Travelling Overseas With Your Phone Or Tablet – How Not To Get A Huge Bill

So you are about to go overseas with your phone or tablet ( if it has a sim card ) and don’t want to get a huge shock with an enormous bill when you return.

Here is what you should do.

Phones / Tablets are all about turning off data roaming on your current phone so your apps ( email included in this ) don’t dial out and you don’t access those apps from your “ current sim “and end up in the media with a massive bill due to data charges.

First when leaving –

On an iOS device – turn off cellular data and data roaming by going into your settings on your phone / tablet 

On an Android phone remove the tick from Mobile data which will stop you accessing data over the mobile network.

Or put the devices into flight mode 

Options For Making Phone Calls – Accessing data 

Talk to your phone company first about their overseas travel options as they will offer various solutions .

Telstra international Roaming Tips

Purchase a local sim card in the country you are visiting or a travel sim , then redirect your phone number to your new number on your travel sim.

Phones need to be unlocked when you change sim cards, this needs to be done at least a week before you go

Purchase a travel sim from Australia – 3 travel sims that you can get

TravelSIM is designed for occasional travellers to swap into their phones while overseas, which means they can’t be contacted via the Australian number. To make a call you dial the number, the phone hangs up and then the TravelSIM service calls you back and connects the call. It sounds complicated but you soon get the hang of it. It’s a pre-paid service with no monthly fee, but your credit expires if you haven’t made a call for six months.


Meanwhile Truphone’s Tru SIM is targeted at regular travellers who want to use the same SIM and phone number when at home and abroad. The Tru SIM is pre-paid, although Truphone also offers post-paid plans for business users.
TruSIM isn’t a callback service like TravelSIM, so you can make calls the way you normally would. You can port your existing Australian mobile number to your Tru SIM, plus you can add a US or UK number to the same SIM for an extra $8 per month.

Woolworths Global Roaming Sim 

Global roaming sim which includes data for apps , email etc 

Take Your Own Internet With You When You Travel

Buy a portable WIFI Hotspot in the country you visit 

When you look at the cost of hotel wifi in some London hotels $8 an hour to $20 – $30 a day , this can be a far better option 

There is also the McDonalds and coffees shop wifi but security is much better with your own connection .

Your own internet connection can be Ideal for maps , Google maps or Apple maps which come with turn by turn navigation – ideal for holidays so you don’t get lost.

Buy A Data Pack

If you want to access emails , apps while you are away buy a data pack from phone provider.

Telstra sell data packs such as a 1.5Gb for $350 which is far cheaper than being charged $3 a mb 

Telstra international Roaming Tips

What Happens If I Forget All Of The Above ?

If you forget all of the above and do end up with a huge bill be honest with your phone company and try to come to some sort of resolution.

Leave a Reply