Nobody wants to return home from a trip only to find an unbelievably expensive phone bill waiting for them. Unfortunately, bill shock happens. But if you plan your mobile and data setup right, you can avoid this unpleasant welcome.
Keeping in touch with your loved ones and business connections while you are traveling overseas is now cheaper and easier. But your phone bill can go beyond your budget. International roaming allows you to connect to the local phone network in the country you are visiting, but this obviously comes at a price.
Aside from being charged for the calls you make, you will also be charged for the calls you receive, including those that are diverted to your voicemail.
But the real kicker is data usage. Just by updating Facebook, checking your email and searching for some of the best places to visit, your data allowance can easily be consumed. Good thing there are simple tips to help you avoid those expensive charges while still making the most of your smartphone abroad.
Contact Your Service Provider
The first thing you must do is to contact your service provider to know your options. While some carriers may suggest suspending your service during your trip so you won’t accumulate charges overseas, the leading ones offer affordable international calling and data plans. So before you leave, check what options are available with your service provider.
Purchase an Add-on to Your Existing Plan
If you want to buy an add-on package to your current phone coverage, ask your carrier if they offer this option. Depending on the plan you choose, you can have unlimited international calls and text messages, and a bigger cellular data allocation.
Zain Iraq internet packages allow you to easily connect to the internet wherever they are. You can choose from daily, weekly and monthly unlimited web access. This can be a practical and convenient option if you’re on-the-go, so make sure to check if this type of service applies in your country of destination.
Turn Off Location Services and Data Roaming
You may still be using some location services such as Google Maps even when your roaming is switched off. Just because you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot does not necessarily mean that it is working.
Remember that location services can eat up all your data allowance, costing you more internationally than when you’re at home. So make sure to switch off your data roaming and location services when not in use.
Unlock Your Phone and Buy a Local SIM
Generally, smartphones are locked to a particular carrier, which means that your phone cannot accept other SIM cards or those from competitor providers. But you can speak to your service provider to check if there is an unlocking option for you. Once unlocked, you can buy a local SIM in your destination country, and use it with your phone.
Getting a Zain Iraq SIM card is highly recommended if you want to make local calls and connect to a data network while you are traveling in Iraq. This way, you can get all the internet access you need for just a fraction of what you will be paying if you use your current phone plan.
But using a local SIM has a major drawback: your contacts won’t be able to reach you on your regular number. So make sure to leave alternative contact details with everyone back home. These include Facebook Messenger and your email address.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
Whenever you are in doubt, you must put your phone on airplane mode to keep it from connecting to a local network. This way, you are able to totally avoid data charges. You can just turn on the Wi-Fi feature manually while in airplane mode to keep your smartphone connected for free if you are within range of internet hotspots.
Switch Off Automatic Features
If you have set your phone to check for new emails automatically, this can use up all your data allowance without you realizing it. In turn, this can lead to a high phone bill when you return home. By switching off automatic features that use up data, you will surely avoid this disaster.
Use Free Messaging Platforms
With the increase of international travel, more and more companies are looking for ways to keep people connected through basic internet access. For instance, you can use apps like Skype, WhatsApp, and WeChat to make voice calls and send messages over Wi-Fi.
Take Advantage of Free Wi-Fi
Most hotels and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi for at least a day. So make sure to check with the front desk if they can provide you with a username and password that you log in with to have Internet access. Other establishments will happily give you their Wi-Fi password if you ask. However, keep in mind that using public Wi-Fi connections can make you more prone to security threats, so use this option with care.
With your smartphone and internet connection, international travel becomes easier, safer, better. With a little research and some advice from your trusted carrier, you can avoid the scary situation of receiving a huge phone bill when you return home.
To know more about the best mobile solutions for your next local or international trip, contact Zain support now.