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We’re still getting stung with global roaming charges – here’s how to avoid them

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Global roaming – it’s still stinging Australians on their travels with almost half a million of us burned with solid bill blowouts. And the main culprit – mobile data charges.

A survey of 2,004 people by Finder revealed that more than 400,000 had opened at least one unexpected bill of $278 – more than five times their monthly plan.

At Tech Guide, we are asked for advice often about how people can use their mobile devices overseas without needing to take out a loan to pay the bill when they get home.

But it’s not calls and messaging that send bills soaring.

It’s mobile data and our need to stay connected, use social media and our apps while we’re overseas.

And women are worse culprits than men in that department with women accidentally overspending $317 on average compared to men who overspent $233.

So what are the best things to do to ensure you’re NOT going to get slugged with global roaming charges.

  1. Check with your telco about a roaming pack before you travel so you know where you stand. Vodafone offers $5 a day roaming in more than 50 countries around the world.
  2. Turn your data roaming off – to ensure you don’t use any data on the cellular network when you arrive at your destination. Things like apps working in the background and app updates will use a lot of expensive data if you’re roaming without you knowing.
  3. Wi-Fi is your best friend. You’ll be surprised at the amount of free wi-fi you can access through hotspots at hotels, airports, cafes and restaurants. Apple Stores also have free high speed wi-fi for everyone in the store.
  4. Don’t go streaming your content. If you want to enjoy your music or movies while you’re travelling, download your content on wi-fi in your hotel or in a hotspot before you head out.
  5. Buy a local SIM card. There are plenty of pre-paid deals with generous data allowances when you arrive at your destination so you can stay connected and use data anywhere on your trip. Just be sure your phone is not locked to an Australian network before you leave the country.