With the uncertainty of Brexit looming over everything it is little wonder that many holidaymakers are trying every option available to them to ensure that they are not massively overcharged for using their data roaming abroad. There are always many horrors stories in the press about how much some people have been overcharged for using their internet while away on holiday. It has recently been suggested that the average is £61 per trip for customers who do not have an alternative solution to using their standard internet package that comes with their carrier while they are in an EU country – and more for those travelling further afield. You can actually get quite a few different bundles and packages if you travel a lot and need to make sure you don’t come home to a huge bill. One of the best things to do if you are a frequent traveller is to use a website like Broadband Choices to compare the different options available to you, but there also are a couple of things you can do to keep costs down.
Get a local sim
Local sim cards are usually an inexpensive solution to spending out loads of money on communication while you are away. Before you take your trip you will need to make sure that your actual handset can take any sim card. There are many shops and market stalls that are able to do this for you inexpensively. When you arrive at your destination try and find a local shop or a mall and look for a local sim card. You will not have the same number but if you are going to need to make frequent calls home this could work out a lot cheaper – and many of them will also come with a certain amount of internet. If you travel to the country often you can put it somewhere safe and use it next time you go there.
Download Virgin Media Wifi Buddy
Virgin Media have got a tool called “Wifi Buddy” that can be used abroad and in the UK. Once you have downloaded it to your device it will actively seek out the nearest wifi hotspot for you. Rather than working like your internal wifi finder which will just connect to whatever is available, this tool will actually tell you where the nearest wifi is to your location.
Utilise free messaging
Text messages can be another thing that cost a lot more when you are abroad. Instead of sending texts to your friends and family while you are in foreign country, use free messaging services that work on wifi like Whatsapp or Skype. Most countries have many pubs bars and restaurants with wifi as well as free wifi available in public areas. Messaging over Whatsapp or Skype will be free if you are using free in house wifi whereas text messaging can have a lot of extra charges.
Check your data roaming
Checking your data roaming is quite a boring task that you will probably forget to complete when you step off of the plane into an amazingly hot country – so do it before you leave. Turning your data roaming off is the preferred way to stop getting hidden charges but there may be some instances where you need to use it. If this is the case then just keep a check on your data usage. All handsets with the ability to access the mobile internet will have an option or a setting that will let you track this.
Disable background app refresh
This is one of the ones that a lot of people do not think to do which is a shame as this is one of the main ways your phone uses data. chances are you will have at least one of the social media apps on your phone like Facebook or Snapchat, and when you have background app refresh activated it just constantly uses data updating your newsfeeds. Turn this off on each individual app that uses any internet data before you leave and you will be able to have yourself some charges.