05 Mar How to avoid roaming charges?
If you are an avid traveler, you would know that you need roaming services on your phone when you are traveling to another country or another state within your country. Roaming charges can be expensive.
Automatic data syncing and third-party apps running in the background of smartphones can rake up enormous data roaming fee. Understand that roaming services and data roaming are two different services with different charges.
Depending on your choice of service, you can consider the following things to avoid high roaming charges when traveling beyond the cellular provider’s coverage area.
1. Check roaming charges of the country you are visiting and compare different plans offered before availing a roaming plan.
2. Before you depart, call your service provider to activate roaming services strictly between your travel periods only.
3. If possible turn Data Roaming off. You will not be able to access internet using mobile network. But you can still use Wi-Fi even though data roaming is off. Preferably send text messages. It is cheaper than calling.
4. You need to be very careful in transit airports, railway stations etc. as local tariffs will be applied, depending on the service provider at such transits.
5. Turn on Wi-Fi on free Wi-Fi zone.
Put your cell phone on flight mode and connect to a Wi-Fi network wherever available. At places like cafes, shopping malls, parks, hotels you can access Wi-Fi for free. You can avail all communication services supported by Wi-Fi like VoIP or WhatsApp messaging, audio and video calls.
6. If you are using personal data network, restrict your time on the internet. Avoid sending and opening high data files as photos, maps etc.
7. Data monitors are smartphone applications that monitor data usage and give warning signals when you are about to reach the set limit. Two most common data monitors are Data Usage and My Data Manager that works on Android and iOS both.
- Get a prepaid SIM card at the country you are visiting. They offer cheaper rates than the roaming charges. You can text, call or browse the internet at the lowest price. Incoming text and calls are free. Such cards are available in more than 195 countries.
- Go incommunicado! This may sound uncomfortable for a few, but it is a real money saver. Avoid making and answering phone calls if not urgent. When not in use, you can even power off your device to avoid text message charges.
- Switch off auto-sync and auto-update on your phone. If you leave your smartphone powered on, your mobile device automatically access networks to fill inbox with e-mails or updates. Your phone will apply sync and updates apps if auto-sync and auto update is not switched off.
Effective Use of Mobile While Travelling
Roaming facility on your mobile phone is a boon while you are on the move beyond your home territory, within the country or abroad. But if not planned and managed properly, it can give you a rude shock on your mobile bill. There are effective ways such as pre-selection of various roaming packages provided by your mobile operator, prioritizing roaming use of text, voice and data usage while travelling.