Taking your mobile on holiday?
Sunday, January 19, 2020
If you need to connect check how much your destination network charges are before you travel.
The holiday season is here and it's time to dig out the flip-flops and dust off the suntan lotion. But before you reach for the stress ball - here is the DIAMOND guide to taking your mobile abroad with you.
We have selected tips below to help you save money with your mobile whilst travelling abroad.
Play it safe and turn roaming off
The easiest way to avoid charges while abroad is simply to turn your data roaming off. These days we all have connected lives and our phones will usually try to feed this habit by connecting automatically to the nearest signal. This can be dangerous if you have automatic updates on, for example.
Use Wi-Fi wherever possible - do you need to upload that photo?
Use Wi-Fi wherever possible - which is usually free in most hotels, restaurants and bars. However, we've all been there; you've managed to snap the perfect picture and your instant reaction is to share it with your friends. While you're within the EU, you should be fine, however, travel outside of the EU and you can pay through the nose.
Get your phone travel-ready by saving your favourite tunes, movies, must-have apps and boarding passes before you go!
Avoid charges & use free apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook to 'call home'
Outside the EU, you can be charged just for receiving calls, so if you have Wi-Fi access use free apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Skype, which shouldn't use your allowance.
If you need to connect, check how much your destination costs before you travel
Travelling within the EU? It's been exactly a year since 'Roam like at Home' began, meaning you can use your UK allowance of minutes, texts and data without paying any extra charges if you are in one of the 31 countries included, such as France, Italy and Spain. Some operators also cover countries outside this, so always check with your network for the full list - and check any terms carefully.
Going further afield? It is much easier to ramp up costs whilst outside Europe as you can be charged just for receiving calls and texts.
Be aware of the limitations - you can be charged for calling local numbers and RECEIVING voicemail.
There are also some restrictions when roaming, which are not obvious:
'Free' EU roaming is not always free. Though you can't be charged for using your UK allowance in the EU, some networks have a 'fair use' policy which means you will run out of data quicker than at home - and be charged for using more.
Voicemail - some providers (and all within Europe) only make you pay if you call to pick up your voicemail. But some will charge you just for being left a voicemail, even if you never actually hear it. You can be charged for receiving Voicemail, so it is best to simply turn off your voicemail, to stop people being able to leave you a message.
On a cruise or 'at sea'? The same rules don't apply. Even if you set sail in Europe, be extra careful of using your phone while at sea as it's easy to connect to a network or a neighbouring country which is not covered by the EU ruling. To be safe, restrict the use of your phone to days when you're off the ship and always select the network your phone connects to.