If you’re going on holiday this summer, chances are you’ll be taking your smartphone or tablet with you. Most of us love taking hundreds of photos of ourselves on the beach, by the pool or at a bar and sending them straight to Facebook. After all, what’s point of having the time of your life if no one can see it?
Usually, updating your social profiles abroad could prove costly if your mobile provider charges you extra for data roaming. But if you’re a Vodafone customer, you could save a pretty penny as the network has launched free roaming in 40 European countries, including France, Spain and Greece.
Who offers free roaming?
Vodafone’s free European roaming is only for customers on new ‘Red’ or ‘Red Value’ packages so if you’re on a different deal, you’ll have to upgrade. But if you do this, Vodafone might put up your bill from April 2017 as it’s scrapped its ‘Fixed Price Promise’.
It’s not just Vodafone offering free roaming in Europe – Tesco Mobile launched a similar deal last month. Its ‘Home from Home’ deal runs until Saturday 3 September for all existing customers and lets you use your mobile at no extra cost in 31 European countries. Three offers a ‘Feel at Home’ add-on for free roaming abroad, although it’s not as wide-ranging.
These deals might be great if you’re going abroad this summer but from next year, roaming charges will be a thing of the past. From 15th June 2017, you won’t pay any more for data, texts and calls when you’re abroad than you do at home. That might mean it’s not worth paying to upgrade to a free roaming deal unless you’re planning to use your phone a lot on holiday this year.
What to watch out for
Getting a new deal isn’t the only way to save when you’re using your phone abroad this summer, here’s how you can avoid the charges.
• Check your network’s bundles – there might be an add-on you can get for free roaming in Europe. This is generally cheaper than just paying for the data you use abroad.
• Switch your data off as soon as your plane lands at your destination. This means you won’t accidentally use any internet when you don’t mean to. You can do this through your phone’s Settings but it might prompt you to do it anyway when you first switch your mobile on.
• Use free Wi-Fi abroad instead. A lot of hotels offer this now but if yours doesn’t, you might be able to get it in nearby cafes, bars or restaurants.
• Make sure your apps can’t switch your data on when they need to upgrade. You can find this in the apps section of your phone’s Settings and if any apps can do this, you should be able to disable them.
• Or you could just stay off the internet entirely! Make the most of your holiday and you can post all of those beach selfies when you get home – we’re sure your friends will wait a couple of weeks to see them.