How to Avoid Getting Big International Roaming Bills While Staying Connected

Often when you travel, the cost of using a smart phone, tablet or laptop is not worked into your budget.  So when you come home to a larger than expected international roaming bill it does tend to put a downer on your happy post-holiday vibes.  Here are a few ways you can avoid this at the same time as staying connected when you travel internationally…

Have a backup solution
You might not plan on using your phone but take it and keep it switched off – this won’t stop you from getting a data roaming bill as phones update apps etc even when switched off.  Take a pay as you go SIM with a bit of credit on or a travel SIM card as you never know when you going to be stranded at an airport, have huge language barriers or some other drama that tends to happen when traveling.  Being prepared will save you a headache and keep you stress-free.  If you have a travel SIM you can get cheap data and free incoming calls in most countries.


Before your holiday
First things first, before you travel check the rates with your provider, if you are in a contract be very careful taking your SIM overseas as it’s so easy to overspend and you really aren’t in control of the costs.  If you must take your contract SIM to get a maximum daily limit applied through your mobile operator.
Prepare movies, music and any travel apps you want for while on holiday now – streaming while traveling is what causes bill shock.  If you are downloading apps that you want to use on your trip, make sure they are offline apps or they will need a data connection that could cost you a fortune.  Also, save an offline google map of where you are going so you don’t need to be online to navigate your way around.

Watch out for the Kids
Let’s face it, most kids don’t do what they are told and couldn’t face a day without playing games on their phones, messaging friends and checking Facebook.  Give them a pay as you go SIM so they can’t turn data roaming back on and spending thousands streaming music and movies.  This way you can control their usage.


Taking other gadgets
If you are planning on taking your laptop or tablet and will want to get online similar applies.  You can get a worldwide data SIM card for when Wi-Fi is too slow or non-existent.

Before you board the plane
Turn off data roaming before you board the plane and ensure that any automatic updates are turned off.  If you need to get online after you land you can then turn on data roaming without spending a fortune on all your apps updating unnecessarily.

Use free Wi-Fi
When you get the chance use free Wi-Fi to update your apps, email, and social channels.

Need help choosing an international SIM card?  Here are the questions you should be asking before choosing an international sim.