What is travel data?


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer

what-is-travel-data-photo-credit-wang xi-unsplash

When you jet off on vacation, travel data is the most affordable way to keep your phone connected.

Travel data lets you latch onto local networks for a lower rate than if you were to rely on your home carrier and rack up roaming charges.

Simply put, it’s all about location.

When you arrive at your destination and switch your phone off Airplane Mode, you’ll probably see a text from your home carrier warning you that you’re now “roaming,” and telling you the roaming rates.

Roaming charges are what you’ll pay for the privilege of using your usual mobile coverage while you’re outside of your usual service area. (For example, if your monthly cell phone plan includes nationwide coverage, you’ll be “roaming” once you leave your country.)

These charges can add up quickly, because roaming charges kick in whenever you make a call, answer a call, send or receive a text, share a photo, use social media — you name it. Many travelers have arrived home from a great vacation, opened their next mobile bill, and promptly groaned (or cursed) at how much they owe in roaming charges.

Your carrier isn’t intentionally trying to make you angry, but they will charge a premium for keeping you connected while you’re outside “their zone.”

Yikes! That sounds terrible, you might be thinking. So what are my options if I don’t want to pay super high roaming charges?

Other than switching off data roaming, turning off your phone, or keeping it on Airplane Mode, the solution is setting up a travel data package.

Does my carrier offer travel data?

Many carriers do offer travel data packages so customers don’t have to worry about the wild uncertainty of roaming charges, but the rates can vary — and sometimes they’re still very expensive.

Before you leave on your vacation, talk to your carrier, explain where you’ll be traveling, and ask about your options.

They might quote you a daily rate to stay on your normal mobile plan, so whether or not that’s a good idea could depend on how long you’ll be visiting. If they’ll charge $15 a day for a travel plan and you’ll be gone a month, that’s at least $450 for a single month of using your phone!

(Seriously, $15 a day when you might only use your phone once?! And what if you’re on the hotel’s Wi-Fi and don’t need data most of the time? Sheesh.)

Where can I get cheap travel data?

If your carrier’s prices are way out of your budget, don’t worry! We happen to know a great way to get much more affordable travel data for your phone or tablet. 😉

Here at aloSIM, we believe travelers should have the freedom and flexibility to get the travel data they need, without overpaying for a ton of coverage they won’t use.

We don’t believe in daily rates or monthly rates. Oh, and we also don’t believe in contracts, commitments, surprise charges, or any other shenanigans. (Just not our style.)

We prefer a prepaid data (or pay-as-you-go data) model, where you can literally just buy 1 GB of data and use it until it runs out. If you want more, sure! You can top up your plan. But you’re in the driver’s seat, always.

Look for flexibility in a travel data plan

No one wants to risk a huge bill of roaming charges, but you also don’t necessarily want to pay a high daily rate for your carrier’s travel data plan, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

The team here at aloSIM is always available if you’d like to chat about your options or explore our travel data packages.

Have a wonderful trip!