Traveling abroad with cell phones

The cell phone became an essential item of the daily life and now travels with you anywhere you go. It allows you to stay in touch with family and friends while abroad but traveling abroad with your cell phone can also lead to unexpected expenses, especially for smartphone users.

Many features and applications can be very costly. On the other hand, the cell phone gives you peace of mind in the event of a need for assistance. How can you make the most of your trip without generating a large bill?

Customized packages and effective settings

The first things to check are the conditions for using your cell abroad. Your provider may offer you a package that will be adapted to the country you will be traveling to. Once you’ve reached your destination, try to avoid the use of internet or uploading data because it can drive up your bill quickly. Instead, enable the Wi-Fi connection from your smart phone and disable the 3G connection. By doing that, you will benefit from the available local networks while reducing the use of data. Beware of incoming calls, you may be charged if someone calls you.

Practical alternatives

How to avoid unpleasant surprises? For smartphone users, applications such as Skype, Viber or Facetime allows you to call free of charge. For phones without these advanced features, you might consider sending a text message instead: it costs less than a long-distance call and allows you to communicate quickly. There are also phone cards, usually easy to find in major city centers. Finally, if your phone is unlocked, you have the option to purchase a local SIM card.

Tips before you leave

• Save your travel insurance policy number and the assistance center’s phone number in your phone.
• Also save the phone number of the person you wish to be reached in case of an emergency.

Be vigilant and beware of pickpockets.

For more information about travels with cellphones

Please consult this international cell phone guide.