As you get off the plane, the first thing you do is switch on the mobile phone and see who has called you whilst being in isolation. Just look around, everybody is doing it too!
But have you ever really considered the cost and the bill you will get on your return home? What provider is the best in the country you are visiting and does your provider have a deal with a local provider? Chances are you haven’t. Especially the cost of data – something most of us now take for granted in the UK as most contracts allow certain data downloads for free (or nearly free).
Well here is a few tips for you before, during and after your trip – I hope you use them to save yourself loads of money – put that towards your next rip and not add to the profits of the mobile giants!
  • Contact your service provider and ensure you have international roaming enabled.
  • Check tariffs and any conditions regarding the areas you are travelling – know the cost before you go.
  • Keep calls brief as this will burn credit up and increase your bills on contract.
  • Only SMS if you have to – SMS’s are expensive and use credit quickly.
  • Try and negotiate a special deal with you provider – some will have bundles which may be attractive on contract.
  • Buy spare top up cards in the UK as getting them may be a problem in different countries.
  • If you are buying a new Smartphone, ensure you get one with inbuilt Wi-Fi capabilities as many hotels and restaurants etc have free Wi-Fi available.
  • Download Skype or Truphone on your device – calls made on Wi-Fi to other Skype or Truphone users is free and unlimited – as well as Instant Messaging.
  • Register on McDonald’s wifi – the internet is free in any restaurant and is unlimited – ideal for uploading photos etc to Social Media sites
Skype and Truphone also offer cheap calls or even free calls over its network as a pay as you go service – worth checking out the coverage and prices.
If you cannot download Truphone, purchase a travel SIM card from SIM4Travel or similar providers.
This offers a really low cost option with good rates in over 100 countries. Also it allows you to receive calls for free in Europe.
If you subscribe to mobile data, turn it off until you need it – the cost of roaming data is horrendous and can lead to very high bills on contract – particularly emails and web surfing.
Charge up wherever possible – always have travel adaptors of every description and plug in when you can. Think about buying a solar charger or battery pack as these are low cost and quite effective – ideal to keep you topped up.