How to avoid high mobile costs abroad

Millions of people will be heading abroad over the coming weeks and the majority will be using their phones to call home or surf the web. But if you're not careful this could prove costly. Mike Wilson give his top tips to avoid coming home to huge bills...

Using your mobile phone abroad can be very costly, in this video we are going to look at how you can keep these cost down.

Calls and Texts

Be aware that when abroad you will have to pay to receive calls - It’s free to receive texts in the EU so if people want to get in touch with you make sure they text you as opposed to calling. 

Switch off your voicemail, or ask your provider to de-activate it before you go.

Be careful when travelling beyond the EU. Pricing caps are in place within the EU but beyond that costs are significantly higher and vary greatly from country to country.

If you go to the same destination regularly it is worth getting a local SIM – the bigger charges will still apply when you want to call home, but you will save on local calls whilst there.

If you're travelling around a lot of different countries the best option may be a global SIM card. These offer greatly reduced rates across various destinations. Just check that the majority of the places you intend to travel are covered.


Try not to use your mobile internet whilst abroad. Within the EU there is a cap at €50 to ensure you don’t get a shock bill when you return home.

If you go outside the EU think very carefully about using data. With no regulation currently in place there is no end to the charges customers can run up.

To avoid accidently running up large data bills turn off your data roaming and automatic updates. Don’t forget about Smartphone Apps will update automatically, typically every hour.

A lot of hotels and cafes will offer customers free Wi-Fi. This will enable you to surf the internet for free and keep in touch with people at home if you have a Skype account.


And lastly, check your mobile insurance before you go. Most insurers will cover you worldwide but the levels of cover will differ.

Did you enjoy that? Why not share this article


Other articles you might like

Popular guides