I found this information on the internet. I thought it had a lot of useful and up-to-date information for those of us who need to stay connected even on vacation. Please feel free to add any other tips that may help us on our vacations.
MORE and more travellers couldn’t imagine going without their mobile phones these days, whether they use it as a map, translator, camera, or just a way to stay connected to home.
If you don’t do your homework, though, you could have astronomical roaming charges waiting for you when the holiday’s over.
Here are some tips from cheapflights.com.au to avoid those charges while still being able to use your mobile phone abroad.
1. CALL YOUR PROVIDER
The first thing you’ll need to do is call your service provider to check out your options.
Some carriers offer international calling and data plans, while others are happy to suspend your service during your trip so you aren’t accidentally racking up charges abroad.
Some even offer rental options so you can have a local phone during your trip. Find out what options are available through your carrier before you leave.
2. UNLOCK YOUR PHONE
Smartphones are generally locked to a specific carrier, meaning that your iPhone can’t accept a SIM card from competitor providers. It’s advantageous therefore to buy your phone from the Apple store and not through your telco to avoid any of this hassle.
Some phones can be unlocked while others can’t, so you’ll need to talk to your service provider to see what unlocking options are available to you. If you’re able to get your phone unlocked, you’ll be able to buy or rent a local SIM card in your destination, which will be helpful if you need to make local calls or connect to data networks.
3. BRING A CONVERTER
Getting a service plan to use your phone overseas isn’t going to do much good if you can’t charge your device.
Find out what types of plugs and voltage are used in your destination, and be sure to pack the necessary converters so you aren’t stuck with a dead phone during your trip.
4. TURN OFF THE DATA ROAMING SETTING
If your phone has a data roaming setting, be sure to turn it off before your flight takes off. This tells your phone not to connect to data networks that are outside your home network, helping you avoid those hefty data roaming charges.
5. TURN OFF AUTOMATIC FEATURES
If your phone is set to automatically check for new emails, it could be using data without you even realising.
This could lead to a shockingly high phone bill when you return. Avoid this disaster by turning off automatic features that use data, such as checking for new email.
6. CONSIDER AIRLANE MODE
When in doubt, put your phone on aeroplane mode. This keeps your phone from connecting to a local network, meaning you’ll avoid data charges altogether. You can manually turn on wi-fi while in aeroplane mode to keep your device connected for free when you’re near an internet hotspot.
7. USE APPS RATHER THAN PLANS
With apps like Skype and WhatsApp, you can call or text without relying on a phone plan. These apps can be used on wi-fi and many can be used for free or for a significantly lower cost than an international calling plan.
What are your best tips for using your mobile while travelling abroad?