Traveling abroad? Learn how to use your smartphone without busting your budget.
A lot of people cannot live without their smartphones. However, using your smartphone can be complicated and expensive when traveling overseas. With roaming calls being charged at $7 per minute and text messages costing up to 50 cents each, using your smartphone abroad can cost more than your airfare if you are not careful.
How to Keep Your Phone Bills under Control When Traveling Abroad
To stay connected while traveling abroad, here are some tips that you may find useful.??
Know your options. Work with your carrier to understand your options. Contact a customer support representative to know if your phone can be enabled for global usage. Ask if your international roaming features can be activated prior to your trip. If this is not possible, consider using a rental phone or buy an unlocked phone with an international SIM card instead. Rental phones are often available through major carriers and third party sites such as Cellular Abroad and Telestial.
Use free Wi-Fi. You can further reduce your data charges by using your hotel’s free Wi-Fi so make sure you ask the front desk on how you can access it. Most cafes and restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi so consider using them, too.
Subscribe to Wi-Fi. If you are not comfortable with turning off your data usage or asking for free Wi-Fi passwords to reduce your data roaming fees, consider subscribing to a dedicated hotspot service such as Boingo Wireless or buy a portable M-Fi hotspot device with an international roaming plan.
Use smartphone apps to text and call for free. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can stay in touch with your family and friends without spending a single cent. You can call or send text messages to your loved ones through the free Viber app, or chat with them using Google Hangouts or Skype. You can also use WeChat and WhatsApp to send text messages back home.
Be frugal. If you really want to keep your phone bills down while traveling overseas, the best thing that you can do is to keep an eye on your usage. Keep conversations simple and use your email to send more in-depth details to your business partners and/or clients. Use data tracking apps such as My Data Manage to know specifically how much data you have used.
Follow these tips and you can use your smartphone while traveling abroad without incurring excessive fees.
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