I got forwarded this article by loyal reader Karen…
Now this does not apply just to iPhones, but since so many people surf the web, checking email and Twitter and Facebook from it, it is a great example.
People forget or don’t realize that when you take your phone overseas, expensive ROAMING charges get applied because you are outside your home region.
So while you may have an unlimited text plan or data plan AT HOME, that plan is not valid in a foreign country. You’re busy Tweeting and sending pictures from your trip and phone companies are happily adding up fees, which can be double and triple what you are used to.
From the article:
By then, I had been in Europe for a month and realized that my next AT&T bill would be astronomical. I had been taking and sending photos, reading and writing e-mails, surfing the Internet, downloading digital newspapers and watching mindless YouTube footage with abandon. What I didn’t know was that under the little apple on the iPhone case, a megabyte meter was whirring like a windmill in a hurricane.
The bottom line: about $5,000…
So what can you do?
Leave your phone at home
Who says you have to be connected all the time?
Get a cheap phone
I got a 25 pound phone in London and bought a local SIM card for 10 pounds with 100 minutes and 100 text messages from T-Mobile. It lasted 6 weeks while I traveled all around Europe. Much cheaper than if I used my own phone.
If you can get to an Internet cafe or use a laptop/netbook, Skype is the cheap alternative to using a cell phone. Use the Internet to make calls for mere change.
Look up MagicJack on the Internet. Loyal reader Mark used this the last time he was Europe. Similar to Skype, you can plug a USB stick in any computer and make calls from it. When you get home this can also double as your permanent home number. So you can take this number anywhere in the world with you.