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9 Hacks to Reduce Your Cellphone Bill While Traveling

Smartphones have become an integral part of everyone’s life. It has become very difficult to do anything without your cell phone by your side. You can do so many things with a smartphones nowadays, like make calls, take photos, access maps, and get exact directions to the place you want to go to.

So cell phone becomes a basic necessity when you travel to a foreign destination. But we never think about the international roaming fees, the data usage charges and the calling charges while roaming around a foreign country and end up getting a $1000 phone bill when we reach home. Here are nine hacks that you can use to avoid this.

1. Connect to the world through Wi-Fi

White and black modem router with four lights (extaf_ms)

Just as you prefer to use your home wi-fi for web surfing or web calling to avoid wasting additional data on your mobile network, you can connect to the web through wi-fi while you are on international roaming to make web calls and to use any other apps on your smartphone, without incurring additional international roaming charges.

Some smartphones can even be used to connect to wi-fi in Airplane Mode, guaranteeing you full internet access without any data usage over mobile network.

2. Sign up for an international roaming plan

Man holding globe (Icons8_team)

Majority of the cell carriers have different international plans that will allow you to use your cell phones across borders or overseas without having to shell out extra cash beyond your regular monthly charges.

Some of these plans includes AT&T passport from AT&T starting at $30 per month, T-Mobile offering a $ 0.20 per minute call and texting/data without international roaming charges in over 120 countries in their Simple Global pack and Verizon offering various plans for various destinations.

3. Rent a Smartphone

Home screen of Asus phone (krapalm)

Why risk your expensive smartphone being stolen while you are travelling in a foreign country. Stay safe by simply renting a smartphone, which you can use on your journey through your destination. It is better to rent the phone just before you leave for your destination, rather than getting it after you land there.

You will only be charged a nominal fee and you can choose from various plans on offer to suit your needs. Don’t forget to get insurance cover on the rented phone that you are safe if your rented phone gets stolen.

4. Contact your carrier before travelling abroad

Holding a black phone and a laptop on the lap (glvrdru)

As you take steps to safeguard your bank account when you are travelling out of the country, so that there isn’t anything unusual happening with your account transactions, it is possible to do the same with your mobile services.

You can notify your service provider to keep a check on your mobile usage on international roaming, so that the service providers can intimate you when you exceed your usage plan.

5. Opt for the insurance

Coins currency and black and blue pens (stevepb)

If you cannot part with your smartphone when you are travelling abroad, it is better to get your phone insured. You never know when your phone might get stolen or get damaged.

In these situations, insurance can save you a lot, as the cell carrier may provide an expensive locked smartphone for a fraction of its original price but if it gets lost or damaged, you have to pay the full price of the device to get it replaced.

All major cell carriers offer insurance cover for your device and it will be a wise decision to opt for them, especially if you are a frequent traveler.

6. Unlock smartphone and get an international SIM card

Cellphone sim cards (PublicDomainPictures)

There are many major U.S wireless carriers that will unlock your phone for you. This will help you to use SIM card from any carrier in any of the country you travel to. This will also help you to get rid of those annoying roaming charges. Once you unlock your phone you buy a prepaid SIM card as you reach your destination or you can also purchase one in advance.

7. Use offline maps to save you and your data

A passport, camera and a world map (Pamjpat)

You can download few offline map apps or cache your own offline maps in the Google Maps. Actually caching the map is very simple, you just need to zoom in on the place you want to visit. To save it you must type ‘OK maps’ in the search bar and finally press the search button.

8. Store all your travel information in a note

Man writing a note on a piece of paper (StartupStockPhotos)

You always won’t be having Wi-Fi and at some point you may need to access information regarding your reservations while you’re on the way. To avoid such trouble you must save all the information in a note or screenshots of the mails containing information. This way you don’t have to log into your mail and use your valuable data.

9. Download the necessary apps before traveling

Phone display applications (LoboStudioHamburg)

If you don’t want to rely on the Wi-Fi abroad to download apps, then you need to download them before you get on the flight. There are loads of apps out there just for the travellers but there are only few apps that include all the features of evernote, Google translate, yelp, local map and Triplt.

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