Avoid Phone Bill Shock While Travelling

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18 July 2017

So you’ve booked your flights, planned an itinerary, perhaps even packed your bags? Perhaps you are feeling smug about your brilliant organisational skills. Your trusted travel agent has taken care of the big ticket items – insurance, airline tickets, transfers, hotels, stop-overs, cars and much more. All you have to do is plan your dinners, outfits and luggage. But one thing many travellers fail to consider in the planning of a dream holiday, is the dreaded international roaming fees.

That’s right, the smartphone that can seem to be surgically attached even on holiday suddenly becomes a reminder of the needs of a digital detox when the phone bill arrives. Don’t let the brilliant memories of your dream holiday be tarnished by a shocking phone bill. We’ve investigated several options that should keep your bill shock levels far from toxic – so you can stay in touch with family and share your holiday memories without wincing.

Discover your data options

It’s always worth having a chat with your network provider to discover what international data and roaming rates or special pre-packages they have. It could be the best priced option for what you are after whilst away on holiday. Just be very sure to thoroughly read the fine print on these deals, you don’t want any hidden fees or to come awry of usage caps.

Turn your mobile to Airplane Mode

Switching your mobile to airplane mode is a simple step to cut off all connectivity. It prevents your mobile from sending or receiving text messages and calls, as well as disabling WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Keep roaming under control

Stick to free WiFi and switch your roaming off before you leave or immediately when you first get off the plane. It’s not complicated you can do it in a few easy steps – it does help to know your way around your smartphone settings. We’ve given general instructions below, but if you are struggling ask for help or pop into your local network provider’s store before you leave and ask them to show you how. While you are doing this, also switch off automatic updates and location services – these are also data suckers. It’s a simple matter of going into your phone settings and switching these to OFF.

How to turn data roaming off on your smart phone

While you are doing this, also switch off automatic updates and location services – these are also data suckers. It’s a simple matter of going into your phone settings and switching these to OFF.

How to turn location services off on your smart phone

Buy a local SIM

It usually makes for a better travel and holiday experience when you think (and act) like a local – there is no exception when it comes to your mobile either. Buying a local SIM card upon arrival is a smart and cheap way to navigate exorbitant roaming fees. If you buy a prepaid card it means you are in control of the spend, you will likely have significantly cheaper deals on data and you will be able to make local calls on your holiday. All important when it comes to booking your adventures, day trips and dinners out. Just make sure that you unlock your Australian mobile network first – you may not be able to use it, or attach to other countries networks without unlocking. You can buy the SIM before you leave or pick them up quite easily from your holiday destination airport, but a little research beforehand can ensure this.

And just a tip when travelling to Europe to visit multiple countries use one SIM. Thanks to the European Commission moving to abolish roaming charges from June 15, 2017, you can travel throughout the EU and not worry about roaming charges anymore. Just to be safe, enquire with the provider.

Download handy Apps on your phone

If you want to avoid using your international minutes or text messages, download free apps such as Viber or WhatsApp; these can be downloaded on both Apple and Android devices. Be sure to download them and follow the prompts to set up prior to departing for your holiday. Using these, you can make calls or send messages to international numbers – and it’s free if you’re connected to WiFi. However, if you’re unable to use WiFi, be careful as these apps will use your data in the background.

The team at Angas Travel are experts in the field of group travel, cruising and specialised itineraries – and we are always happy to lend our advice for your travel quandaries. Whether that is booking tickets, planning stopovers or even pointing you in the right direction for roaming charges – make Angas Travel your first destination. As an independent and accredited travel agent, our team of experienced, well-travelled professionals are dedicated to providing you with personal service and making your next trip something special – without the mobile bill shock!