There are a lot of things to consider when taking a mobile phone abroad, and the last thing you want is for unexpected mobile phone charges, or your phone not working at all. Although many places have WiFi now, depending on where you are going you will still need to get a good signal and know about charges before you go, especially if you need to let someone know you got there safely. There have been a lot of changes recently in the laws and legislation in the last couple of years, that have forced mobile providers to make it a lot fairer on customers who wish to use their phones abroad. There are also things to consider with your physical handset, and you will need to make sure before you go that you are covered on your insurance for the country that you are going in.
Tips when taking a mobile phone abroad – before you go
Before you go there are a couple of things you can do, with regards to your tariff and your handset to make sure you do not get an issues while away.
Check what your tariff includes, and what bundles you can buy
It is unlikely that your monthly bill will include the charges associated with being abroad, but it can work out a lot cheaper to buy a bundle than to just take the charges as they are when you are there. Call up your mobile phone provider and see if you can make a one off payment, which will work out a lot cheaper.
Back up files
Depending on how fast your broadband is, a smartphone can have it’s files backed up in around five minutes. Do this before you go. Everyone is a bit more liable to lose their phone on holiday, and you don’t want to lose any important documents.
Turn off data roaming
The whole data roaming situation has made millions of people fall foul to accidentally leaving it on. Turn it off before you even get there, ideally when you are on the plane just about to take off. Many places have WiFi now, so it is unlikely you will need to use your data while away.
Tips when taking a mobile phone abroad – while you are there
Inevitably there will probably be at least one person you need to tell that you got there ok, but think about the types of usage while you are there and also try and think of ways to physically keep your phone safe.
Find out the price of text messages
Usually you will be given a text message to tell you how much each text sent will cost you. Try to remember this, and see if there is anyway you can use WiFi to message someone through a messaging service. If there is no WiFi, work out how much your data costs you. There are many ways on smartphones to gauge how much each piece of data costs, and it may mean that sending a quick Whatsapp actually ends up being cheaper than a text message if you turn your data on then straight off after.
Physically look after your phone
A lot of insurers will not even cover taking your phone abroad in general, let alone losing it on a beach. Try and keep your phone in the hotel rooms safe or safe deposit box as much as possible. If there isn’t one, hide your phone in a very not obvious place, like in a sock in your suitcase.
Tips when taking a mobile phone abroad – coming home
If you come home and you notice a discrepancy on your bill, you need to flag this up straight away. Many mobile phone providers will have terms written into their contracts that mean if you leave it a certain amount of time, they do not have to compensate you. If you notice that something has been charged to your bill that you do not think should have, contact them immediately and go through it. You should check your bill as soon as you arrive home.