Most phone plans don’t work internationally. If they do, there are high costs involved. Staying in touch is essential while traveling.
Luckily, communication doesn’t have to be expensive. If you know what you’re doing, you can use your phone cheaply.
Here are five ways to make the best of your plan during your next trip.
Most hotels, restaurants, and cafes have WiFi.
Ask if you can use the password if it isn’t posted somewhere.
Most smartphones allow you to make calls via WiFi.
Facetime, Whatsapp, and Skype are good options for international travel.
These apps don’t invoke SMS costs and allow you to make calls and send messages. They also allow you to send data and attachments. Video calls are also an option if you want to see your family.
To use the internet on your laptop, create a hotspot with your phone.
This uses your phone’s internet connection to create a WiFi network.
The connection usually isn’t great and doesn’t last long.
But it gets the job done if you need to send documents. Just make sure you have everything ready to send.
If you travel frequently, consider buying a portable WiFi box.
See how much a call is going to cost you.
Calculate the costs of calls and texts into your budget.
You’ll find that there are a lot of unintended travel expenses during your trip. Here is some information on some of the most common ones. Plan that you will go over budget.
That way you have some extra money set aside in case things go wrong.
Keep in mind that phone plan costs differ from country to country.
These rates can change at the last minute.
Normally you’ll receive a text whenever you land.
This text will contain the information on rates in the country.
If necessary, budget for hotel phone calls.
Or see about buying a SIM card in your destination country.
If staying in touch is important on your trip, book a cheaper hotel room or flight. That way you can prioritize communication while you’re budgeting.
A good budget is key to a good trip.
Consider using alternative forms of communication.
Instead of sending someone a text, send them an email.
As long as you have a good internet connection, accessing email from your smartphone is easy. You don’t even need to take a laptop with you.
You don’t always need to talk on the phone to communicate your message.
Tell people that you are going to be out of town.
Ask them not to call while you are away. Tell them to send you an email.
Checking your voicemail internationally will also incur costs.
Avoid this problem by changing your answering machine.
State the dates that you’re going to be gone.
Ask them only to contact you if it’s urgent.
Staying in touch is important, but while you’re on the road you want to be able to focus on travel. And while you’re working, you want to focus on work.
It’s ok to unplug for a few days.
- New Phone Plan
Consider investing in an international phone plan.
Here is a list of some of the best cell phone plans for frequent travelers.
Many international plans feature free internet and texting. Calling usually incurs a separate charge.
But if you have a good internet connection, you don’t need to make a traditional call. Apps like Whatsapp, Signal, and Telegram allow you to stay in touch almost anywhere.
Facebook Messenger is another alternative that most people already have.
Ask your friends to download whatever app you use.
You don’t always need to make that phone call.
Your social media profile can wait for you to upload that photo.
There’s nothing wrong with waiting a bit to post things.
Plan to post all your photos and talk to people while you’re connected.
Set time aside to focus on staying in touch.
Or simply wait until your trip is over.
Smartphones and social media are great tools.
But enjoying your trip is more important.
Traveling doesn’t need to be expensive. And it doesn’t need to prevent you from staying in touch with your loved ones.