Most of us have been guilty of checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts the moment we touch down on foreign soil. At the time you don’t care about the cost. It’s when you’re home when you’re hit with the hefty bill and then you regret it. However a company called Broadband Genie has created a handy app that now lets you check roaming charges in different countries.
We also have a few really useful tips you can follow that can help keep that bill as low as possible whilst you are on holiday. Here are Holiday Hypermarket’s top tips.
- Disable your internet before you take to the skies to avoid those crazy data roaming charges. Although many UK networks will give you 15 to 25mb relatively cheaply within Europe, the costs can soon add up. Checking in on Facebook sounds fairly innocent but when you consider the latest Facebook update now includes automatic streaming of videos in your news feed, this can soon add to your internet usage.
- Make sure you check your tariff and know your usage. Check with your service provider if you are entitled to cheap data roaming or inclusive minutes or texts.
- Many service providers allow you add on a package for using your mobile abroad at a fraction of the cost. It is worth being organised and arranging this before you travel if you think you will use your phone on your holiday.
- O2 offer 50mb of data for £1.99 per 24 hours and 50p per call for up to 60 minutes which comes out of your monthly allowance. Texts cost 7p to send.
- Vodafone charge £2 per day within Europe to use your mobile contracts minutes, texts and data as you would in the UK.
- EE offer a European package that costs £2 per day for unlimited calls and texts, but they do charge an extra £1 for every 20mb of data used.
- Europe’s roaming charges and costs are set and fixed by the EU however it is important to remember if you are travelling outside Europe the prices of using your phone can be hugely different. For example if you make a 5 minute phone call and send 3 text messages and use 10mb of data in Tunisia this can cost you £68.70 (£1.50 per minute, £0.40 per text, £6 per mb) Compared to £2.70 in Spain. (50p connection fee, £1.99 for up to 50mb of data and 7p per text)
- Take advantage of free Wi-Fi. This can be at the airport, hotels and local bars or restaurants as long as you’re a customer. Many Thomson and First Choice hotels now offer complimentary Wi-Fi to enhance your stay so that tweet is a lot cheaper than you think.
- Wait until you are connected to the Wi-Fi before uploading photos. It may be tempting to instantly upload that Instagram picture of the sunset at Café Mambo in Ibiza or the #selfie at Zante’s Smugglers Cove but don’t. Wait until you are back in the free Wi-Fi zone before you reach for that phone.
Use Apps on your Phone
Don’t waste time online Googling everything. Download apps you think you will need before you travel. This will save data and therefore money. Skype offer really cheap international calls and Viber uses Wi-Fi to make free calls to other smart phones that also have the app. Whatsapp is a great way of sending free texts, images, videos and voice recordings over Wi-Fi.
Follow these tips to make sure your cheap holidays don’t become costly on your return.
Why not check out our ‘Top 10 Travel Apps‘ to have on your phone for your holiday.
**Prices correct as of 4th June 2014 and are for contract tariffs only from the phone providers’ website**