Should I use my phone number for international calling and texting?
Tricky question! There are benefits with either option
If you’re new to international travel (or it’s just been a while since you’ve left the country), you probably haven’t thought much about international calling and texting, right?
So we’ll explain what each option involves (and when you might incur extra costs), and then you can choose what’s best for your travel situation.
If you leave your phone number active while you’re in another country …
USE YOUR PHONE NUMBER NORMALLY: You’ll have full access to calling, texting, and your regular contacts. If there’s an emergency, people back home can reach you on the number they know.
EXPECT CARRIER FEES: Your mobile carrier will likely charge you for active calling minutes and incoming/outgoing SMS text messages. (We’ll share more information on that on the next page.)
USE YOUR eSIM FOR ALL DATA: It would be expensive to use your primary SIM for mobile data while travelling internationally. Use an eSIM (downloadable SIM card) for low-cost data without roaming charges.
If you disable your phone number while you’re in another country…
NO FEES: You won’t have to worry about any roaming charges on your next mobile bill!
NO ACCESS TO YOUR REGULAR PHONE NUMBER: Your regular phone number won’t work until you switch it back on, so make sure people know how to reach you in case of emergencies.
USE YOUR eSIM FOR ALL DATA: Use an eSIM (downloadable SIM card) for low-cost data without roaming charges.
Okay, so how do I decide?
If you’re not sure whether you should disable your regular phone number while travelling, here are a few questions to ask yourself …
1. Is there another way I can be reached, in the event of an emergency?
2. Am I travelling with someone who will have their regular phone number accessible, just in case?
3. Do I care about missing calls and texts while I’m travelling? Or am I okay with using social media or a temporary phone number instead?