This article explains how to minimize your roaming charges whilst staying abroad for less. Having access to data abroad can be important, so make sure to arm yourself with knowledge about roaming charges before heading out on your next trip out of the country.
I’ve recently returned from a vacation. During my time away, I found myself surprised at how much I relied on my data connection. When visiting somewhere unfamiliar, an internet connection and a smartphone can be just what you need to find your way around, avoid trouble and make sure you can find the facilities and fun you’re looking for.
Mobile usage charges abroad work differently than they do back at home. Additional costs are added to texts, MMS, calls and using data. giffgaff has to connect you to another network's signal to allow texts, calls and data to work, and this is why the charges are often increased.
There are ways to keep the costs down. It revolves around using some Wi-Fi hunting tips I'll explain below and being conscious of roaming charges. Before I share my tips for keeping connected for less whilst abroad, let’s take a look at the giffgaff roaming prices.
When you’re roaming whilst abroad, your SIM card will not have access to giffgaff’s signal back in the UK, so it is forced to use alternative signal. Your phone will automatically roam to any other local network signals available. This is where the term ‘roaming’ comes from.
Roaming on another network can be expensive, so it’s important to look at the charges before making any calls or connecting to the internet so that you’re not overspending
Texts, calls, data, MMS and connecting to voicemail are the actions you’ll be able to perform with a mobile signal, so these are the actions to watch out for.
Receiving texts is free in all countries, however sending texts isn’t free.
Sending texts in the EU is cheap, but if you send a text elsewhere in the world and it’ll cost significantly more than back at home.
A text here and there might not cost you much, but charges for a back-and-forth text conversation back home can quickly add up. To limit expenses, IM apps like Messenger or Whatsapp are great alternatives. You can still keep your roaming charges relatively low by simply being conservative with your text messaging too.
Making AND Receiving calls whilst in the EU isn’t free, but it’s not too expensive. Making and receiving calls in the EU won't rack up massive bills, but it will come out of your credit. Costs in the EU are relatively low, but take a look at the giffgaff international call page before you go abroad so that you know how much credit you'll need before you leave.
Calling and receiving calls from outside the EU can be expensive. Making and receiving calls outside the EU are considerably more expensive, so make sure to keep that in mind before calling abroad.
Voicemail costs are the same as the roaming call rates, so listening to a voicemail in the EU won't tug on your wallet.
Hopefully, you won’t need to make too many calls and texts, but you may need to use data. It's important to look into the current giffgaff data roaming charges before you set off on your journey.
In the EU, data roaming isn’t too bad, but costs can add up. Because you'll be using credit for everything whilst abroad, the roaming charges can add up - you won't able to get your data allowances from your Goodybag. If you think you'll be using data in the EU, it would be wise to top your phone up with credit and keep your mobile data switched off every time you're not using it.
Outside the EU, data roaming prices are very high. I'd highly recommend taking a look at the most updated version of the giffgaff international roaming charges before using data outside of the EU. Make sure you know much you'll be paying per MB of data.
Whilst some data roaming charges are very expensive, you shouldn’t be scared to touch your smartphone. By following the tips below you can ensure your charges are kept to a minimum.
Free Wi-Fi will save your skin whilst abroad, so make sure to look out for it. There are a number of tips you can follow to make finding free Wi-Fi abroad easier. Even in the most barren places you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to find Wi-Fi.
The biggest tip: Before you go, research your hotel! Whilst your hotel may claim it has free Wi-Fi, the network may not work as well as you may need. Find your hotel on websites like booking.com and agoda and read through the review. You'll most certainly find details about the Wi-Fi quality.
If your hotel is receiving negative reviews for the Wi-Fi, you may find it a lifesaver to book another hotel.
Wi-Fi in your hotel isn’t necessary, but it is very useful. If you have Wi-Fi in your hotel, you can use your hotel room as your base of operations for planning your itineraries and day plans. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to find Wi-Fi outside, so here are some great tips to follow before leaving your hotel room each day.
Once you’re out and about, you may want to use the following tips for finding free Wi-Fi:
That just about wraps up my tips for staying connected abroad on giffgaff for less! Hopefully after reading this article you’ll be prepared to reduce roaming charges, make the most out of hotel Wi-Fi and use your sleuthing skills to find nearby free Wi-Fi spots.
You'll need airtime credit to make the most out of a giffgaff SIM abroad, so make sure you're in credit before you go! You should try to monitor your usage - it's always reassuring to have extra credit to fall back on. Alternatively, you can setup auto top-up before you leave so that your phone tops up if your credits runs down.
Ollie (zerodudex333) is a big mobile/tech fan. He posts blogs on Monday and Tuesday Mornings.
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