Must Do’s Before You Take Your Phone Roaming

Imagine this: you’ve just got back from an overseas holiday feeling nice and relaxed, and then your phone bill arrives… eeeeeeeeek!

It is very easy to simply forget about the requirements of roaming and what it may cost you to take your phone with you overseas, and there are plenty of people who have been caught out with a rather large phone bill after an international trip.

So, what to talk with your provider about before you leave:

  • Make sure your mobile phone or device can roam.
  • Find out how much it will cost you to text, call or use data.
  • Are your contacts are in the international format (i.e. +64 3 211 0099) so you can make calls, and text without any issues?
  • Does your existing provider have international phone and/or data plans for the country you are travelling to?
  • Check to see if you can put a roaming data cap – this will put a limit on how much money you can spend on data while away.
  • You can usually increase or decrease this limit before and during your trip.

Our tips to get done before you leave:

  • Buy a roaming data pack from your local provider;
  • Switch your phone to airplane mode and just use Wi-Fi where you can;
  • When searching for a hotel, search for one that has Wi-Fi included so that you are not incurring extra costs;
  • Or, if there are no data packs available for where you are going, purchase a local SIM at your destination.

How to avoid the roaming charges all together:

If you’d rather not pay any roaming charges at all, there are a couple of alternatives such as:

  • Leave it on flight mode and use Wi-Fi where you can, or
  • Just turn off your phone and don’t use it at all.
It is very easy to incur data or call costs while out of New Zealand, so it is important to make sure that you have a plan for how you will communicate with others while travelling. If you are ever in doubt, talk to your provider or visit their website to see what options they have available for you at your holiday destination or simply use our tips above (they have saved a lot of us at Focus more than once).

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