Everyone who has travelled abroad has encountered the pain of shockingly large phone bills at least once in their lifetime. When you take your phone along on a trip abroad, it can be a headache to constantly check your phone balance and obsessively monitor your data usage.
Here are some quick and easy tips to help you reduce your phone bills as you travel:
1) Adjust phone settings
This is the first and foremost thing you should do when you land in a foreign country with your mobile and you don’t want a huge bill. Go to your phone settings and turn off data roaming, and if you don’t mind staying disconnected for a while, turn off your cellular data too.
2) Use Wi-Fi and Apps
Instead of signing up for an international phone plan or using data roaming, try out some of these better ways to save. The benefit of using Wi-Fi and offline apps is that it doesn’t cost a penny–unless you are using paid access, which is still much cheaper than data roaming.
Internet: If you need to check emails and social media, then the best option is to use WiFi at your hotel or a public hotspot. Email, Facebook, and other social media apps work fine, or even better, on WiFi.
Calls/ SMS: For calling and texting you can entirely rely on one of many apps which are extremely common these days. Facetime, Whatsapp, Viber, and Skype are free, really easy to use, and work on all sorts of phones with an active internet connection.
3) Buy a SIM Card
This option is best for travellers who need to stay connected and are going out on a longer vacation (at least a week or two.)
Where to buy?
As you arrive at the airport, you can purchase the SIM card from a nearby vendor or from a local convenience store. Charge it with some money and get the SIM activated. Just open your phone and replace the SIM with a new local SIM card.
The new card and credit usually cost less than $10 in any country you visit, which is much cheaper than you would spend on your home mobile number. You can easily add credit for minutes and data to the local SIM for excessive usage.
4) Use International SIM Card
If you are travelling to multiple destinations, then instead of getting a SIM card in each country, you can buy an international SIM card like OneSimCard or Matrix. Although these international cards are more expensive than country-specific local cards, they are much cheaper than your country’s provider.