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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.
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.