Going on holiday no longer means being about of contact form your friends and family, unless of course you want a real getaway. However taking your phone with you when you travel to other countries might not always be the best idea. When you take your mobile phone you can connect to the different available networks while in your host country. Knowing you are just a phone call or text message away in an emergency can give many people peace of mind.
Astronomical Roaming Costs
However, using the phone abroad can be costly. Although Ofcom are passing new rules to the networks to set a cap on roaming charges, many people can still be surprised at the size of their bill when they return home. Even those who are on a pay as you go scheme can be shocked as to how quickly they use up their credit. Some people think that by having their friends and family call them while they are away instead but most people do not know that while abroad it can cost you to both make and receive a call. Charges can vary depending on which country you are visiting and also which network you choose to connect to while there.
Do Your Research
Before you travel you should call your network provider to find out what you can expect to be charged for phone calls and text messages. They will ask you which country you are travelling to and then should be able to tell you all the available networks and what each one will charge. It is recommended that you do not try to connect to the internet while abroad because this is where the hefty bills come from.
Avoid Internet Use
If you must check your emails, do Internet banking or any other internet based activity it is recommended that you find an internet café if possible and only use the mobile Internet in an extreme emergency.
No Free Calls or Texts
It should also be worth bearing in mind that your standard tariff is not applicable while you are abroad. For example, if you have a plan that includes free text messages or calls, if using the service from abroad these do not count towards your free allowance. Only calls made within your home country will count unless you have an international call package, which again can be costly.
Ideas to Limit Your Phone Use
If you want to make sure you are easily contacted while on your holidays but you don’t want the worry of a large bill then the mobile phone is a handy thing to carry around. However, you must use it as sparingly as possible. You can arrange with family that you send one text per day to one person just so they know you are fine, they can then let the rest of the family know they have heard from you. You must let everyone know that if they need you, unless in an extreme emergency, they should text you instead of calling.
Just Take One Phone
If you are travelling in a group then it might be worth considering just one of you taking a phone and the rest of the group leaving theirs behind. Again this means you can easily be contacted, you can contact back home if required but there is no risk of large bills.
Warn Your Network Provider
Whatever you decide to do, you should contact your network provide to let them know you will be travelling. If they notice unusual activity from abroad they may block the phone suspecting it has been stolen. If you pre-warn them you will not be left with a useless mobile while away.
Phil Turner has had to compare mobile phones in the UK and in Ireland recently. British consumers get much better deals.