Roaming Responsibly – Ways to Reduce Phone Charges Abroad This Year

Keeping in touch through traditional methods and roaming is cheap these days, especially compared with other reliable solutions that can help users avoid hefty fees when returning home. You can resort to numerous possibilities to cut on those budget-wrecking charges while staying connected with pals and family back home.

The same applies when you need to access virtual maps, tracking apps, chat services, social media platforms, and other vital digital offerings when you’re far from those you need to communicate with and update on your adventures.

Needless to say, the path to lower phone and roaming charges is sprinkled with tips and tricks, such as eSIM, bill capping, or offline content. Keep reading to discover the four main and most helpful ways you can resort to when traveling internationally in order to avoid expensive charges and maintain the quality of your social connectivity.

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Hunting down SIM cards at the destination is not a discouraged practice if you’re willing to spend time, effort, and money on securing network coverage. However, we’re living in the digital era where everything has been conceptualized as a nano-thing that can be transported and used anywhere with the same convenience as physical cards.

eSIM cards are not new and have been around ever since 2016, providing high-tech alternatives to the local number you’d otherwise get by installing a SIM when arriving at the destination. Suppose you’re traveling to the USA; then you can effortlessly reach out to an eSIM provider, have the service remotely activated, and set up your plan within several easy and intuitive steps.

Instead of getting a physical chip, you can download and play for the eSIM service on your phone and gain access to all networks and data abroad.

Many plans are at your disposal, depending on your destination, the price point you’re comfortable with, and many other choices. As a result, it’s imperative to thoroughly explore your options and select the eSIM  that perfectly aligns with your specific needs and preferences amidst this vast sea of alternatives.


Turning data off and connecting to available Wi-Fi networks seems like a no-brainer. Still, many may overlook this option, worrying about additional unpreventable costs, exposure to security threats, or other issues that may stem from insufficient knowledge. Indeed, connecting to any public Wi-Fi is not riskless, as these are not hackproof.

But with an antivirus or VPN service activated, you shouldn’t have much left to worry about. Connecting to public Wi-Fi, whether provided by the transportation service, accommodation booked, eatery visited, or other places will help you connect with anyone on any website without worrying about added expenses.

Extra tip: Free Wi-Fi in coffee shops, restaurants, and other establishments for hanging out is becoming a thing these days. Starbucks set an example of customer-centric business when it started offering customers free Wi-Fi in their locations in 2010, creating a precedent for other enterprises or grand companies and franchises. If you need urgent Wi-Fi and can only rely on external sources, asking passersby about the nearest Starbucks may resolve your issue.

Bill Capping

What if you could start your journey with a pre-set limit on the amount you can be taxed, so you’ll at no point have to worry about going over the limit or spending more than you intend to? Well, the good news is that this goal is achievable in some parts of the world, so researching your destination will help you be in the know with all the details needed.

In the UK, for instance, and not starting with October 2018, all customers could reach out to their iD Mobile plan providers to establish a specific amount that can be spent.

Once the limit is reached, it can’t be exceeded, and extra costs can’t add up. However, as mishaps can go in the way of a perfectly crafted plan, it’s important to note that providers may sometimes deliver wrongfully calculated bills and charge you more than they ought to.

If you think you’ve been overcharged, you can contact the company and find out why you’ve been overtaxed without your consent. The solution should be to reduce the fee to the amount you’ve previously agreed to.

Checking with your provider before departing is a wise way to ensure you’re aware of the fees you’ll encounter and if you can or have a cap on bills, especially regarding data. Sometimes, you may need to ask for this feature to be explicitly implemented. However, this practice will prevent your costs from getting out of control and ending with an unwantedly enormous bill.

Pre-Downloaded Media

Going on a trip abroad, regardless of the purpose and length of staying, is often associated with downloading music, movies, documents, and podcasts and stuffing the smartphone’s memory with all sorts of media and data that may be essential down the road.

Many holidaymakers leave these aspects at the last minute, thinking they’ll sort things out when they get there and if they need them. But the truth is that roaming around, especially if you get to spend some time solo, will have you needing the internet to access the required docs and content.

Therefore, it’s wise to prepare your Spotify playlist in advance, download potentially needed documents, and organize your folders so that you’ll be less reliable on your mobile network. A smart move is also to install platforms meant for chatting. Some examples of downloadable popular and intuitive chat apps include Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage, Hangouts, and Line, among others.

Last but not least, pre-check the destination.

Thinking that roaming and all the cellphone-associated costs involved when traveling abroad are all the same regardless of where you’re headed couldn’t be further from the truth. Different locations come with various regulations and service fees, so it’s only logical for mobile bills to vary depending on where you use your device to keep connected with others.

Moreover, some networks, such as EE, may tax you for simply receiving voicemails when abroad, regardless of whether you access them. You’re not charged for inquiring about text messages, but having your pals back home knowledgeable of the least budget-wrecking methods to maintain a connection is best.

Outside the EU/EEA, for example, costs vary widely for services compared to the same offerings between the union’s borders. Checking beforehand the available services and how calls and texts are taxed will help you avoid costly roaming charges while finding other helpful and cheaper methods to not lose touch with those outside of your area.

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