Travel Tip: Plan Your Cell Phone Service Before You Go

Check with your cell phone provider about your international phone plan before you travel to prevent surprises. Some providers may offer data and texting with no additional charges. With my cell phone provider, I signed up for the $10 per day max international extra package. When I enter into international waters or in another country, this plan kicks in and activates automatically. This allows me to both call locally in the country I’m in, and call back to the United States – unlimited – for no additional fee above the $10/day. You really need to check with your provider about your options before you go.

If you don’t have an international plan option, you can use WhatsApp for free. It allows you to make video or audio calls, or send videos and texts at no charge. Also, if you have an iPhone you may be able to make FaceTime video or FaceTime audio calls to other iPhones at no charge

It may be a lot cheaper to buy an inexpensive local cell phone SIM card in Italy to get data & avoid roaming charges. You can buy local SIM cards that will work in most of the EU in many stores or airports in Europe. Airport shops are more pricey than local stores. You can learn more about purchasing SIM cards in Europe by clicking here.

Another way to save money is to turn off roaming and auto-app updates when traveling internationally. This can really use a lot of data and cost quite a bit. Also, if you find free WiFi locations, that will save you data, but be sure not to do any banking while on a public WiFi site.

Another cell phone tip, you should also be sure to make a PIN number that you have to enter every time you use your phone, if you don’t already have one. This way, if you lose your phone, no one can use the device, or gain access to any of your personal or private information, or banking/money transfer apps. This is good advice stateside too!