Whether you’re off for a single match day, an entire test match or some kind of incredible Aussie Ashes tour, there’s no cheap way to do an Australia Ashes holiday.
So the last thing you want is to come home to a hefty phone bill, packed full of roaming charges. All it takes is one hilarious photo upload to wipe the cheeky grin off your face. So get your phone set up properly and you could save yourself a bundle.
The only free way to take your phone on holiday is to switch it off and not use it at all. Come on though, let’s be rational about this. Using your phone abroad doesn’t have to be expensive and we’ll start by following a few simple steps:
The tips above are a good place to start, but to get the most out of your phone between match days you’ll want to speak to your provider about a travel plan. Most networks have at least one travel option and we’re going to take a look at what some of the major providers offer. If you’re with a different network you can always speak to them directly for the best deal available.
If you’re a Three Mobile customer, you can start cheering early. The network’s new Feel At Home service means you can use your phone in Australia, just as you would in the UK – without extra fees! That’s the way it should be, right? The service covers another six countries too. To find out more about Feel At Home, visit the Three website.
If you’re not with Three, the bad news is there isn’t a cheap way to use your network outside the EU. If you simply can’t do without your phone and trusty number, you can ease the blow, however. And Australia is one of the better non-European destinations for roaming add-ons.
Vodafone World lets customers make calls for 80p a minute, receive calls for 75p per minute and send texts for 35p, plus the cost of a domestic text. There’s also Vodafone Data Traveller, which gets you 25MB every day for £5 a day.
Sadly, the two services can’t be combined so Vodafone customers will need to choose which option best works for them. For more information visit Vodafone Going Abroad.
For £5.10 a month Orange will give you a 30% reduction on calls and texts Down Under. That means you can make calls from 60p, receive them from 49p and send texts for 28p. Orange also offers a few data bundles that include a daily 10MB allowance for £10 per day and a monthly 500MB allowance for £175.
With O2 you’re looking at a flat rate of 80p per minute to make and receive calls and 40p per text, while the O2 Data Abroad Bolt On gives you 200MB of data for £120 a month.
Otherwise you’ll be looking at £6 per MB. Ouch!
If your phone happens to be unlocked you can get yourself a local sim and save yourself some serious wedge. Getting yourself a cheap sim in Australia is probably the best way to keep roaming costs down. Most phones don’t come unlocked, however.
Chances are your phone’s locked to your network provider and sim cards from any other provider won’t work. Don’t worry though, because you can get your phone unlocked or even do it yourself! Giffgaff’s Unlockepedia page is a nifty little resource to help you unlock your handset.
Just remember that unlocking your phone will almost certainly void any warranty.
Other than the steps above, your best defence against nasty bills is to use your phone wisely. If you’ve got a good plan that allows you to get your Facebook on all day, great! If not, you’ll have to pick your moments more carefully.
Not to worry. That just leaves more time to soak up all the Ashes atmosphere. So get yourself a drink, sit back and watch the boys rack up enough runs to beat the Aussies in their own out back and bring that funny little urn back home!
Got any tips for saving money on roaming fees? Let us know in the comments section below.
Also, take a look at our other Ashes articles: