Family holidays can be lots of fun, but one of the biggest downsides of spending some time abroad with your family is mobile roaming charges. Although it’d be great to go away and leave our smartphone at home, for many people this simply isn’t possible and having their smartphone with them is essential to keeping in touch with people back at home, planning their itinerary whilst away, or even boarding the plane with a mobile boarding pass. But, using minutes, texts and data on your smartphone whilst you’re abroad can definitely be costly, depending on the network that you’re with and your destination. We’ve put together some of the best ways to save on roaming costs on your next family getaway.
Having your handset unlocked to any network is a great way to save on roaming costs. Once your smartphone is unlocked, avoiding roaming charges is pretty easy – simply pick up a SIM card that’s local to the area that you’re visiting. For example, if you’re holidaying in Spain, getting an iPhone unlocking service carried out before you set off means that you’ll be able to purchase and use a Spanish SIM card for no extra cost whilst you are there. Don’t forget, you’ll have a temporary number, though.
If you are looking for a new smartphone contract and want to make sure that you won’t be charged a massive bill for using it abroad, you might want to look for a contract deal which comes with roaming included. Many UK networks, including Three, Tesco, and Vodafone, offer some sort of deal with many of their contracts which allows customers to use their smartphone abroad with no extra charge in certain countries. Whilst some contracts will simply allow you to use your phone as normal in a variety of destinations, others provide you with a set amount of ‘roaming data’ that you can only use when you’re abroad, and it’ll be this allowance that you use rather than your usual one.
Pay as You Go
Getting a Pay as You Go SIM card to take away on holiday with you and use whilst you’re there can be a great way to save money and track how much you’re spending on using your phone. When you’re using Pay as You Go, there are no nasty surprises – you’ll top up before you leave, and once your credit has run out, you’ll need to top up again. This can be far easier to manage for many people, as nobody likes to receive a massive bill a month later! Many Pay as You Go plans will also offer you the option to buy add-ons and packs for using your phone abroad. The only thing that you’ll need to keep in mind is that if you usually have a contract SIM, you’ll need to make sure that people have your temporary number for whilst you’re abroad.
Roaming charges can ruin your holiday if you’re not careful, but if you’re planning on going abroad soon and don’t want to get a massive bill for your phone, there are plenty of ways to get around them.