If you’re like most Americans and heading on the road this summer, you’re probably thinking about how to make sure your phone bill doesn’t come back with several extra zeros -- especially if traveling internationally.
And although we here at textPlus assume most people know there’s options when communicating on their mobile phones and devices while traveling, we wanted to test our theories. Are you using WiFi to connect for free? Using more than just a smartphone? Finding smart ways to save money?
So, we surveyed 500 domestic and international travelers and found the following:
+ More than half of international travelers said roaming charges are too costly.
+ To avoid excessive fees, 39% pay a flat rate on their mobile plan to avoid additional charges. However, 65% said even THIS flat rate was too costly.
To avoid these charges, travelers are, in fact, finding alternative ways to communicate from their phone and devices:
+ 71% of all travelers use WiFi in cafes and 45% of all travelers use WiFi in hotels. Why? It’s everywhere and “costs nothing”.
+ In addition to a smartphone, 72% of all travelers said they take a tablet, and 51% said that tablet is WiFi-enabled, making it available for texting and calling.
+ Travelers are using free mobile apps like textPlus communicate over WiFi at no cost -- 45% of all travelers and 64% of international travelers, to be exact.
Based on these finding, what’s a traveler to do? We have some easy, quick tips to get you prepared before you hit the road this summer:
+ Plan ahead with your carrier. The biggest mistake travelers make is to assume their current mobile plan will cover their texting, calling and data costs -- especially when traveling internationally.
+ Monitor usage by placing your phone or device in airplane mode or turning data roaming off and using WiFi instead. You can also turn off push notifications and location services.
+ Consider bringing a WiFi-enabled tablet -- you can even use it on the plane to text.
+ Scope out WiFi in advance. Check hotels, coffee shops and airports to which you’re traveling. Ask whether or not WiFi is free and find no-cost options.
+ Avoid additional costs altogether by using a free mobile communications app like textPlus that allows you to text for free and call for free or at significantly reduced rates from smartphones or tablets.
How do you save money when you travel?