What is Data Roaming?

Data roaming is connecting to the internet while you are away.  However, if you have a smartphone, connecting to the internet doesn’t just mean browsing web pages, it will also mean updating apps, social media networks and syncing your accounts.  Your smartphone does this in the background to keep you up to date with all the latest information.  Your phone will, therefore, connect to the internet, even while it is switched off, and you might not even know it.  This can accidentally cost you a lot of money if you are traveling internationally.

Can I Turn Data Roaming Off?
Yes!  This is the best way to avoid unnecessary data roaming costs while you travel.  See how to switch off data roaming on your phone.

What If I Want To Get Online?
Then you several options:

Option 1: Disable automatic updates on your phone rather than turn off data roaming.  This will stop your phone automatically syncing (on Android), however, this is unreliable and not a fail-safe option.  When you land you push notifications may cost you 10MB in data – depending on what country you are in, this could cost you a fair bit of money. 

Option 2: Turn off data roaming and instead look for free Wi-Fi hot spots – your hotel is likely to have free Wi-Fi which will ensure that you don’t use your data.  Alternatively, you can use your own WiFi hotspot.

Option 3: Instead of using your phone, use your laptop with a data roaming USB.  This way you will only pay for the data you use and not updates to apps like on your handset.

Want to know more about data roaming?  Find out how much data you might use.