See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
So, you probably don't need a news flash to tell you that phone bills are expensive. When I had my first cell phone, texting wasn't even a thing yet...I'm starting to feel old. Anyways, with all the new things you're paying for on your phone and how expensive travel can be, let's not add on with international roaming fees. I have read horror stories of people returning home from a wonderful trip abroad to a 4 figure phone bill as in THOUSANDS...don't let that happen to you. Here are a few tips to save you a few bucks and still keep you connected while away.
1. Before you board your flight, turn off push notifications, turn on airplane mode, and turn on wifi. If you wait to do this until after you arrive, you may find that your friends, family, and work have called, texted, sent you email, left voicemails, etc. and the moment you turn your phone on and you receive all of those, you'll be paying for them. By turning on airplane mode you are keeping your phone from using cellular towers and data services. By turning on wifi, you can still send emails, use skype, and access the internet when you have a connection. Also, if you have an iPhone, you can use iMessage to text other IOS devices. Many airports or a nearby Starbucks can hook you up with wifi to let your family know you've arrived safely.
2. If your phone is paid off, then you can have it unlocked. This means when you land you can buy a sim card for a local carrier at your destination and put it in your phone. This essentially gives you a foreign phone number so that you can call your hotel, cab services or anyone else that you need to reach in the country you are visiting. Sim cards are usually pretty cheap ~$10 and come with minutes and data available on them. Just top them off when you need more.
3. If your phone is not paid off because you just got a fancy new iphone because you buckled to peer pressure...like me. Then you can do a couple of things. You can just use your phone on wifi like in step 1. Or, you can buy a cheap phone and pay cash. We recently bough Pat a phone for $75. It's an Allcatel One Touch. We paid for it all and now we can have it unlocked when we travel and put in a sim card. We'll have his phone for making calls if we need to while we are away and my nicer phone to use on wifi for maps, skyping etc. $75 might seem like a lot of you're only going to use it this one time...which it would be. But, he uses it as his all the time phone and it's a great back up to have just in case you get in a sticky situation and need to make a phone call. I'm like a boy scout, I like to be prepared for all situations...Is there a boy scout badge for travel preparedness?
Now, you may be wondering about international plans through your carrier. While I haven't researched all of them, I have done some research and it was exhausting. I called and there's always a stipulation. Like on one plan I could call US numbers while away, but not foreign ones. Another one, I could call foreign numbers while in the US, but not while abroad. Some I could use data, some I couldn't. It just got too crazy. Particularly because while I'm on vacation, I don't want to be checking too many voicemails, or emails or making phone calls anyways. Part of the joy of vacation is unplugging. I want to let our family know we've arrived safely and maybe make reservations somewhere or check a train schedule and know that I have a useable phone in case of an emergency. Now you can without having to go crazy!
Have a great week!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz