12 Mar Avoiding Expensive Roaming Charges & Best International Sim Cards
Planning an international trip?
We break down just how to use your mobile phone to avoid expensive charges whilst abroad and the best international SIM cards to use.
In just one month alone (August 2019), UK residents made 9.4 million visits overseas; this is 1% more than the previous August. Obviously, travel is becoming more accessible for everyone, which is prompting many of the British to explore other countries.
In this day and age, it’s a must to have a working smartphone with both minutes and data whilst on holiday. But with roaming charges, it can get quite expensive. So the next best thing is to look for a temporary local SIM card.
If you’re travelling soon and are looking for the best international SIM cards, then keep reading. We’ll discuss everything you need to know in detail, including which network coverage works best in which countries.
How to Best Use Your Phone Abroad
In some cases, you may be able to use your home mobile subscription. For instance, if your holiday is in an EU country, data roaming charges no longer apply. This means you won’t have to do anything to continue getting coverage, as your smartphone will operate as if you were still in the UK.
But if you’re travelling to a faraway country that isn’t in the EU, then you’ll run into some problems. Many mobile companies offer world plans, but they’re often quite pricey. In that case, you’ll need to purchase yourself a local SIM card to get the best deals.
And if you’re planning on visiting several countries, then you may run into issues there as well. For that, you might want to consider international SIM cards so you don’t have to bother with buying a new SIM card in every country.
Do note that some older smartphones are region-locked, so you may need to contact your provider before you leave so they can unlock it for you. Also, even if you get coverage, you may not always get 4G everywhere; you’ll at least get 3G data in most areas.
Some of the Best International SIM Providers
The best international SIM providers will depend on where exactly you’re going. For example, the best in Europe may not work so well in Asia, if at all.
Make sure you do your research before you depart to avoid running into issues whilst you’re on holiday. Below are some of the most reputable and affordable SIM providers you can look into.
If you’re holidaying in Europe, then you’ll want to look at using Orange as your local SIM provider. With Orange, you’ll be able to call, text, and use a decent amount of data, all without having to pay for expensive roaming.
Orange Holiday is a prepaid SIM card that allows you access to Europe’s best 4G networks. You’ll be able to use your phone in 30 countries in the EU.
Choose from either Smart Comfort S or Smart Comfort X. Both are valid for 14 days and cost just under £50 (under £30 for the Smart Comfort S).
Thinking of hopping around Asia for your holiday?
Then go with AIS (Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited). This is the largest telecommunications business in Thailand, which means you’ll get excellent coverage wherever you go. They offer 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE network coverage.
Their SIM card is called SIM2Fly and you can use it in more than 70 countries, including the ones in Asia. They have just one plan called Smart Traveler and it costs under £20 for 6 GB of data that you can use over 10 days. This can be very cost-efficient if all you need is data.
Are you planning on travelling the entire planet during your vacation? Then you’ll need a truly international SIM card that can accommodate that.
Thankfully, there’s the SimOptions SIM card from TrueMoveH, which gives you coverage across 200 countries.
They have two plans: Smart Silver and Smart Gold (just under £30 and £40). You’ll get unlimited calls and texts with either plan; the difference is in the amount of data you get. Both plans are valid for 30 days.
You also have another option of the TravelSim International SIM Card, that gives you low cost calls and data worldwide as well as other benefits you might want to consider.
If you’ve noticed, we didn’t include a section for North America. This is because the SimOptions SIM card is also the best option for people who want to travel to the USA!
As we mentioned above, if you’re a European resident, the good news is, data roaming charges no longer apply to you if you travel in the EU. This means you won’t have to disable data roaming and coverage, and you can just use your subscription as normal.
Otherwise, you’ll want to consider getting a temporary local SIM package. By using our above advice on SIM cards, you can avoid hefty roaming charges and still use your phone as normal.
Choose the Best International SIM Cards to Save Money and Stay Safe
When going on holiday, you may be tempted to save some money by disabling your phone and not racking up roaming charges. But in the grand scheme of things, you may be inadvertently putting yourself in harm’s way.
Make sure you stay safe by always having an operable phone with a working SIM card. Not only does this allow you to contact local businesses and emergency numbers, but it also lets you keep in touch with loved ones to ensure they know where you are at all times. Plus, it allows you to stay connected with safety apps like SAFE so there’s always a watchful eye on you.
So take our advice for the best international SIM cards before you depart on your next trip.
Make Sure You Sign up for Our Safety App
Whilst you’re travelling abroad, you may be doing so solo. Or you may be planning on doing some activities on your own. This can be exhilarating, but it may also be a little daunting, especially if you’re going somewhere unfamiliar and maybe a little unsafe.
Get some peace of mind by downloading our safety app SAFE. It has features like:
- Location check-ins
- Live tracking
- One-touch emergency alerting
All these features enable you to not only feel safer, but to let your loved ones know you’re ok too.
Do note that in order to use SAFE, you must have an internet connection. This is because it uses the network signal to transmit your location or to communicate with your contacts. This connection is also used to connect with our SAFE Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).
Are you interested in downloading the SAFE app? Then take a look at our prices now.
About SAFE Global
SAFE Global is a next generation App dedicated to protecting the safety and security of individuals all over the globe. With contact tracking, geo-fencing, location check ins, guardian timer, intelligence reports, and one-touch alerting – the SAFE App transforms your phone into a BS8484 accredited personal safety device.