upload our holiday photos to Facebook and to stay in touch with family, friends and even business associates while we are out of the country. Yet for all of these things we need a network or data connection and while travelling this can cost a fortune in roaming charges. So what can you do to stay in contact without the expensive roaming fees?
1) Get an international SIM card
One in 7 people now have an international SIM card which they use while travelling. They are the ideal solution to international roaming. Incoming calls are free in almost all countries and the cost of using data, sending texts and calling are significantly reduced making it a very affordable option.
2) Make use of Cellular Data Package – Getting a mobile data package with your provider. Sometimes this is a good option but you really need to look at the plans carefully. Often the daily rate seems acceptable but if you are travelling for 2 weeks, that cost can quickly add up – will you really use your phone that much every day or just some days?
3) Turn off Data Roaming – If you keep your data roaming on; then your phone will continue updating apps like news , email and weather even when you are not aware of it – even when its switched off. Lack of knowledge is no excuse and you will be charged for the period during which you have kept your phone on. Turning off the data roaming functionality means your smart phone will not be able to send or receive emails or use the internet. Likewise downloads and app updates through the phone data connection will also be put to rest. It means that you will not be charged for that particular period during which you have discontinued data roaming. It may be noted that this process does not affect the phone calls or text message.
4) Use a portable WiFi hotspot–WiFi hotspots enable you to set up your own WiFi network so you can connect many devices to it (usually from 10 – 15 devices) meaning you can connect your phone, tablet and the devices of your family/friends if you wanted to. Simply insert a worldwide data SIM card or a local data SIM card into the Wi-Fi hotspot and get online wherever you are. Portable WiFi hotspots are very small so they can easily fit in your pocket.
5) Use sneaky data saving tips–There are lots of ways you can reduce your data consumption without actually having to compromise on your internet usage. Apps like Onovo compress data by up to five times so you get up to five times more data for your money. You can also turn off all automatic updates in Google Play Store of the App Store and just update when you have free WiFi access. This alone can save you a fortune in data roaming costs. However, even 1MB is expensive in some countries so method should be combined with one of the other options in this article to ensure you don’t get an obscene roaming bill.