Tips for using your mobile phone abroad | 9flats blog - inside the world of social travel

Tips for using your mobile phone abroad


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You want to use your mobile phone abroad, you want to share your experiences with your friends and family at home ? Then follow these useful tips to save mobile phone costs abroad:

  • Think about which apps you need before you go on your journey and download them at home.  You should also manually turn off automatic updates for specific apps. That way you can save unnecessary costs abroad.
  • Upload your favorite music on your mobile phone at home, because Soundcloud, Spotify or other streaming services consume a lot of data (MB).
  • You want to send an important message to your friends ? So just write them a text message  instead of using Whatsapp or the Facebook chat. The expenditure for text messages are usually lower than using Whatsapp or Facebook over your mobile Internet.
  • The EU limited the costs on mobile tariffs for respective options (call, incoming call, text message, receiving text message, data services). In the rest of the world, however, attention is required. Using your mobile phone will likely result in substantial costs. Find out before you go on holiday,what tariff your provider offers in this country.
  • Use the free Wi-Fi in certain locations, such as cafés or your accommodation for longer web surfing, your wallet will thank you. On our website you can find a wide variety of accommodations which provide Wi-Fi. Take a look.
  • Make sure that you visit the mobile version of a website and not the normal version. The mobile version consumes far less data (MB) and loads faster.
  • Get in touch with your mobile provider before you go on a trip, because they usually offer an attractive tariff for several days or weeks. You usually get a certain amount of MB which you can use up in a certain time. Usually you get a 100 MB for 7 days for around 5 euros.
  • Will you stay abroad for longer than a few days? Maybe it is worth to simply buy a prepaid card on-the-spot. Here, however, you have to make sure that your phone does not have a SIM lock.

In order to get an idea how much MB you consume for surfing, here is a brief overview :

For 200 MB you can visit Facebook approximately 132 times, watch a video on You Tube about ten times,on the mobile version of YouTube around 20, call someone over Skype for 66 minutes, check 40000 emails and search a 1000 times on Google.

Save money using your mobile phone abroad

If you decide to buy your own prepaid SIM card, you should know what documents you need and what you should pay attention to. We give you all the necessary information for popular vacation destinations.

Spain: In Spain “The Phone House” can advise you on choosing the right tariff. Usually a prepaid SIM costs around ten Euros, with a credit of five to ten Euros. Note that you also have to pay a one-time connection fee when making a call (usually up to 20 cents), then you will be charged per minute. To buy your prepaid SIM card, you need a valid ID and a current address, the address of your accommodation will be sufficient. You can easily load up credit at a kiosk around the corner. The largest providers are Movistar, Yoigo and Vodafone.

England: Again, it is worth buying a prepaid card. You can buy one in “Phones4U” or “Care Phone Warehouse”. You can find them everywhere. In no case buy one at the airport. Here you usually will get ripped off. Get advise in one of the stores, “Phones4U” or “Care Phone Warehouse”, and then choose the tariff that suits you best.

Italy: A SIM card in Italy is not easy to get, because you will need an Italian tax number. You can buy them in custom provider stores. Do not give up, because in most cases these stores immediately create the tax number for you. Just ask in several stores. You can load up credit at a kiosk like in Spain, it expires after one year.

Denmark: In Denmark a purchase is connected with overcoming various hurdles. You need a CPR number to buy a SIM card. You do not have one ? It is also possible with the Tourist Card which is available on-the-spot. If you purchased your SIM card do no forget to load up enough credit because this is only possible with a Danish credit card.

France: In France you need a French address and a passport. Again, the address of your accommodation should be sufficient. Here you can buy a SIM card at each kiosk. You have to fill out a registration form which will be send out and until your card will be unlocked it takes several days. Therefore the easiest way is to purchase it directly in a provider store.

Poland: You can speak Polish ? Then you will have no problem to buy a prepaid card  in Poland and to deal with it. Network operators provide only limited information in English. You receive the prepaid card with the presentation of your identity card at any kiosk, where you can very easily load up your credit. Please note: SIM  cards lose their validity quickly depending on the uploaded credit. This usually happens after two weeks, so you can only receive calls. After a month it will be deleted completely.

Turkey: You can buy a prepaid card at each corner. However, by law it is prohibited to introduce more than one mobile phone.

Egypt: In Egypt you do not need a passport or anything else. You can buy your SIM card on every street corner. However, mobile networks are very slow and not always reachable. We recomend buying your own SIM card for occasional uses only. Otherwise you should use the free Wi-Fi of your property.

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Written by , November 14, 2014