Using your phone overseas can be expensive, and the last thing you want is to come home from your holiday to a huge phone bill. All phone networks are different, so make sure you check with your provider before deciding what to do.

International roaming

International roaming allows you to use your SIM card overseas. This means you can use your current phone network in the country you are travelling to. Your phone probably won’t have this turned on automatically, and some providers need you to make a down payment on future bills before turning roaming on.

Key points to remember with international roaming:
  • International roaming costs will generally be outside any call, data or SMS allowances included in your current phone plan.
  • You may be charged for calls you receive.
  • It will be more expensive to make calls and send SMS/MMS.
  • Data in Australia can cost 10c/MB, whereas roaming costs could exceed $15/MB.

Avoid a nasty phone bill

Using your phone overseas doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some tips to help you keep your costs down:
  • Buy an international SIM card (make sure it’s the right type of SIM for your phone!)
  • Use SMS instead of phone calls to contact people.
  • Turn off any voicemail or diversion services you have.
  • Turn off data roaming.
  • Download an app that allows you to track your usage.
  • Turn off push notifications and automatic software updates.
  • Be aware of apps that use data such as maps, emails and background internet services.
  • Use WiFi where possible.
  • Let your family know that email or Facebook will be a better form of contact.

Did you know Did you know?

If you use a TravelSIM® while you’re overseas, family and friends will be able to send you text messages for free from TravelSim.net.au!