If you have a smartphone and are planning on taking it on your next international trip there are several things you should be aware of to ensure that you don’t accidentally waste obscene amounts of money staying connected while you are away. Here are a few pointers so you can be savvy with your spending…
Don’t answer your phone
When you leave your country of residence with your mobile phone you are ‘roaming’ this means that you will pay to receive calls as well as make calls. Receiving a call is charged at a per minute rate. In some countries this can be pretty expensive. If you don’t answer your phone and someone leaves you a voicemail you will pay for the international part of the call so make sure you turn off voicemail.
Don’t leave data roaming on
Data roaming is when you use internet on your phone while you are travelling internationally. You have probably heard about the ‘bill shock’ stories of people being charged thousands while using their phone to get online while they are on holiday – these stories are because these people didn’t turn off their data roaming. Your smart phone automatically connects to the internet to keep you updated, this will happen even if your phone is switched off. It’s safest to turn of data roaming and find free Wi-Fi hot spots to browse the web and check your Facebook. You can also use internet cafes, an international SIM card, a data roaming USB, or a local SIM card. It’s a good idea to investigate the best options in the country/countries you are travelling to well before you travel.
Don’t take your contract SIM card
If you have a contract SIM you should consider getting a pay as you go SIM as this will limit the amount you can accidentally spend. If you do take your contract SIM abroad then make sure you call your mobile network provider to put a cap on your daily spend.
Don’t download travel apps that connect to the internet
Many travel apps access the internet in order to get you the information that you are after. Make sure your travel apps are offline apps so they don’t eat your data.