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.
- Want to keep your existing Australian number? If you're on a contract (postpaid) plan, here's how to roam without overspending. If you're on a prepaid plan, here are the best deals.
- Want to save money by using a dedicated travel SIM? Check out our comparison.
- Whichever approach you choose, follow our tips for reducing roaming costs and data usage.
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.