How To Use Cell Phones Overseas
January 12th, 2015
Get the Most Out of Your Phone While Overseas
Traveling overseas is a dream come true for many people. But in the hustle and bustle of preparing for a trip many people overlook one of the most important things: cellular service. Using your current cell phone overseas may be a lesson in futility, unless you take care of a few details first. The following tips will help you get the most out of your cell phone while overseas.
Purchase a Data Plan
Roaming charges have been the bane of existence for many cell phone users. Roaming occurs when a cell phone switches to a tower that is not included in the provider’s network. Although many providers work together these days to ensure cross-compatibility for their users, traveling overseas is a different matter entirely. Overseas roaming charges can quickly become insanely huge, but there is something you can do. Purchasing a data plan from your cell phone provider before leaving for your trip can help ensure that instead of roaming, your device uses the data network for transmission instead. All of the big providers offer data plans, in which you can purchase specific blocks of usage for a single low price.
Get a WiFi Service
Finding free WiFi access overseas can be difficult, especially when you’re traveling through areas without modern infrastructure. Using a dedicated hot-spot service like Boingo Wireless is a great way to ensure that you always have access to the Internet, wherever you go. You can purchase a MiFi hot-spot device from many of the large providers, and pay a small monthly fee for international access to the service. Be careful with data usages, however, as going over the allotted bandwidth may result in more charges.
Sign up with a Free Call/Text Service
There are a number of apps available that lets you stay in touch without incurring extra charges. These are handy when traveling overseas, as they do not depend on any specific cellular provider or tower infrastructure. Apps like Viber and Skype allows instant communication between two people over the Internet, and all you need is data or WiFi access to use them.
Purchase a New SIM Card
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you have proper cell phone coverage, while traveling overseas, is to pick up a new SIM card from a local provider once at the destination. Most local cell carriers sell SIM cards, which can easily be swapped into your existing mobile phone. This ensures that you won’t have any issues with coverage and no exorbitant roaming charges from your provider. If your phone doesn’t have the ability to use SIM cards, you can purchase a phone locally, too. Those who don’t want to actually own a second phone can rent one from services like Cellular Abroad.