QubeGB Guide to Using Mobile Phones Abroad

The QubeGB Guide to Using Mobile Phones Abroad
28 Jun 2012, 15:15 PM Darren Bunker

Being Mobile on Holiday

With us now approaching the holiday season, many of you will be flying off to much hotter, sunnier climates.  Not so long ago all you had to worry about was whether or not you had remembered your passport and that you and your luggage were going to arrive safely at your chosen destination.  Nowadays though, one of the main concerns with many people travelling abroad appears to be with their mobile phone. Will it work overseas and how do you avoid coming back to an enormous bill? If like many of us you have a smart phone then you will be used to using its features on a daily basis and will see it as an essential part of everyday life. We therefore thought it would be useful to give you some travel tips for you and your phone.

  1. Check in advance with your Provider

Ask your provider if your phone is set up to use international roaming.  If not ask them to set this up as this has to be done before you leave the UK.  Make sure you do this well in advance as sometimes it can take up to three weeks.  Tell your provider that you are going overseas and find out what packages are available to you while you are abroad.  Most providers offer packages which can be temporarily added to your existing contract and they should also be able to give you advice on how to keep your charges to a minimum while you are away.

  2. Use Skype

You will probably be familiar with Skype on your PC and you may use it regularly to keepin touch with friends and family who live further afield or indeed overseas. You can also use Skype on your mobile phone as long as you have internet access. Skype allows you to make phone calls over the internet for free as long as the person you are calling also has Skype.  Therefore, as long as you are able to access free WiFi at your destination this method will allow you to make free calls.

  3. Use Free Text Apps

If you have a smart phone there are quite a few Apps which will allow you to send texts free of charge even when you are overseas.  The most commonly used Apps in this case are WhatsApp Messenger and if you have a Blackberry then it would be Blackberry Messanger.  However, as with Skype the person on the receiving end also has to have the same App for this to apply.  This really is a useful way of keeping in touch with friends and family whilst overseas without incurring costly bills.

 4. Put your phone on Airplane Mode and use Free WiFi at your Destination

Using Airplane Mode abroad gives you complete peace of mind as it means that your phone will not receive calls, pick up your emails or receive texts when you don’t want it to.  Once you arrive at your destination you can check out where you are able to use Free WiFi or alternatively use Skype or free text Apps as mentioned above.  Free WiFi will allow you to access the internet and social media websites as at home but without the worry of running up charges.  It is wise to have your phone on airplane mode all the time when you are abroad and only turn this off when you are able to access Free WiFi.   

5. Switch your SIM Card

If you do need to access your phone to make calls while you are on holiday and you are unsure if you can use free WiFi it is worth considering buying a new SIM card when you arrive in the country of your destination.  The SIM card will work on that country’s network only and you can top it up as you would a pay as you go phone.    

We hope you find these tips useful and you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.  

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