Travelling abroad requires a lot of planning and preparation. One of the concerns that you will face is how to avoid roaming charges on your cell phone. There are stories of people being charges hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their cell phone bills after returning from an international trip. You certainly don’t want to fall into that category. Here are a few tips to avoid roaming charges when traveling abroad.
Turn off Your Data
One of the easiest ways of avoiding roaming charges while traveling abroad is to simply turn off your phone’s data. Setting your phone to airplane mode will accomplish the same thing. This will keep your phone from roaming or searching for signal.
Of course, the major drawback to this is that the functionality of your cell phone will be very limited. You won’t be able to use any of your apps that require the internet to function, and you won’t be able to access the internet.
Another way of avoiding roaming charges while traveling abroad is to stay on WIFI networks. Most hotels, shops, and public spaces have WIFI networks. Staying on them to access various functions and apps will keep you from roaming off your network.
The drawback here is that you will be tethered to a WIFI network to have full functionality of your phone. You will still be forced to turn your data off if you aren’t near a WIFI network, or you will have to wait to use your phone until you can access WIFI.
Upgrade Your Plan
Contacting your cell phone provider and upgrading your plan to include international coverage is a sure-fire way to avoid roaming charges. You will have unlimited access to all of your phone’s functionality without having to worry about incurring additional charges.
This route also comes with drawbacks. This service isn’t free, so you will have a higher monthly bill if you add international coverage. One option is to add coverage temporarily if your provider allows it. You can add international coverage before you leave for a trip, and then remove it after you return home. You will have to do some research to see if this strategy is allowed by your provider. If you travel abroad on a regular basis, then I would recommend having international coverage as part of your plan full time. Most plan providers have info on their website concerning adding international coverage. Verizon has a write up on this very subject.
Travelling abroad brings with it some challenges that you will have to plan for. One of them is dealing with roaming charges on your cell phone. There are multiple ways to avoid these charges. Whether you turn off your data, use WIFI, or upgrade you plan you can avoid these charges. With some planning you can return from your trip and not be surprised by your bill. Share your international travel stories below.