I’m a cell phone expert and here are six ways to make sure you NEVER pay roaming costs on vacation

JETSETTERS face extra costs as they fly during their vacation this year – but you can avoid them if you know how.

Some cell phone providers have brought back roaming costs, and that means it will cost you to call, text, and use data if you go abroad.

The Sun spoke with cell phone expert Catherine Hiley, who offered her best tips for saving money while using your phone abroad.  Image sent

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The Sun spoke with cell phone expert Catherine Hiley, who offered her best tips for saving money while using your phone abroad. Image sent

British customers have previously been able to use their texts, minutes and data Europe without paying an additional fee.

But that has changed earlier this year when Mobile phone Three, EE and Vodafone companies have all reintroduced the fees.

It followed the departure of Britain from the European Unionwhich allowed companies to enforce the charge.

But for those worried about spending extra on theirs holidaysThere are ways to avoid the dreaded “vague rage,” according to Catherine Hiley, a 33-year-old cell phone expert at Uswitch.

She has revealed her best tips for lowering your roaming costs:

Map the costs

If your provider has reimbursed roaming costs, the first step is to understand the fees.

Check the charges, says Catherine, especially if you use EE, Vodafone and Three, and see what you may have to pay to use data depending on which country you travel to.

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If you go to Europe this summer, you can expect to pay around £ 2 a day.

But there are different rules of use for some non-EU countries like the North Cyprus, Turkey and Switzerland and there are such “to be careful,” warns Catherine.

For those flying outside the EU, Travel Bolt Ons offered by some phone companies can be useful as well. Check what packages your provider offers.

O2 customers, for example, can pay a single, fixed daily rate that will give them unlimited minutes and texts and all the data they need. There is also no upper usage limit for data.

Flight mode is your friend

Before flying to your destination, enable the flight mode of your mobile phone and disable data roaming.

This will avoid the risk of paying charges as you travel through different countries and territories, says Catherine.

It also prevents you from hitting a charge the second you turn on your phone when you land.

Catherine said: “One of my friends was on holiday recently and actually forgot to switch on flight mode – they were connected to several different flight modes when they flew over.”

Download before you leave

If you want some entertainment while you’re away, make sure you prepare in advance.

Download any shows, movies and music at home before traveling to avoid using your data, says Catherine.

Keep your passes and other important travel documents such as COVID also hand over your mobile phone in advance so that they are easily accessible.

“Downloading shows before you take off is really important because it stops increasing costs,” says Catherine.

And even if you do have a data packet, it will reduce the risk of you going through it and being hit with a charge.

Use WhatsApp instead

WhatsApp is a great way to share texts, pictures, videos and audio messages for free.

It can be a much better alternative to sending text messages or using standard voice calls, which can charge a charge while you’re away.

Please note that you only use it when you are connected to free Wifi or you might find that it proves even more expensive, and eats into your data package.

Catherine says: “You can call, you can have video chats, so WhatsApp can be a real lifeline if used correctly.”

Leave voicemail at home

Depending on your network and the country you are in, sometimes getting a voicemail while on vacation can cost you money.

If your provider includes this charge, call them before you travel and ask them to turn off voicemail.

Some countries where you might be charged for receiving a voicemail include the Faroe Islands, Turkey and Northern Cyprus.

But Catherine says that a simple phone call to your provider before traveling and asking them to turn off this feature will stop you from charging.

The best bet is to call your provider in advance to check.

Timely Change

If you plan to make a lot of calls and texts during your vacation, you could rent a second cell phone for your phone with a company like Swytch.

The service allows you to receive calls and texts sent to the second number abroad and you will not be charged for incoming calls.

You can also receive cheap outgoing calls and texts charged at local rates.

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On Swytch’s website there is currently only a “Business Plan” on offer, which includes no set-up fees and Cheap UK SMS texts (4p per SMS). It will refund you £ 5 a month.

An ‘Unlimited Plan’, costing £ 20, offering unlimited British calls and UK SMS texts will also be available.

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