Tips on International Roaming while traveling. As someone who frequently travels overseas for business, there is nothing worse than coming back home exhausted and jetlagged only to find out that your carrier has dinged you for more than what your plane ticket cost.
As some of you well know this a very frustrating feeling, to say the least. It is a total waste, especially if you are like me who is starting your own business and every dollar counts. Unfortunately, this has happened to me several times, even after I have called the carrier in advance to subscribe for their current international plan.
Here are some options to help avoid this from happening to you. Do your research- it pays to do a little research before you go. Check with your carrier to learn about their current International roaming plans. Below is my research about T-Mobile, Sprint Verizon, and ATT’s international roaming plans.
T-Mobile’s roaming plan is a simple choice and one plan including unlimited texting and 2G data in more than 140 countries, except for Mexico and Canada, which is 4G. Voice calls are 20 cents per minute, ouch.
Sprint’s roaming plan is an open world international add-on, except for Cuba, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Sprint allows unlimited talk and text in North and South America, plus gives you 1GB of 3G data, all for free. If you cross the 1GB threshold, Sprint charges $30 per GB, 20 cents per minute, unlimited texting and a $30 per GB data rate.
Verizon roaming plan is $10 for every day you use your phone outside of the country. $2 per day per line in Mexico and Canada, which is not too bad. Keep in mind, if you are in a country other than Mexico and Canada, a 14-day trip would be $140. Their services are available in over 100 countries.
AT&T’s international plan costs an extra $40 per month for unlimited texting, $1 per minute, and 200MB of 2G data (25 cents per MB afterward). Their plan is available in roughly 190 countries and a dollar per minute (scary), which is more like long distance rates back in the 1980’s 90's.
With all of these plans, it’s important to check your usage on a daily basis, especially if you are traveling for a longer period. A lot of these carriers require you to call in advance to secure your plan. There are better options for you.
Phone apps such as Vocaly can eliminate these unnecessary charges and provide a better service. These types of virtual phone service provide you with a phone number that used right on your personal mobile phone and used over Wifi to eliminate data roaming charges.
The ultimate and most predictable way to keep costs under control in addition to the phone app is to buy a prepaid SIM card when you land. With a SIM card and a phone app like Vocaly, you can receive and make as many calls as you want. Talk a long as you like for the length of your stay and stay worry free.