Global roaming: How to save when you travel


Heading overseas? Don’t get stung by exorbitant roaming charges.

A mobile phone is an essential travel accessory, but no-one wants to return from an overseas jaunt and face a bill of thousands of dollars for excess roaming charges. Here's what you need to know to stay connected without paying a fortune.

Can't I just use my existing phone?

In many cases, you can, but you'll pay dearly for the privilege. Don't believe us? Check out this map. It shows the casual roaming rates around the world if you have a contract phone with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and use it overseas. (These are the rates that apply if you don't set up a special roaming pack or deal).

As well as charging much higher rates for data, you'll also have to pay whenever you receive calls (as well as making them). Make sure you've set up a roaming deal, or get a dedicated travel SIM for while you're overseas.

Compare April 2018 offers for roaming SIMs

Woolworths Global Roaming - Get SIM & $10 credit only for $29 Get SIM & $10 credit with the price of $29 at Woolworths Mobile Global Roaming.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RodAugust 19, 2017

    Traveling to France with a stop over in Doha.

    Do we purchase SIM cards in France or pre pay in Melbourne before leaving?

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaAugust 19, 2017

      Hi Rod,

      As finder is a financial comparison website offering general advice, we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice or make product recommendations.

      However, we do help guide you through the process of comparing your options.

      You may find useful information on roaming with your existing mobile plan on our page for Prepaid or Postpaid.

      You can also read our page on Using a Prepaid SIM card while traveling around the European Union.

      I hope this helps.


  2. Default Gravatar
    AnneAugust 16, 2017

    Travelling to Dubai, Portugal, Spain, UK and Iceland from Australia from 13th September 2017. Best plan/card to use. Can I keep my own number while travelling?

    • Staff
      RenchAugust 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If you have an existing contract mobile plan, it’s always wise if you know you’re going to travel to purchase a roaming allowance from your contract provider rather than simply enabling roaming, because the associated costs can be quite high. You can get this info on this page.

      You can also do roaming with a prepaid plan. It minimizes the possibility of outright bill shock simply because you can’t spend more than the amount you’ve already given your telco before you travel. You can get more helpful info on this page.

      Hope this information helped.


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