How to Avoid Roaming Charges When You Travel Internationally
You had the trip of a lifetime in Paris, only to return home to an exorbitant phone bill (damn all those Instagram check-ins). International roaming charges are killers—here are three simple ways to avoid them.
Turn off data roaming and all cellular data
Turning off data roaming means your phone won’t be able to connect to any 3- or 4G data networks. Turning off cellular data is an added layer of protection (in this mode, you can access the internet only via Wi-Fi). To turn both of these off of your iPhone, go to Settings on your home screen, select Cellular and switch the Data Roaming and Cellular Data sliders to off.
Stay on Airplane Mode…but keep Wi-Fi on
Wi-Fi does work in Airplane Mode, and you should totally take advantage of it. After turning Airplane Mode on, Wi-Fi automatically turns off, but it can be turned back on with one click (also in Settings). From there, you’re good to use the internet if you’re in a spot with Wi-Fi (like your hotel, but be more careful on public Wi-Fi networks).
Get an international data package
If you absolutely must get online regularly during an international trip, look into an international data plan, which is available from all of the major phone companies. Check with your provider for costs, but do so in advance of your trip, so your plan can be all squared away before your plane leaves the ground.