Roaming costs are an expensive headache for people who travel regularly; whether on business or for leisure. As soon as you leave your country of residence and arrive in another you will are faced with extortionate roaming charges. For those wanting to stay connected to business contacts, family and friends, international roaming is unavoidable. You’re charged not only for making calls but also receiving calls. Even picking up a voicemail when you are in another country can cost you big time. The most expensive part of travelling with your devices is data roaming (using internet whilst travelling internationally); data roaming can rack up bills for thousands in a matter of minutes!
So, what can travelers do to stay connected while they are away without the stress of the huge roaming bill when they return home? With a little forward thinking and planning ahead, you can actually use your phone and table like you do at home, well almost anyway. First make sure you download all your files, music and movies before you travel as streaming anything overseas is a massive no -no as its almost guaranteed to cost more than your entire trip!
Grab a worldwide SIM card before you travel, this will give you free incoming calls in all the most traveled destinations, enabling you to stay connected to friends and family for free while you are away. You should also do a bit of prep before you travel: download some travel apps (make sure the apps don’t require data to work!), check the rates with your network provider so you don’t get any shocks and download a browser like Chrome as you can compress the amount of data you use in the settings.
While you are away turn of data roaming and only turn it on when we need to access the internet, what you should also do is go into your Play Store (on Android devices) or App Store (on Apple devices) and turn off your automatic updates as these can cost you a fortune. Use free Wi-Fi where you can, although this can often be extremely slow and tedious or can be hard to find when you are out and about so it pays to have a portable Wi-Fi hotspot like the WorldSIM Tri-Fi Wireless Router. You can then access low cost data wherever you are and connect up to 10 devices to the internet. It also doubles up as a power bank so you can charge your phone or your tablet if you run out of battery.
If you are using your contract SIM card when you travel, make sure you have a roaming plan in place that has a daily limit to how much you can spend. Roaming charges on contract SIM’s can quickly spiral out of control as there is no limit on your spending. If you are travelling with kids make sure they can’t access the internet, you can put their devices on flight mode but they can probably figure out how to take this off. Instead get them a pay as you go SIM so you know there is no danger of them playing online games every day.
Wherever you travel and whatever roaming solutions you have in place, make sure you know the rates even if you don’t think you will use your devices. Some destinations cost a lot more than others and if you are aware of this before you travel you ca at least have a good idea of what the costs will be.