For all those who frequently travel abroad due to professional or personal purpose the biggest thing they come across is a hiked data charge. This is quite a big problem as one needs to be constantly in touch while trying to save as much as possible. Whether you are using an iPhone, an Android, BlackBerry or a Windows enabled phone, the concern remains the same. However, if you follow some tips then you will be able to significantly bring down the cost. Auto-updates, roaming charges and push notifications are some of the services that you need to take care of.
The most essential thing that you need to keep in mind is data roaming that you need to turn off. Whenever you are traveling outside the local network coverage, you need to turn the roaming off. Data roaming is all about utilizing a service that is provided by another provider but you are charged with the bill. Nonetheless, the crux of the matter is to minimize the cost for this you need to turn off the roaming. Initially you need to enable Airplane Mode for saving data costs. Then as soon as you reach a café, a restaurant or a fast food joint offering Wi-Fi you can turn it on and avail the network connectivity.
If you are an iPhone user then go to Settings > Airplane Mode, turn it on. Android users can go to Settings-> Wireless & Networks-> Mobile Networks-> uncheck Data Roaming.
Notifications and auto synchronize features
If you have adjusted the settings on your phone related to receiving notifications and alerts then too you are using data. These are push notifications related to e-mail messages and other services. If you are an iPhone user then you can adjust settings for turning them off, Settings-> Mail, Contacts, Calendars-> Fetch New Data to turn off Push Notifications. If you want to turn off notifications for individual apps, then go to Notifications Center and turn off each app notifications by selecting each one manually. Android users can apply the following settings:
Settings-> Accounts & Synch-> Auto-Synch, turn off
Purchasing International Data Package
Each service provider gives you the option of purchasing international data package. These are called add-ons. Most providers offer you a monthly plan for a specific data bundle. This way you need not search for a hotspot for your internet connectivity. However, you need to ensure that their network is safe and you can surf without privacy infringement.
Purchasing a new SIM
It is advisable to purchase a new SIM card once you reach your destination abroad. This would be a local SIM that you can use for your benefit, as it would be a relatively cheaper option. If you are planning to purchase a local pre-paid SIM card then you will need to look out for unlocked GSM phone as well. You also need to make sure from your provider that your phone/device is globally compatible. You can choose to go with Telestial, OneSimCard and Maxroam.
If you opt for OneSimCard then you will be paying for $29.95. The rates offered by this provider is relatively lower as compared to other providers for international calling like T-Mobile and AT&T. With Maxroam you will be paying $20, this service is especially available in Europe. Telestial Passport gives you the freedom to generously use data with mere $19 fee on SIM card purchase.
Inspite of the above given options if you are still looking for something better, then you can utilize the alternate options. You can choose to install apps that will help you with better communication while significantly bringing down your data costs. Apps that require internet or Wi-Fi access like Vibr, What’s App enable in exchanging pictures, messages, audio and video notes are quite convenient. Vibr is a good option available for free that uses 4G or Wi-Fi for connectivity.