80% of travelers have smartphones and 35% of those are iPhones. Yet, while the iPhone is a great tool for trip planning during your trip (think Google Maps, Skype or just researching a pizzeria), they are still quite expensive to use. In fact, the #1 money saving tip that AT&T, Verizon, etc. offer for overseas travelers is, get this…”Don’t use your phone!”. Unless you are trying to get away from it all, isn’t that when you need the phone the most? With prices as high as $20 per MB with Sprint, unless you are on the Forbes 400 list, your iPhone becomes virtually useless for data once you are overseas.
Here are the TOP 5 tips using your iPhone or other smartphone abroad
Use free wi fi when available
Pro – the price is right
Con – Not secure
Get a local SIM from Cellular Abroad
Pro – Affordable, works everywhere, secure
Con – You need an unlocked phone
Purchase a bundle from your provider
Pro – You don’t need to swap out SIMs
Con – Still not cheap and watch out for overages!
Use Skype to call
Pro – Easy to use, inexpensive
Con – You need a data connection
Rent a Mobile Hotspot
Pro – works with multiple devices
Con – Good value but priced middle range
If you happen to use T-Mobile, they recently announced that they are offering free data while roaming in over 100 countries. While this is a great offer, it is a little bit of a loss leader in the sense that the data they are offering is only 2G meaning that it will be fast enough for emails but not for using Apps such as Skype or downloading and uploading images. Still, if you mostly use the data portion of your iPhone for emails, it is really a great deal.