Once you step off the plane or you reach your destination, it will be impossible for you to continue using your phone as usual. Therefore you need to ensure that you get a phone that connects abroad and will not cost you an arm and a leg when paying your cell phone bills. It is pretty easy to find an international cell phone plan within your budget, just by asking yourself a few questions to help guide you in making the right decision. Sit down with yourself and brainstorm on some things you may want to use your phone for while abroad. You do not want to waste all your money paying for telephone bills when you could save it for adventurous activities and shopping wherever you will be. So here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before taking up an international cell phone plan.
How long will you be Staying Abroad?
Will you be there for just a few weeks? If so, you can explore these options
- Switch your smartphone to airplane mode if you do not have free-roaming.
- You can rely on WiFi to do some quick browsing and streaming
- Get a burner for making urgent calls.
- If your phone is locked, try and get a local phone. Just bring your passport and see what deals you can get.
Do not spend on cell phone plans if you are not going to stay for long, it will be pretty expensive since most packages are charged monthly. Thus you will not exhaust your package if you are staying for a week or days. If you are going to spend a month or more abroad, you can purchase a monthly cell phone plan depending on your needs.
Is your Phone Unlocked?
If you will be traveling abroad for a longer duration, it is best to carry an unlocked phone from home. Having an unlocked phone means that you will not be restricted from using your home cell phone plans. So you can either decide to unlock your phone or purchase a refurbished phone both are affordable. Nonetheless, before buying an unlocked phone carry out extensive research to find out if the phone will be compatible with networks abroad. Carrying your unlocked phone comes in handy when traveling to different countries since all you have to do is swap sim and hop on to the cell phone plans of the country you are in.
What types of travel are you planning?
Are you going to volunteer or study abroad? If so, you can choose to rely on Wi-Fi or buy monthly plans to make your communication easy. You can also get an unlocked phone if you are going to stay there for a while. If you are going to work, you will probably need a solid package to not miss out on critical work-related events or vital emails just because the Wi-Fi is shaky or you slipped into a terrible 3G area.
The stakes also change if you are going to a rural area, you will need to get there first before deciding what’s best. An international cell phone plan may not be reliable in such places, and thus you have to find other options such as renting a pocket hotspot or getting local phones. Moreover, if you switch hotels frequently, it might be a good idea to look for an excellent international cell phone plan; you do not want to hang around McDonald’s to connect for a quick second just because your room has no Wi-Fi.
Is it Cheaper to Buy a Phone and Local Data there?
This is a pertinent question you have to ask yourself to cut down on unnecessary costs. If you are going to stay for a month or so, you can weigh your options on buying a local cell phone plan from your destination. For example, in Thailand, you can get a sim card with unlimited data for just $30; how good does that sound? The best way to look for an excellent international cell phone plan is by joining expatriate groups on Facebook based on the destination you will be visiting. If you have any concerns about cell phone plans, you can raise your question in the group. Before hitting the road, ensure you know what cell phone plans you will be using on arrival.
Yes, we love our little devices; they are the best way to save memories and keep our families back home in the loop of how we are doing abroad. However, to manage all these, you have to pick the right international plan, but before doing this, you have to ask yourself some leading questions that will help you make the right choice. Carry out extensive research to avoid any disappointments.