International travelers' expenses used to only encompass flights and hotel charges, but today's modern cellphone convenience makes for a potentially large bill. Calling home or accessing the Internet are everyday habits for many people while going to work or school. However, traveling abroad halts these habits unless you want a cellphone bill in the thousands of dollars. Being selective about your phone use is critical to keep costs down while still remaining connected.
Turn off the Phone
The simplest way to avoid a high cellphone bill is turning the phone off. Today's cellphones are active even when you aren't using them, but their power is on. They'll begin their roaming process to find a local provider. Although there are some phones with a manual feature to shut off the roaming process, you can't always rely on this idea to work. Allowing the phone to roam racks up the charges every minute. A phone with the power off doesn't communicate with any cellular sites, making it the safest choice during international travel.
Use Local Resources
If you must be connected when you travel, consider local resources for Internet access. Although you typically use your phone for basic Internet searches, it's too expensive when you're in another country. When you're on a cruise, for instance, most major operators offer computers on-board. A trip to another country is usually met with at least one large city. Ask your hotel about computers and Internet access they offer or look for a local Internet cafe. There are low-cost alternatives almost everywhere.
Try Local SIM Cards
To truly use your phone without high charges, consider using local SIM cards by a reputable service, such as HolidayPhone. SIM cards communicate with the local cell provider, indicating a phone is authorized to use area resources without international roaming. You're free to use the phone normally based on the SIM card agreement. This strategy is perfect for travelers who are constantly moving between different countries.
Switch It Up
You can also use this opportunity to try a different phone by purchasing a prepaid device. Visit a local cellphone shop to look over their inventory. Prepaid phones are typically disposable. Once you're finished with your visit, throw it away. They aren't flashy like expensive contractual phones, but they offer core services you need. Calls home and accessing the Internet are possible with prepaid phones. Simply ask the salesperson about the phones' features to match your needs with the right device.
From using a local SIM card to simply turning off your phone, avoiding international roaming charges takes conscious thought. Consider your calling needs before taking off on that next trip. You'll save yourself from much stress and exorbitant bills.