When traveling, you want to ensure that you can still communicate with your family and loved ones back at home. One of the most annoying things is to come back home and find a hefty phone bill because of all the international calls you make when away.
However, using these tips, you can still communicate with your family and friends internationally without worrying about extra costs.
Adjust your phone settings
When you are away on vacation or a business trip, you want to ensure you capture and share all the moments with your friends and family back at home. That means that you have to have an internet connection, and the easiest way people do that is by using cellular data.
However, you have to turn off data roaming to avoid high data costs. Data roaming is when your device connects to a phone network outside your usual network.
Many carriers agree with international partners to let visitors use their phones and data over other networks. That increases the charges, hence a higher phone bill.
To turn off data roaming, go to your phone settings and select cellular to see all data options, then slide off data roaming.
You should also turn off cellular data for extra protection so that your phone only uses Wi-Fi. When you do that, switch off Wi-Fi assist so that your phone does not turn on cellular data when Wi-Fi is low.
Find free Wi-Fi
After you have adjusted your phone to use only Wi-Fi, the next thing is to find free and secure Wi-Fi. Depending on where you are staying, you could have access to free Wi-Fi, especially if you are staying in a hotel. Some hotels, however, limit free Wi-Fi only in the lobby.
If you are in a place without Wi-Fi, you can use a Wi-Fi map to find free Wi-Fi networks, associated passwords, and locations. You can also use a Wi-Fi finder and Wi-Fi mapper, which are user updates hotspot networks that are free or need a password. All these apps are available for Android and iPhone.
Get an international data package
This is a perfect option if you want to scroll through social media or check emails without worrying about getting a secure Wi-Fi network.
Before leaving, speak to your phone company and ask about international data plans and how much they cost. Most companies have affordable rates to ensure you don’t go a day without communicating with loved ones.
Alternatively, you can switch to red pocket recharge, allowing you to keep your normal network coverage or select a network that best suits your needs.
Download apps to message and call using Wi-Fi
Texting using normal messaging apps consumes a lot of data, especially if you want to send photos and videos. To avoid the extra charges, download and use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, Clint from Travelhackr.com, Wi-Fi.
You can also download Wi-Fi apps to make calls and ensure that the people you call also have those apps. Some of them include WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and iPhone FaceTime.
If you still want to use your line to call people back at home, you can use platforms like Cellpay to prepay the phone bill or buy a wireless SIM card from them. That way, you don’t have to miss calls or look for an international connection. According to cellpay, “…wireless prepaid payments through cellpay online bill pay is 100% secure.”
Turn off auto-updates
Even though you have turned off cellular data, you need to turn off auto-updates for all apps, operating systems, and subscriptions like podcasts on your phone and tablet. These could mess up your data plan and increase your phone bill by a lot.
Before traveling to another country, ensure you have a plan to stay connected with loved ones without incurring additional phone bills. Look at the options and determine which one will suit your needs best without making major compromises.