If you're fortunate enough to live in a country that is a member of the European Union, then, due to legislation that comes into effect on December 15, 2015, you'll pay the same rates whether you make mobile phone calls or send text messages in your home country or throughout the European Union.
In other jurisdictions, as discussed in a previous Cvent Event Blog post, Travel Tips for Event Planners: Watch Out for Roaming Charges, whopping mobile service bills can await when planners return to home base.
Here are 6 options to explore to save while roaming:
- Disposable Phones: American police TV shows often make reference to disposable phones. I'm not familiar with them in Canada but they are readily available in U.S. destinations. WalMart has them from $8.97 to 59.98. These are pre-paid phones and you can pay as you go. If you're going to be away for a long time, the cost of service can add up.
- SIM Cards: Pre-paid Sim Cards make it possible for you to roam on the local network. They can be purchased at retail outlets or online through services like Ready SMM USA. You can opt for talk, text and data or data only service. There are 7, 14, 21, and 30 day plans. A 30 day talk, text and data plan was $55.
The only catch that to use SIM cards, your mobile device must be unlocked. I checked with my ISP and the cost of unlocking a phone was $50. For event planners organizing corporate events, the logistics of ensuring that everyone in the party has unlocked phones can be challenging.
- KnowRoaming Sticker: The KnowRoaming sticker is a stick-on circuit that, when glued to a phone's SIM card, offers discounts in roaming charges. It can be used on any unlocked, GSM-capable mobile phone
- Moblie Phone Rentals: At some destinations, mobile phone and satellite phone rental services like Roadpost, Trip Tel and Cell On Wheels are available. Rentals can be pre-reserved and often the phones can be picked up and returned at the airport.
- Plug and Play Freedom Sticks: Users can select preferred roaming lists with plug and play sticks. FreedomPop Freedom Sticks are in effect, wireless modems that can be plugged into mobile devices.
- Roaming Packages: I'm writing this blog post from New York City. I checked with my Canadian mobile service provider and ended up purchasing a text and voice plan for $30 for $30 days. I am able to phone and text throughout the U.S. and Canada without incurring roaming or long distance charges. To use this option for corporate groups, it would be best to give participants a credit that can be applied to pay for roaming packages with their own service providers.
Photo Credit: European Credit