Expert insights

DIY: avoid costly mobile bills abroad

23 May 2016 by Lee Cobb

IT service desk analyst Lee Cobb shares tips on preventing mammoth mobile bills while you're overseas.

Do check with your employer on your company’s policy about overseas usage – but these handy tips should help even personal mobile bills.

Get friendly with your phone

Learn how to switch data roaming on and off. Once you’re abroad, keep data switched off until you’re sure you need it. This will keep costs down.

Identify what you need your device for

Checking email is the least expensive function when roaming, but once you start using more data-intensive applications, the costs add up. Buy a bundle that will keep you covered.

Contact your service provider

Check the cost of roaming charges before you reach your destination. Non-EU countries, particularly destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, can be the most expensive.

Do it the old-fashioned way

Local visitor maps are available from most hotels, as is free concierge advice – a much cheaper alternative to accessing Google Maps on the move. Alternatively, download maps and key documents before you travel.

Use public Wi-Fi

With free Wi-Fi widely available, you often don’t have to use your own data allowance (although it’s not risk-free, so if in doubt, don’t enter personal details over an untrusted network).

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