When you go abroad for a holiday or a business trip it is natural to want to keep in touch with people at home. In years gone by going abroad meant expensive calls from a hotel or just sending a postcard. Now, you can take your mobile phone with you but unless you look into the details you could find yourself facing a large bill. It is not unheard of for people to accidentally run up a bill of thousands of pounds without being aware of what they are doing.
Your phone will not still be on the same network when you are in another country. It will connect to a local network that has links with your own. This way you can still make and receive calls and send text messages. When you land and switch on your mobile it may take a moment to find the local network that is most suitable but this will depend upon where you are.
Call costs when you are in another country can be high. Phone companies are in the process of being regulated at the moment by Ofcom but for now they can charge more or less what they like.
As phone companies realise that more and more people want to use their handsets abroad they are making it a little more affordable, but it is still far more expensive than using the phone at home and calls and texts made abroad will not be included in your contract.
Those who have opted to remain on pay as you go will still use up credit very quickly. You should also be aware that to receive a call while you are abroad will also cost you and the charges will depend a lot on whereabouts in the world that you are.
You should make sure you are prepared before you travel. Check with your network to find out what they charge for these services while you are abroad. They should be able to give you details of what calls and texts cost. If at all possible, try to avoid using any Internet services on your phone while you are out of the country. These are very expensive and this will certainly make a nasty dent in your bank balance.
Emergency Use Only
It is a good idea to have your mobile phone with you while you are away then you can be contacted in an emergency. That way you can send the occasional text message to let everyone at home know that you are ok, but you do not need to be on the phone all the time. After all, you have gone away to have a good time, not to spend it on the phone to the people back home.
Talk to Your Home Network
Before travelling you should make sure that your network knows that you will be away. Some companies are in the habit of blocking phones if they believe that there is fraudulent activity on it and you do not need to be left without a phone.
Phil Turner has a cheap iPhone 4 that someone gave him. Nobody knows it is pre-owned and he has no shame anyway.