Tips to Avoid Costly Data Charges While Traveling Abroad

Data roaming is often something travelers neglect to address before they head out of town. It’s especially important to take care of before you fly overseas. Without an international plan, you’ll still be able to use your smart phone or digital device, upload images, and send/receive text messages, but boy is it going to cost you!

Different vendors also offer different types of packages. From “pay as you go,” to an “international day pass,” and even an “add-on package” to what you already have, choosing the right package for your travels might be confusing. If you’re traveling internationally for business or pleasure, here are tips on the top mobile plans out there today:

AT& T. With more than six different packages, including an international day pass, a cruise package, Mexico/Canada package, pay-per-use, and prepay packages, AT&T has a plethora of offerings customized to your needs – and most covering more than 200 countries. They even offer a passport package for extended trips of up to 30 days.

T-Mobile. Those who carry the Magenta Plan have it the easiest, with unlimited data and talk in more than 210 countries around the world, with no set-up required.  The Magenta Plus plan provides even faster service, and includes unlimited in-flight WiFi for airlines that use the Gogo service. T-Mobile also offers free international customer service should you run into a snag and need help with your phone while traveling abroad.

Verizon. Whether roaming abroad or domestically, Verizon offers a number of plans to fit your needs. Offering coverage in more countries worldwide (220+) than any other plan, and the ability to customize travel plans from pay-as-you-go to monthly to “as you need it,” Verizon offers a wide variety of options to satisfy any Verizon customer.

Some extra international plan tips include:

  1. Cache maps on your phone, especially if you are staying in an unfamiliar location, to use less data, rather than using a map app. Another option is to access maps when using WiFi and take a screen shot once you find what you need. Also considering reserving a chauffeured car service like Dav El|BostonCoach to get you around, thus eliminating your need to navigate a new and unfamiliar city.
  2. Turn off data roaming on your phone. You will save both data and battery usage by placing your phone on “airplane mode” even when you’re off the flight. You should also disable push notifications, which draws on data every time they alert you to a text or phone call.
  3. Use app alternatives such as Viber or WhatsApp, which allows travelers to make calls or send texts using WiFi rather than data.

So, to make sure you aren’t welcomed home by a bill that seems larger than your suitcase, arrange for the right plan, before you go, and talk, share, research to your hearts content.

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