You've just had the vacation of your dreams. Everything was perfect. The food was good, the weather was amazing, and you didn't get sunburned. You are looking and smiling at your amazing photos, when you get the notification that your phone bill is ready to view. You can't believe your eyes when you see the $900.00 bill.
How could this happen? Roaming charges that's how. You can expect to pay about 50 cents to $1.30 per minute for international calls. The same is true for each text message you send. And using data (Facebook, streaming, internet surfing) will run you about $2.00 per MB. There are several options out there to avoid breaking the bank while traveling.
Opt for an International Phone Plan
Most phone companies offer an international phone plans that make international use affordable. For example, AT&T's can be purchased for 30 days for about $60. Verizon's international plan starts at $40. With Sprint your can purchase weekly plans for data and text and then pay a reduced rate for your calling minutes. These charges are in addition to your normal monthly fees.
Turn off Cellular Data
Most hotels and resorts offer free wifi. While on resort you can surf for free. When needed you can use an app like WhatsApp or iMessage for iPhone users and text for free. There are also apps that allow you to make phone calls via wifi. And when you're off resort, keep your cellar data switched off to help resist the temptation to surf the web or send a costly text. This is a great option if your goal is to unplug and truly immerse yourself in your vacation.
If you're on a cruise, you need to go a step further. Turn your phone on airplane mode, especially when you are out sea. If you don't do this, your phone will still roam and the fees are unbelievably high for this.
Know Before You Go
There are no right are wrong answers here. The important thing to take away is that planning is key. Contact your carrier and decide which options will work best for your particular situation. This way you won't have any surprises when you're looking and smiling at your amazing photos.