You may be on holidays but you still need to keep in contact with family and friends.
Whether it’s to let them know you’re okay or making them jealous with holiday pics on Facebook – staying in contact can be pricey.
When you access your mobile phone overseas, you’re no longer using your service provider’s network. Your cheap SMS and phone rates do not apply overseas, instead you’re hooked to an international operator that charges extra for you to use the same services.
So how do you surf the net or update your Facebook overseas without returning to a monstrous bill?
This is what mobile products and services company, Opera Software say you should do to save:
1. Before you leave on that jet plane, check with your regular mobile operator to see if they offer international roaming packages, which can give you huge savings on data.
2. Switch to a browser that shrinks down webpages. If you load fewer megabytes, you’ll save money – plus browse faster when you have poor reception. Opera Mini can crunch down webpages to as tiny as ten percent of their original size, and its data counter shows how many megabytes you’ve saved.
3. When you touch down at your holiday destination, read in detail the welcome SMS from the mobile operator whose network you’ve roamed onto. It will outline the costs for calls, SMS and web data during your stay.
4. Speaking of SMS, many networks will send you updates on your data spending throughout your trip to help you keep track. So, pay attention to any operator messages.
5. Activate data roaming when you need to check something online, and toggle it off when you finish your browsing tasks. Turn off notifications and close down non-essential apps to avoid them pulling in large amounts of data in the background.
6. Skip the data-roaming drama by browsing via Wi-Fi, typically available in hotels, airports and cafes. Cruise lines also have Wi-Fi available, although it too comes at a cost and can often be slow and frustrating to use.
7. Try a compression app like Opera Max that can shrink data, images and video across most apps on your phone. Opera Max reminds you when your mobile is roaming, and even lets you block particular apps from using mobile data and restrict them to using Wi-Fi only.
8. Re-think your getaway browsing priorities. Holiday roaming is not the best time for streaming videos, downloading files or adding new apps to your collection. Save this surfing for when you’re browsing with compression or Wi-Fi.
9. You already prepare your music playlists and movies for your travels, so why not pre-load your webpages? Some browsers, like Opera Mini, have a feature that enables you to save an Internet page for offline use, so that you can read it later without activating roaming or finding Wi-Fi.
10.If you’ve set up Dropbox, Facebook or Google Drive to upload automatically the photos taken on your phone, disable this syncing in the settings to squash down data consumption. Alternatively, adjust your settings so that your holiday snaps upload only when you are connected to Wi-Fi.
Cruise Passenger’s tip: put the phone away and enjoy the trip. If you need to contact family, schedule conversations so you’re not using data or minutes trying to call, email or Skype.