How to avoid monster roaming charges on holiday
We’ve probably all experienced this at least once in our lifetime: we get back from holiday, all relaxed from our time away, only to come crashing back to reality when we see our phone bill.
Making phone calls abroad can be costly, but sending a picture message or using the internet when holiday is eye-wateringly expensive.
Following a decade-long campaign to reduce roaming charges, the European Union is set to ban them completely from June this year. This means EU citizens will be able to text, call and go online on their mobiles abroad for the same rates they would pay at home.
However, not only will this still add up if you’re away for a two-week holiday, UK citizens will also face roaming charges when the UK officially leaves the EU.
So, to avoid making your holiday blues even worse with a massive phone bill, follow these top tips suggested by Tech Radar:
Rely on Wi-Fi
One of the simplest ways to avoid roaming charges is to turn-off data roaming, that way you can’t accidentally use you Save r data. If you want to use the internet, you’ll have to rely on Wi-Fi, whether it’s at your hotel or by using Wi-Fi hotspots.
Many restaurants have Wi-Fi, and city-wide Wi-Fi is now becoming increasingly common, so you’ll be able to share all your holiday snaps without any trouble.
Buy an international ‘travel SIM’
If you regularly travel for work or are planning a world-wide tour, it might be worth buying an international SIM.
Truphone is a global network of hubs that allows users to access low rates of 6p per MB of data, text or call minutes in the UK, US, Netherlands, Australia, Spain, Germany, Poland or Hong Kong.
The SIM also lets users add up to two phone numbers, from either the UK or the US, meaning two people can call you at their local home rate.
Choose a plan with international roaming
If you don’t travel enough to warrant getting an international SIM card, another option is to look for international roaming when updating your phone contract.
Vodafone, EE and Three all offer plans with this option, with Three’s Feel At Home Service taking all data charges and calls and texts to UK numbers from your allowance, and working in 42 countries including the majority of Europe, the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
Buy a satellite phone
If you’re an adventurous traveller and often find yourself in remote locations, such as hiking up mountains or across the desert, even the world’s best 4G network might not work for you.
As the name suggests, a satellite phone uses constellations of satellites in low-Earth orbits. These satellites are owned by Globalstar or Iridium. For example, Iridium promises global coverage but Globalstar phones don’t work in Africa and Asia.
However, you may experience delays as the phones are talking to satellites that are some 22,000 miles from Earth.