4 Ways to Use Your Smartphone When Traveling Overseas

by Joanna E
4 Ways to Use Your Smartphone When Traveling Overseas
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If you own a smartphone, it is almost impossible to not keep in touch with friends and family, especially when you’re traveling solo. If you’re worried about receiving a high phone bill after your trip, here are 4 ways to use your smartphone when traveling overseas.

Use Wifi

During your trip planning, choose a hotel or guest house that has free or low-cost wifi. Use sites like Trip Advisor to narrow down your options and get reviews from past guests. Some cities offer free public wifi in shopping malls, public parks, and even the beach.


Download Messaging Apps

Skype, Google Voice/Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Group Me and WhatsApp are just some of the many messaging apps that can be used to keep in touch with your loved ones when you’re traveling overseas. If you’re an Apple user, the options of iMessages, FaceTime and FaceTime audio are available to keep in contact with other Apple users. As long as wifi is available, all the apps mentioned can be used without using mobile data. TMobile has an option to do calls over wifi with iPhone 6 phones and in a recent update, WhatsApp has added the feature to place free calls with your contacts. How cool is that?

Use a Local Pre-paid SIM

If you’re not comfortable using a smartphone when traveling overseas, you can use a travel phone. Buy an unlocked phone and use a local pre-paid SIM card to make calls and text. You can add minutes from an online website, mobile phone store, convenience store or gas station. Rates vary by carrier and country so do your research.

Get an International Plan

Call your phone carrier to see what international voice and data options are available. This can be an added expense, but it can also save a lot of money due to potential roaming fees.

Do you use your smartphone when traveling overseas?

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24 comments

Tracie August 21, 2015 - 12:32 PM

Great tips! My step daughter took a trip overseas this summer and we did the International Plan. She doesn’t have an iPhone but we didn’t even thing to do something like Skpye or another messaging app! Seeing her face to face would have been nice. Thanks for sharing, I’ll keep these in mind for the future!

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Apryl August 24, 2015 - 2:39 PM

These are great tips. I am not the globe trotter that I want to be, but I will definitely file these tips away for my next overseas trip!

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Joanna E August 26, 2015 - 11:54 AM

Girl it’s addictive for me especially because it’s JUST me. lol I hope you get to venture out one day.

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Tiffani G August 24, 2015 - 2:59 PM

These are great tips. We usually get a phone in Trincity mall and use it for the week. I didn’t even think about all the apps we could be using instead! Great post.

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Joanna E August 26, 2015 - 11:55 AM

I got a call on what’sapp when I was in Trinidad and was surprised. lol I usually take my moto razr if I want to use a sim card.

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Holly August 26, 2015 - 9:24 AM

I use my phone. I either find wifi or call my carrier. One time I had an international phone provided for me. It wasn’t a smart phone but I could call and text. iPhones are great because iMessage travels over wifi with no issues.

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Tyra August 26, 2015 - 9:55 AM

Great tips to make sure people don’t run up their data plans while overseas. No one wants to come back from vacation and be in the poor house!

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Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green August 26, 2015 - 10:30 PM

I’m not familiar with some of these apps but I am making note. I will keep this in mind for future travels for sure. I’ve heard lots of crazy high phone bills from traveling overseas.

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:28 PM

Something simple as skype is good because you can do video, text and port your number and get “skype credit” similarly to the way you use a phone card.

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Ayanna August 27, 2015 - 2:47 PM

Great advice! I live for what’s app, especially since I live overseas. The local SIM card tip is a good one!

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:26 PM

Yes! I’m ALWAYS on What’s app talking to my family overseas. So much cheaper.

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Jonna August 27, 2015 - 7:46 PM

I have yet to travel overseas, but these are great tips. I’ve always wondered if I could still use my phone if I did.

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:25 PM

It works, but those fees add up. Granted if you forget or if it were an emergency, they could make adjustments, but it’s easier when you know what to do beforehand.

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Patranila August 27, 2015 - 11:36 PM

Great tips. I never talk to people on the phone anyway so it’s all about the messaging apps.

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:24 PM

lol it’s VERY rare these days. I love to use the Skype/facetime options.

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Christine @MomsNCharge August 28, 2015 - 2:26 AM

This is right on time! We’re planning our first international family trip in October, so I’ll definitely bookmark this.

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:23 PM

Have a GREAT time!

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Nicole (Nicole's Lifestyle Lounge) August 28, 2015 - 4:30 AM

Great reminders of how to make a solo trip feel not so solo.

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:23 PM

It’s a MUST for my because my parents get so worried. lol

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Jaye@Curvatude August 28, 2015 - 9:57 AM

Heading overseas soon and that Tmobile tip is too timely! Thanks!

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Joanna E August 28, 2015 - 12:22 PM

you’re welcome. My friend used it in Dubai and another used it in Greneda and they had no complaints.

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Adanna August 28, 2015 - 3:42 PM

I love the idea of using Whatsapp and Wifi since it’s really easy. I’ve never looked into an international plan but I will definitely keep that in mind.

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Camesha | Mama Motivator August 28, 2015 - 6:33 PM

These are great tips. We’ll be doing an international family trip later this year. My husband already has the international plan on his phone. I need to look into the other tips though.

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Frugal Flirty N Fab August 28, 2015 - 8:34 PM

Great traveling tips and Thanks for sharing!

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