By now, smart phones are simply a way-of-life for most of us. Being connected at all times is something we both need and take for granted. This creates a well-documented phone-bill friction when we decide to leave the country. Am I allowed to text? Will I be charged phantom roaming charges? Is my phone really turned off? What am I allowed to do!?
Not knowing the answers to these questions can result in even the best adventure tours turning into phone bill nightmares.
To help alleviate these unwanted digital stresses, I’ll give you some travel tips to avoid expensive mobile phone bills.
1 » Temporarily Suspend Your Account Before You Leave
Some service providers allow you to suspend your contract temporarily with little or no fees. This helps you save on unjustified monthly billing while you’re away. Keep in mind that this is not the same as cancelling your account, which has steep fees going both ways.
2 » Add an International Call and Date Plan to Your Existing Contract
Before you leave, consider purchasing add-ons to your existing phone plan such as international calling and extended data. Make sure to request notifications when you’re reaching the limit of your add-on to avoid excess usage fees.
3 » Purchase a Prepaid SIM Card
Make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave. This way you can purchase SIM cards abroad in each country you visit. This is especially beneficial for travellers visiting multiple countries.
4 » Purchase a Pay-As-You-Go Phone
The UK and Australia are examples of countries that don’t charge for incoming calls. For this reason, purchasing a Pay-As-You-Go phone allows your family and friends to call you. Sure, they’ll get charged international rates, but it’s free for you!
5 » Use Skype of Google Voice
6 » Leave Your Phone at Home
Yes, it sounds preachy, but it’s really true. Most vacations are an act of escape. So escape! Reconnect and share your story when you return. Sometimes it’s better that way. If you’re worried about safety, leave a copy of your itinerary with your loved ones and keep in touch via email.