When you go abroad, it can be very easy to get your smartphone out and start calling and texting someone from home. While the technology is quite convenient, it can incur monstrous charges when you receive your bill from your mobile carrier. If you did not consider an international plan right before you left home, then you’re pretty much going to pay a lot when you get back. But there are ways for you to prevent that from happening.
Using Your Smartphone Overseas While Staying on a Budget
Step 1 – The first thing you might want to do if you plan on using your smartphone a lot while outside the country, and we’re talking about more than just taking travel photos with your handset, then it should be in your best interest to get a plan through major carriers. For instance, should you opt for T-Mobile, they have plans that even provide unlimited data and texting. Furthermore, such a service is available in 140 countries around the globe. While texting can be done with no extra charge, making calls is another story as they will charge you a flat rate of 20-cents per minute. Well, that’s not too bad if you’re going to make emergency business calls while you’re on vacation, especially when you consider what you have to pay if you don’t get a plan in the first place.
Step 2 – If you don’t want to text or make calls with your smartphone with the use of the services provided by a mobile carrier, or if you did not acquire a plan from such a company in the first place, then an alternative is to send messages and make calls with the use of Wi-Fi. There are many messaging apps out there, such as Skype and WhatsApp, that will allow you to make calls over a wireless Internet connection, and even send messages to your office colleagues or to your loved ones back home.
Step 3 – If you really want to go on the cheap when you want to call, text, or even make use of cellular data with your smartphone while abroad, then consider getting an international SIM card. But before anything else, make sure that your phone is unlocked and it is GSM compatible. Just about every country in the world today uses GSM technology so you should be fine, not unless you’re going into uncharted lands with no cellular service whatsoever, then that’s another story.
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