Save money on mobile phone costs on holiday

If you’re heading off on holiday for the half-term Autumn break and don’t want an unexpected mobile roaming bill when you return here are some great tips to help save you money. Using your smartphone or tablet abroad incurs mobile ‘roaming’ charges, where calls and data are channelled through a local network operator and you pay a premium compared to your normal rates.
Consequently many travellers risk returning home to find the cost of their mobile bill is more than what they paid for their flights!

How to save on mobile voice calls while abroad:
Read the network’s welcome text:
This will tell you how much the local operator is going to charge you for using its voice and data services in that country.

Switch off voicemail:
For any incoming calls routed to voicemail, you’ll pay the same as if you answered the call. Unfortunately you’ll also pay again to retrieve the message!

Send a text instead:
It will always be cheaper to text than to make a phone call – and you won’t pay anything to receive the response by text either.

Use a payphone:
If you’re booking a local restaurant or calling a cab, then put away your mobile and use a payphone instead.

Buy a local PAYG Sim:
Buying a local pay-as-you-go Sim card. You will have to use a different phone number, but international call charges back to the UK will undercut mobile roaming charges. You’ll need an ‘unlocked’ phone but once unlocked, you can either buy a SIM when you arrive in your country, or browse SIM card websites such as ours ( to get it before you travel.

Use Skype or Facetime:
Once abroad, locate a free wi-fi hotspot and use Skype or Facetime to make video or voice calls to the UK. But remember – using Skype or Facetime through mobile data roaming will be extremely expensive, so make sure you’re connected to wi-fi.

Cruise ship passengers will need to be particularly vigilant when using their mobile phones. Alongside various international roaming charges, stints in the middle of the ocean may result in phones using satellite-based communications.

Regardless of your destination or the length of your stay its worth doing a little research before you travel as it could save you a fortune while you’re away.