Published on Monday, April 23, 2012 22:41
Written by Ken Grunski
Data rates for smartphones have gotten a lot cheaper in the past few years, but the actual amount of data we use and send on those same smartphones has skyrocketed. That means while you might be paying less per MB, you still end up paying more – especially when it’s overseas.
Some carriers charge up to $20 per MB of data used outside of the US. For most people who have newer phones with camera resolutions of 8 megapixels or more, emailing that adorable picture of the kids sleeping on the train from Venice to Rome is going to cost dearly.
That’s why getting an international SIM card and cell phone before traveling is imperative. Instead of trying to change your smartphone habits (like updating a Facebook status, sending a photo, or having long calls every night with your mother), get an international SIM and cell to make your trip all the more enjoyable.
Here are three things every parent should think about before travelling with the family.
- Travelers need an unlocked phone and an international SIM card (or microSIM card for iPhones) to get the best rates on calls and data while abroad. Learn the simple steps for getting the phone/ SIM combination to ensure you’re not wasting a single dime while on vacation.
- Regardless of what their parents tell them, kids will most likely tweet, upload photos, and update their Facebook statuses using their smartphones. I’ve seen it many times, and have dealt with my share of parents suffering from bill shock. The easiest way to avoid a financial disaster is to put kid-friendly international phones in your kids’ hands before you take flight.
- Keep in mind that not everyone needs an international SIM card when going abroad. There are cheaper, local SIM cards for families who will be primarily in one country. But keep in mind – international SIM cards come with a local US phone number so people calling you from the states won’t be hit with long distance charges. Local SIM cards, on the other hand, have a country-specific phone number so other people in that country won’t be dialing a long distance number to get to you.
Generally, a little preparation and research goes a long way when you and your family are travelling with smartphones. Doing your homework and getting the right phone package could mean the difference between an exorbitant bill for hardly using your phone, or a low bill without giving up your favorite smartphone conveniences.Ken Grunski is an evangelist for cell phone savings and founder of Telestial.com, an international cell phone provider.
Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography (CC)