You know that traveling can make you feel new and refreshed, not to mention to recharge your battery as well. Everyone loves traveling, of course…it would be crazy to hate it. However, if you plan on carrying your mobile phone and not spending crazy illogical money for your communication expenses, you had a better plan out.
Granted that traveling can heal the sick and bored soul, but when you have to pay heavy expenses for your internet connection, your calls, or even your text messages, you certainly prefer staying home to spending such loads of money. That’s why you need to plan out and be smart. There are loads of providers that are offering different packages – especially for traveling. All you need to do is browse around, learn your option, and be creative. To save up huge amounts of money, you have three different options. Of course, each option comes with its own advantages and flaws. So, let’s check them one by one.
Know Your Carrier Plan
As it was mentioned before, most providers nowadays provide different carrier plans, including the one for traveling. You can choose the data packages or the prepaid option. However, be advised when you want your internet connection on. You see, having a plan on text and call is one thing, but keeping the data connection is another thing. Granted that you may want to stay connected to your Path, Instagram, or Facebook account – you know, for the sake of sharing and giving information – or you may want to know the coolest club in town or the best low budget hotels. Lots of data will be needed for these purposes, and if you don’t plan ahead, you will be spending a fortune. That’s why it’s better to see some of the provided options from different carriers.
T-Mobile provides the so-called Simple Choice plan. You can send unlimited text messages, make phone calls, or using your internet connection by spending $50 per month, no extra charges. If you think of it, $50 is quite a low pricing for the busy activities that you will do while traveling. Another cool thing is that such plan covers around 120 countries, which are commonly and popular used as travel destinations. If you are on a cruise, you can even have a temporary plan. Since this plan doesn’t come in annual contract, you can always cancel it down without having to pay the penalty.
However, global data service from T-Mobile is quite limited. If you want to upgrade it, you can always have additional $15 a day (for 100 MB pass) service or the $50 for two weeks (for 500 MB pass). It seems like a lot of spendings, but trust me…..it is worth it and you end up saving up more than you bargain for.
If you use AT&T, the data plan is not included from the text and talk package. For the data plan alone, you will have to pay $30/120 MB. You see how limited your option is? Come to think of it, 120 MB isn’t much. You will run out of it in just a few days.
If you use Verizon, you can use the so-called Global Data package. Again, it is separated from the text and talk package, and you have to pay $25/100 MB. Sprint is just the same. It has a different policy on different countries, so you can imagine the hassle – and also the confusion.
Other alternatives are to use dumbphone from Mobal or spare phone. If you are using the spare phone, you are only allowed to provide temporary info for the beloved ones at home. There’s not much that you can do, but for temporary situation, it will do. And for the dumphone, you can have services without having to spend extra for monthly pricing. Once you buy the dumphone, you can use it for making calls. This kind of dumphone is suitable when you have to go abroad quite often.
Using Different GSM SIM Card
Today’s gadgets are very high-tech and sophisticated. You know that a mobile phone sometimes has these two slots, where one can be used for GSM and one for CDMA. Well, you will need a GSM SIM slot if you travel abroad quite often. You have the option to buy a GSM card once you land, and you won’t have to worry about your communication expenses. After all, buying the international GSM cards are way cheaper.
However, you need to keep in mind about several flaws to this plan:
1. Not all mobile phones come with dual slots, including the one for GSM.
2. The phone you have may be locked by the carrier. If it is, then you can’t use other cards. You need to go to their office and have your phone unlocked. It is possible that your request will be denied.
3. When you decide to buy the international GSM card in your destination, the activation instruction will likely be written in the native language. For instance, if you go to France, it’s likely that the instruction will be written in French. Unless you have a great grasp for the language, you need to have the card installed within your device. Have the representative install it for you. Don’t just buy one and decide to install it on your own, if you don’t want to be left clueless with a card and instructions written in language that you don’t fathom.
Having Your Own WiFi
Another alternative is to have your own and personal WiFi. And do you know that there are some providers that will cater to those needs? Boingo, for example, can provide your own hotspot with paying only $8 a month. You can even have WiFi connectivity up to 4 mobile devices. The subscription is recurring, but you can always cancel it anytime without having to pay any penalty. If you want to travel abroad, be sure that your destinations are covered with this service.
The only flaw is the real time calls may be affected with this service, but data connection would be stable.
Don’t forget that you will be moving from one hotspot to another when you move around, so be sure to put it into your consideration.