A Guide for Using Mobile Devices When Traveling Abroad

While you have a convenient subscription to one of the internet packages such as Spectrum packages at home and you can surf, stream, and download endlessly on your phone, it’s not going to be the same when you’re abroad. You will have to be careful with your phone usage while traveling abroad. Mainly because you have the facility of unlimited calling from your home phone. And, you have the facility of unlimited browsing and downloading with your internet package. While you are abroad, the billing features completely change. Therefore, you need to be thoroughly acquainted with the billing because you don’t want to pay more for your cell phone use than you did for the flight and accommodation combined! If you think it sounds impossible, then know that it happens to many travelers every day!

You need to know how you can make your bill a little reasonable. And you definitely don’t want to negotiate with an insensitive representative from the customer care department to revise your phone bill. Thinking about what you have to do about your use of cell phone in the country that you are visiting is as important as packing your essential luggage. You need to find out if your carrier offers an international plan to save money on the roaming fee. Or you essentially need to buy an international sim for budget-friendly options in calling, internet data, and texting.

Let us help you to make a plan before you cross the international borders!

Contact the Carrier

You essentially need to contact your carrier and describe your query on international billing. And you have to be patient with the process as it’s the first step. And this is perhaps the most important step too. Here’s how:

  • Take the instance of Verizon. It may offer a limited plan with talk time, data, and texting for $100 only. And without opting for a plan, the same services may cost around $500
  • Your cell phone carrier will enlighten you about the available options for international use. And particularly for the country that you are headed to
  • If there are no economical options, you will at least know. And then you can go for other affordable options

Turn the Data Off

  • You need to essentially turn the data of your cell phone off the moment you leave the American border!
  • Don’t turn it on until you come back
  • If you leave the data enabled, features such as location and many others keep consuming the data even if you don’t have the Apps open. You will end up increasing your bill significantly and you don’t want that

Connect to a WiFi Whenever Possible

Can’t wait to post the photo of Hagia Sophia Mosque that you just captured perfectly to your social media! Suppress the craving to open your Facebook and rethink! Because:

  • Only a few minutes on any social media app such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. can actually cost you hundreds of dollars!
  • That’s because of the heavy amount of data required to open the apps and then in posting your desired content
  • In the said scenario, you need to find a Wi-Fi in the hotel, restaurant or wherever you can to use your favorite apps
  • If you have the facility of Wi-Fi in your hotel room, the best practice would be using all your desired apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and others in the room. Keep all your essential communication and photo-sharing at the end of the day before you hit the bed

Unlock the Phone

One of the most popular ways to dodge the data fee for travelers is to have your phone unlocked by the carrier. You can also use a previously unlocked phone. Here is what you can do:

  • Just remove the American SIM card and buy one in the country you’re headed to upon arrival. You can easily get them anywhere once you land
  • With the local SIM, you can conveniently buy or get local data, talk time, and texting for a quite cheaper price as compared to your American carrier
  • You can easily recharge your data whenever you need it
  • With the changed sim, you will still have access to your favorite apps
  • Data may be eaten up quick on the foreign SIM cards too. Therefore, keep monitoring your apps via the phone’s setting and use the ones which are more data-friendly

Be Frugal

  • Just remember that whatever you are doing, talk less and surf less
  • Do the most when you are connected to a Wi-Fi
  • The best and the easiest way to stay worry-free about your overseas cell phone usage is to set some guidelines
  •  Keep your conversations brief and simple. If it’s a business call, you can send them detailed follow-ups on the email
  • Instead of making international calls, use WhatsApp, FaceTime, and other texting/calling apps when you are connected to the Wi-Fi
  • Know how you can turn off the international data roaming and keep it off

Get a Spare Phone

  • Having a local SIM is a good idea for people who just want to stay in touch with their friends and family. For those on a business tour or who have a good number of clients, it’s practically not possible to share your newly-purchased local, foreign number with all of them
  • In order to not lose touch with your business-related acquaintances, it’s a good idea to get your hands on a spare phone
  • With your original SIM active in one phone, you will be able to receive calls and texts on your actual number
  • You can use the spare phone with the local number to make calls and so on
  • This way you can receive your texts and voicemails on your regular number and that too for free. And you can conveniently return those calls and texts from your other phone for a lower rate
  • Therefore, the ideal situation would be carrying two phones

And last but not the least, monitoring your bill on the local SIM is essential. You may be using apps, which are consuming more data than your estimate. It’s important to keep monitoring it because it’s not like your fixed domestic internet bill that you get back home else you can ask from spectrum customer support about the policy. Keep checking the data and minutes which you have been consuming. Happy traveling!