How to avoid data roaming charges while travelling
Data roaming charges can be confusing, right? Don’t worry! We’ll walk through every setting you need to know.
Tell us if you plan to use your phone number internationally, and then we’ll walk you through the correct settings, based on your exact phone model and mobile carrier …
Do you want to keep your regular phone number active while travelling internationally?
What is data roaming, anyway?
Data roaming means your mobile device (like a smartphone or tablet) is using a different data network than usual.
If you let your device “roam” in another country, data roaming charges can get expensive very quickly because you’re paying for the privilege of getting an internet connection internationally, on something that isn’t your “home” network.
If you arrive in another country and you haven’t configured your data roaming settings correctly, your phone or tablet will instantly try to sniff out the nearest network and connect you to it … and you’ll pay the price (literally) when you arrive back home. Ouch.
How do I avoid roaming charges?
You can avoid data roaming charges by telling your phone or tablet *not* to roam. (We’ll show you exactly where to find that setting on your specific device in a minute.)
Some travellers prefer to avoid roaming charges by switching off their Primary SIM card entirely, so it can’t be used for data, calling, or texting until they’re back home and they switch it back on.
And some travellers sign up for a carrier travel data plan that charges them a daily or weekly rate (often $12-$20 per day) to use their phone normally, without worrying about roaming charges.
Why should I use an eSIM for international roaming?
Don’t touch that SIM card! If you want affordable mobile data in another country, you should definitely use an eSIM for international roaming.
An eSIM is a digital SIM card (sometimes called an embedded SIM card) that works just like a traditional plastic SIM card. You can use an eSIM for international roaming at a fraction of the price of a carrier travel data plan.
You can buy an eSIM (digital SIM card) from an eSIM provider like aloSIM. We have eSIMs for 130+ countries and regions, so you can get an affordable local connection where you live or where you’re travelling.
Now that you know a bit more about roaming charges, let’s dive into the specific settings you need to know.
Tell us whether you plan to keep your phone number off or keep your phone number on, and we’ll show you exactly how those settings should look on your phone or tablet.