Data Roaming Charges: The Cost of Using Your Phone Abroad

Using a phone abroad

Are you going away soon, and don’t quite fancy coming back to a mountain of emails and messages to sift through? If that’s the case, bringing your smartphone abroad with you could be an ideal plan – but how much will it cost you?

Not to worry intrepid traveller, with our mobile phones roaming guide – you needn’t worry about facing a bill which costs you more than your entire trip. Read now, as we take a look at each UK networks roaming charges policy, so you needn’t add that to your list of things to do before jetting off.

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What is International Roaming?

Normally, if you’re thinking of going on holiday or travelling abroad, your smartphone is your last thing on your mind. Remember, you’ve got packing, currency and travel insurance to worry about first.

However, believe it or not, that phone in your pocket could end up costing you a suitcase full of cash if you don’t do your homework regarding roaming costs. This is because UK phone networks often charge you for piggybacking on foreign mobile connections, and those aren’t always included as a freebie in your bill.

This means every text you make, every call you dial in and every MB of data you burn on Facebook is going to be much more expensive than it would be at home. To find out just how much more expensive, our UK network guide below should have you covered…

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See your Network's Roaming Costs Here:

Tips for Using My Phone Abroad…

Of course, whilst you might be dreaming of putting your feet up on a beachside hammock and sleeping the days away (maybe with a beer by your side), there are a few tips you can follow to help you avoid roaming costs on your phone.

Use Wi-Fi Abroad (if you have it)…

You think your best mate is the one who’s joining you on your travels? Nope, it’s that Wi-Fi router that’s installed in your hotel – that’s your real friend when you’re on your holiday.

Allowing you free access to the web and all of its apps, videos and tools, having a solid Wi-Fi connection for your phone is incredibly useful. It helps you dodge the data costs which are often the most expensive when you’re abroad, and lets you keep up to date with all your friends’ Snapchat stories without any hassle.

If you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection, make sure you sort out an add-on if your network provides one for international travel.

Turn off your Voicemail

Remember when you were on a pay as you go deal, and it cost money to get to your voicemails? Yeah, well that’s still the case – and when you’re abroad it can prove pretty costly.

By disabling your voicemail, you can stop people leaving you a message and costing you money. Plus, you won’t have to listen to your mum moaning at you from another country because you didn’t text her saying you’d landed safe – that can wait until you get home, right?

If you lose your phone, make sure to report it to avoid extra costs

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If it gets lost or stolen, report it ASAP

One of the biggest rackets going against tourists, having your phone stolen and then being used to call a premium rate number for hundreds of pounds. It’s a common issue in some European countries and further afield, and can cost you plenty of cash.

If you have a pay as you go deal, you’ll be fine as you’ll only lose what’s already on the phone, but if you’re a pay monthly customer things can quickly snowball.

If you tell your network early, it’s unlikely that the thieves will have a chance to make any cash off your phone. If not, they could rinse you for a small fortune, and your network can’t do a whole lot about it. If you have mobile phone insurance, you can at least soften the blow though... You may have to pay as small excess but at least it is not 100's of pounds for a new handset.

You can read a government announcement regarding stolen phones and unwarranted usage here.

Don’t Make us Jealous…

At the end of the day, you’re on holiday to enjoy yourself, so sort out these features, know what you’re paying and then enjoy your time off. Just make sure you don’t start posting pictures of that sun-drenched Mexican resort or untouched ski slope online – you wouldn’t want to make us jealous would you?

Are you going abroad with your phone soon? Do you have any tips for other smartphone travellers? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Written by Luke Hatfield

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