Top 5 Tips for Using Cell Phone Abroad

By Renuka Shahane on Apr 28, 2016
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Tips for international cell phone use

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Bags packed, Visa ready and an itinerary crafted in your mind; looks like you are all set to embark on a journey! And one of the first and foremost essentials that you need to have on your trip is your cell phone.

Apart from being your resort to entertainment and connectivity to the world, Cell phones are a crucial help, to map the directions, to find out the nearest restaurants and to guide you on your itinerary.

Checking the electricity standards of the country that you are travelling to is one of the first and foremost steps that you need to take. Anything worse than no cell phone is a cell phone with no charge! 

And once you are done with that, here are some international cell phone tips that you need to know before you go on a trip abroad:

1. Activating International Calling Plan

You have to check whether an international calling plan is available on your SIM card. If it doesn’t, you can activate it before your departure by calling the customer centre of your SIM card company.

You can also enquire the billing rates for the same, just to be aware.

2. Activating International Data Plan

We need Google maps, we need online itineraries, we need Instagram and yes, we need Whatsapp to stay connected. Having an international data plan is undeniably necessary. While most of the airports, hotels, restaurants have free WiFi and public host-spots, having an internet always helps when you are travelling.

Top-up your cell phone with an international data plan and you are good to go. Once you data on your phone, you can use various apps for planning your trip, international calling and sharing files. 

To make sure that you don’t waste the precious data service when travelling abroad, keep your media auto-downloads off and disable the apps that you will not be needing or using. This will save a lot of data that is lost in the background downloads and updates.

3. Buying an international SIM Card

Buying an international SIM card is not as difficult as you thought. Most of the international telecom companies have kiosks set-up at the airports itself, making it tad-bit easier to buy the SIM cards as soon as you arrive.

Just give a photocopy of your passport plus the landing documents and you are set to buy a prepaid SIM. If you want to get a post-paid SIM, you need to provide your credit card details additionally.

Purchase a SIM with international calling plan which will save you the heavy roaming charges, if you are planning to travel long-term and occasionally. Some SIM cards offer limited period service which is suitable if you are travelling for just a couple of weeks.

Alternatively, you can buy SIM cards like Matrix Global if you are visiting multiple countries.

Internet top-ups are available in most of the countries, and these plans actually offer internet at a cheaper rate.

international travel cell phone tips

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4. Subscribing to Wi-Fi

Of course there are the hotels, the airports and public spaces in many cities with free Wi-Fi zones, but subscribing to a Wi-Fi provider like Boingo Wireless and Verizon Jetpack is a great idea if you are going to need the internet on-the-go.

These Wi-Fi providers have hot-spots all around the world and can be a real help if you don’t want to opt for a international data plan and want to use the internet as you travel.

5. Renting an International Phone

If all the hassle of upgrading your current plan or buying a new SIM is too much for you, you can simply rent an international phone to use on your trip. These phones can be rented online and after you are done with your trip, you can simply send them back via mail.

These rental phone packages offer services to many countries and have flexible plans to choose from!

Next time you travel, keep these cell phone tips handy and you have one less thing to worry about!

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