Traveling Abroad? Avoid a Hefty Phone Bill With These Tips


A few years ago, when I was just a little grasshopper, I went overseas with my smartphone. While I didn’t make any calls, I did continue to receive push email. Imagine my shock when the phone bill arrived a few weeks later with a $700+ balance.

Smartphones are now a pervasive part of our everyday lives — so much so that we get separation anxiety when we leave our devices at home. The unhealthy implications of this aside, there are very practical reasons to bring along a smartphone when traveling: navigation, eatery recommendations, phone calls, etc. So what’s a traveler married to his/her smartphone to do?

The New York Times provides a helpful guide for reaping the benefits of smartphone travel without incurring hefty bills:

  • Get a GSM phone
  • Check with your carrier for special deals on international roaming
  • Buy a local SIM card
  • Subscribe to Boingo Mobile Wi-Fi for $7.95 for online connectivity and to make VoIP calls
  • Buy an old-fashioned calling card

I’ve employed all the above tips and am happy to say I’ve not since been faced with an exorbitant communications bill. (That means extra money for fun stuff, e.g., clothes and shoes, while I’m in a foreign city!)

Read the entire article here.

About Hopping John

Hopping John is a seasoned world traveler, gallivanting across the globe as he moves from adventure to adventure. Along for the ride are a wide array of smartphones, tablets, laptops, handheld game consoles and Wi-Fi enabled cameras — every one of them configured for Boingo access. There's no hotspot too far to visit, as he continues his quest for total Wi-Fi consciousness. Gunga, gunga la-gunga.
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4 Responses to Traveling Abroad? Avoid a Hefty Phone Bill With These Tips

  1. Kimberly says:

    I definitely think that the most trafficked blogs are the ones that offer the most financial gain/benefit, whether it be by contests or money saving tips. Personal and global interest articles are great for supplementation, but this economy has given rise to people who are more interested in how to pinch a penny. I think you should aim for a lot of articles on how to save money while traveling and shopping online, maybe even by highlighting some great deals on flights or luggage or something like that. Be sure to use keywords that will bring you up in a search like ‘best prices on flights’ so that people can discover your blog by accident, but see that it has such great content that they bookmark it immediately. If people feel that you have saved them money, they will develop a loyalty to you and continue coming to you in the future. Also, for contests make sure that the prize is a hot one (which you’re already on top of) and that people searching for these items might stumble upon the ‘win one free’ keywording that will ultimately get most of them to at least glance at the blog page. Once these people are regulars to the blog, they will inadvertently be reading your blog posts for your newest and upcoming Boingo events and advances. So basically I’m saying to lure people in with great deals to develop a larger and faithful fan base and mix in your self promotion to get them interested in saving money by using your products.

    • Baochi says:

      Kimberly, thank you so much for these fantastic suggestions. It’s always helpful and heartwarming to hear our community’s feedback…otherwise, we’d be operating in a vacuum! We’ll ramp up the promotions and offers — what a great suggestion. Thanks again for being such a vociferous part of our community. Please keep the comments coming.

      Best,
      Baochi

  2. Gaylord says:

    You need to revisit your business model… why should trans-oceanic travelers pay per-minute charges when they’re already subscribed in the Americas? Unless you’re a heavy airport/cafe user, even that price seems expensive… waiting for the day when (actual, as opposed to spotty/overloaded ‘free’ airport) wi-fi access becomes commoditized, like its infrastructure is today (you must be making a handsome profit… (if comments are moderated, I don’t expect to see this published :-)

    • Baochi says:

      Hi there –

      Many of our customers are happy with our business model. :) That said, we’re always open to feedback, and we regularly evaluate methods/models for improving our service — as any healthy business should.

      Our U.S. based subscribers get a HUGE pricing break due to the dramatic difference in charging models in US/CA v. Europe. We have a similar plan for people in the UK that is about $23 a month, due to pricing differences in UK v. US.

      For worldwide access without per minute fees, we offer several options. Our Boingo Global service at $59 a month is great for overseas hotspots on laptops. And our Boingo Mobile service at $7.95 a month is also a great value for smartphone connectivity.125,000 hotpots around the world for less than $8 a month.

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