December 4, 2013 4:27 am
When U.S. customers use their phones abroad the way they normally do at home, their costs can total $1,000 a day or more. According to a study by T-Mobile, more than 40 percent of customers turn off data roaming completely to avoid those fees, and another 20 percent say they would if they knew how.
“Wireless customers face a hard choice — use their phone when they need it and pay the price, or cut off communications to contain costs,” said Desmond Smith, senior product manager at T-Mobile. “In reality, with a little pre-planning, customers can find the right carrier and service plan that meets their travel needs, significantly reducing, or even eliminating, travel-related wireless charges.”
Before you pack your bags and begin your travel adventure, spend some time researching the best wireless company, device and data plan to fit your needs and check that you have the right accessories too, including an international power converter.
Choosing a Carrier
With so many wireless service providers available, it’s difficult to know which one to choose. Especially if you will be traveling internationally, choosing the right data plan is not only about ensuring you have freedom and peace of mind (so you don’t come home to bill shock) — it’s also about making sure you choose a phone company that focuses on customer service and provides flexibility and choice.
• Ditch the burdensome contract — Several providers offer no-contract wireless service that gives you freedom and flexibility without being locked into a service agreement for a year or more.
• Make the world your network — Look for carriers, such as T-Mobile, that provide unlimited data and texting worldwide, freeing you from worrying about coming home to bill shock from outrageous roaming fees.
• Don’t break the bank — Some providers offer programs to help manage the out-of-pocket costs associated with purchasing new devices.
• Device upgrades — If you’re accident prone, likely to break or lose devices while circling the globe or just like to upgrade your phone frequently, look for protection and upgrade options. For approximately $10 per month, you can protect your device and have the option to upgrade twice per year to the latest phone.
• Explore the extras — Prepaid international calling cards may also be available through your wireless provider. If your travels keep you in the States but your wireless needs take you beyond, some carriers offer plans that allow you to talk with friends, family or business associates across the globe.
Published with permission from RISMedia.