As Summer approaches, so does the dreaded feeling of returning from your holiday with a rather large mobile phone bill. All those Snapchats, Instagram stories and Facebook updates soon eat through your roaming data and could end up adding a hefty fine to your phone bill when you return.
How can you avoid those nasty data roaming charges overseas? See our tips below:
BEFORE YOU GO
Get your data roaming sorted
Many network providers offer international data roaming packages or add-ons for an additional fee. Simply call, pop in to your nearest store or log in to your online account and look under the ‘Extra’s section. Bear in mind that these can be costly, at around $10 per day for just 100MB of data which won’t get you far. Alternatively, you can purchase an international sim card for a more cost-effective option if your phone is unlocked from your carrier network.
Download offline maps
Most apps have downloadable offline options which won't use your data and can provide assistance in even the most remote locations. Maps.Me, Apple Maps and Google Maps all offer offline download options in their menus. Just make sure you have enough storage space on your phone and download the maps on a good Wi-Fi connection before you leave!
Download everything else
There’s a lot of useful travel apps out there – from maps, to tourist guides, to travel suggestions. Downloading what you can before you leave will not only save your data but will also save heaps of time. Apps like TripAdvisor have the option to download local suggestions and booking sites like Booking.com even provide handy travel guides that can be downloaded offline. Download what you can and save yourself from carrying all those books and maps with you!
WHEN YOU’RE THERE
Make the most of free Wi-Fi
Even in the most remote locations the majority of hotels, hostels and even restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. No, it may not be the quickest or the most reliable of connections, but it will certainly help you to avoid those data roaming charges. Just be wary of entering personal information on an insecure Wi-Fi connection (i.e. one without a regularly updated password). Things such as online banking and online shopping should be kept to a minimum if not avoided at all costs.
Adjust your app settings
You can amend which apps have access to your data when switched on to avoid them eating up data even when not in use. Simply go to your mobile phone settings and ensure that the apps you use the most will only work when connected to Wi-Fi. It’s also worthwhile turning off location services and push notifications when not required.
Text text text
Although nothing quite beats the sound of your loved one’s voice, texting is by far the cheapest option to stay in touch when you’re overseas. Nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned SMS!
Turn on Airplane Mode
If you simply can’t be bothered with all of the above, leave your phone in Airplane Mode or Flight Mode to stop anything being sent or received full stop.
And if you really, really can’t deal with those enormous phone bills when you return from your holiday, simply leave your phone at home!