If you are planning a trip abroad, chances are you can't travel without your phone, iPad or other WiFi enabled devices. Today, mobile data connection has become a necessity much like air, food and water. Especially when you are on vacation the need to keep in touch with family and friends, the need to share the exciting photos and videos on social media, the need to navigate using Google Map, the need to read reviews in finding that perfect restaurant, the need to search for attractions - basically the need to maximize your vacation!
You should be particularly careful of data roaming charges when you travel overseas. As data roaming charges are much higher than domestic data charges and can be extremely expensive. Even the minimum amount of data usages oversea can end up in a huge bill shock upon your return.
There are ways to avoid costly data roaming. It boils down to 3 options that you can stay connected overseas and not bust your wallet.
Option 1: Add Travel or Roaming Packages from Your Mobile Carriers
All major network carriers have travel or roaming packages that make it somewhat easier on the wallet. For example, if you are visiting Canada and would like to use your phone for data, texts and calling, local network carriers typically charges $5 to $10 per day, per SIM.
Pros/Cons: It is convenient to just call up your mobile carrier to add a roaming package. However, since this is charged per day per SIM, this is only great if you are travelling for a short (one to two days) trip and that if you are travelling alone. As for travelling with family, the bill can add up when everyone takes their phone to capture those special moments.
Option 2: Get a Pre-Paid Travel SIM Card
Another option is to purchase a pre-paid travel SIM card from the country you are visiting. You should be able to purchase the travel SIM cards from most airports, convenience stores or even online. They typically cost around $0.10 to $0.35 per MB and are either limited by data consumption, number of days or both.
Pros/Cons: Go local in order to enjoy the country’s domestic data charges. However, this option is only good if your phone is unlocked and tech savvy enough to configure the APN settings. How many of us have an unlock phone and where is that APN setting?
Option 3: Rent or Purchase a Travel WiFi
An increasingly popular option for tourists or business travelers is to rent a global travel WiFi before their trip. Global travel WiFi is a small portable device (about half the size of a phone) that connects to a 3G or 4G local data network provider and can connect up 10 WiFi enable devices.
Depending on the travel location and data usage, the rental charges are $6 to $30 per day. The process is very simple. Before you travel, reserve a travel WiFi device, pay for it online, and have it delivered to your home or to the hotel you are staying. Once you are done with the device ship it back with the pre-paid return envelope. No mess, no fuss.
For frequent travelers, you can save the shipping charges by purchasing the travel WiFi device and the travel data SIM. Then whenever you are ready to travel, just activate the data plan via a mobile APP.
Pros/Cons: Planning for a trip aboard? Travelling in a group? Want to share unlimited data? Want to have WiFi access on any mobile enable devices such as laptop & tablets? This option is basically option 1 and 2 combined – but better! For example, if you're traveling in a group of four, and if you purchase a $14/day unlimited data plan to share, that works out to be less than $3.50 per day! You don’t need to be tech savvy and can be worry free of roaming charges. The only disadvantage to this option is that you need plan ahead. But seriously, don’t we all plan before we travel?
About Roam Mobile
Roam Mobile, a travel mobile data provider that specialized in helping business and leisure travelers avoid data roaming charges. Helping travelers save up to 85% on data roaming in 190+ countries around the world, allowing travelers to be in control of their spending and avoid high data roaming charges.
Roam Mobile has been helping travelers stay connected and avoiding data roaming with an easy-to-use global travel WiFi and travel data SIM. For more information about Roam Mobile products and services, please visit www.roammobile.com.