Save money when using your mobile phone abroad
It's time to pack the suitcase and head off for a few week's worth of rest in sunnier climes - away from all the stress of the office. However, you don't want to be stressed out while away too - so here are some canny hints and tips to help you make the most of your time away courtesy of your very own mobile phone!
If you're travelling to a foreign-language country, you can turn your iPhone or Android phone into a translator using the Google translate app for free. It allows you to download 90 language packs to your phone so you can use it without turning on data roaming and running up a costly bill!
You can turn your smartphone into a basic satnav using Navmii, a free GPS app which works without using your roaming data! It downloads offline maps, which might fill up your phone, but which also might just get you where you want to be.
3. Data Charges
We've all heard stories of travellers racking up enormous data bills abroad, often without realising. You're on holiday, you have lots of time to spare, and lots of time to browse. The easiest way to avoid this is to either leave your phone at home, or turn on airplane mode for the duration of your trip. However there are better alternatives.
Check you have Data Roaming turned off. This will automatically disable connection to foreign networks, but still allow you to use the hotel's free WiFi. Some advanced phones have different settings for inside and outside the EU (remember EU data is currently capped at €0.20 per Mb with an upper limit per month of €49 unless you opt out. Outside the EU it can be enormously expensive with charges up to £10 per MB!)
Alternatively swap your sim to another provider (you could buy one while on holiday or buy a Uk 3 network sim which will allow you to use your UK data allowance whilst abroad. Check their website for details.
4. Call charges
Making calls when abroad can be costly, but receiving calls can also cost you money. Make sure you have researched your mobile operator's tariffs and if you think you'll be using your phone on holiday, investigate add-ons which can dramatically cut the cost of calls. Check also if you need to cancel the services once you're back, and if you do, leave yourself a reminder at home.
Receiving texts is free, and if you have WiFi access there are a number of free messaging apps which avoid picture message charges. One example is Whatsapp, but there are others. This principle also works on video calls (such as FaceTime), but shared WiFi networks may be too slow for this.
There are lots of travel apps available for smartphones these days but one of our favourites is TripIt. It manages your itinerary and makes getting your boarding pass easier; in some cases it can even replace your boarding pass with a digital version. It also has handy info like gate changes etc.
6. WiFi safety
Not all free WiFi is there for your benefit! Some unscrupulous people can set up WiFi networks with the express intention of snooping on your passwords and information. One of the best places to deploy these networks is in airports where thousands of people are just looking for a signal. You should always check which networks you are connected to, and be very careful when using them.
7. Charge when you can
Charge all phones, cameras, iPads, and laptops before getting to the airport. If you do get delayed, you won't have to try to find a (scarce) outlet. Pama make a range of backup batteries which can more than double your battery life.
Airports and service stations often charge top prices for travel accessories so a really good way to save money without compromising on quality is to shop beforehand at supermarkets and PoundShops. Check your destination and make sure you pick up the right travel adaptor.
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We love to help you save money - so speak to us and let's make your holiday even better!
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