When traveling abroad there are some easy ways to ensure you do not come home with any unwanted fees on your cellphone bill. For example, using offline apps that require no network at all are a great place to start. Also, making sure your phone isn’t using up data by fetching email without you even asking it to. If you are going to text, make calls, or use data on your mobile abroad it is best to alter your plan before you leave with your carrier.
Of course the best thing to do is to pick up a local SIM and use an unlocked phone. Even if you don’t unlock your iPhone you can still use it for free by sticking to WiFi.
If you don’t plan ahead, simple plans can be had for as little as $5-15 which will save you huge overages when you return. Add them for your plan while you are gone and cancel when you get back. It is simple. But what happens if you go over or didn’t plan for this?
When I returned from Mexico I had this very thing happen to me. I pre-purchased the $5 Mexico calling plan and $10 of text messages thinking that would be fine. Since I can text home for free over WiFi using iMessage and could text locals free using apps such as WhatsApp I thought that would be just fine. What I didn’t plan on is not having WiFi that often and relying on texts way too much. This meant my data usage was up when I used WhatsApp and my regular texts home were up as well.
Luckily, AT&T and other major carriers allow you to backdate your plans when you go over. This could save you a lot of money if you used too much data, sent too many texts, or made too many calls. I was able to go back back and add an international data plan and an additional 100 texts. This will cost me some money but it will save me a lot more than paying the actual charges. All I did was backdate the plan so it took effect last month.
If you even find yourself returning home with this problem just call your mobile provider and try to backdate your plan. It will save you from huge overages and make your trip a little less costly. Sometimes it is hard to estimate how much you will need to add to your plan and luckily your mobile carrier is actually helping you in this situation.
Also see: How to Use Your iPhone Abroad for Free