RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

How to avoid a devastating phone bill when travelling

20th June 2017 Print

Going on holiday is great, whether you’re jetting off to unwind and catch a tan, explore some famous landmarks or going travelling to find yourself, you’re sure to have a blast. 

With technology now at the forefront of our lives, there are few people who set off on their travels without their smartphone glued to their hand. 

Unfortunately, whilst they’re great for holiday snaps and keeping in touch with loved ones, if you’re not careful, you could be hit with an eye-watering bill when you return.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things to be aware of to make sure you avoid such charges. 

New rules in relation to data roaming are being dubbed “roam-like-you’re-at-home”. Whilst this may sound perfect, be sure to check with your network provider that calls, texts and data will all come out of your monthly allowance when travelling within the EU

It’s also worth checking out the range of deals offered by network providers. For instance, the Vodafone deals at Mobile Phones Direct offer different ranges of data to suit your specific needs. 

However, it’s worth remembering that if you don’t have an allowance and pay as you go, you will be charged the same rates in the EU as in the UK. You should also check exactly which countries are included by your provider as they differ from network to network. 

To avoid hefty charges and using up all your data, use Wi-Fi. You are never billed for data downloaded over Wi-Fi and public hotspots tend to be all the rage nowadays, it’s how many bars and restaurants abroad draw customers.

If you’re an iPhone user, you’re in luck. Apple have made things a whole lot easier for you. They now switch off data roaming as a default so that none of the iPhone apps that use data such as maps, mail, Safari etc. will use a data connection whilst you’re away. 

In order for this to be activated, you as the user must switch this on and confirm this, at this point you will be informed that costs may incur so on your head be it!

Even away from home, people can find it difficult to switch off and can’t help but check their e-mails. This is fine as attachments are not downloaded until you inform the phone to do so by selecting said attachment. 

However, the text in the email is downloaded so endless lists of messages can add up to more than you may expect. To avoid hefty costs, only check your email when connected to Wi-Fi.

Conveniently, many websites now have their content specifically optimised for mobile phone which means they don’t consume as many megabytes. 

The majority of websites will share a very similar address to the desktop site so try to replace ‘www’ with ‘m’ or ‘mobile’, alternatively, you can try to replace ‘’, or ‘.com’ with ‘.mobi, this will use up considerably less data.

Frustratingly, when you’re away from home, there’s a good chance you find that you require more data than normal. This is often because we can’t help but go straight to our maps and GPS to help find our way round, rather than asking a local or going to explore with a free mind. 

To avoid hefty charges when using maps, download your route whilst you’re connect to Wi-Fi. That way, when you do need to fire up the map and following the route, you won’t need to have your data turned on.

The changes may be good news for those who roam within the EU however those who roam outside the EU will be hit with a 20% VAT charge. Understandably, this can add up to pretty hefty bill, thus it pays (quite literally) to be wary near borders.