We’ve all been there. You go abroad to your long sought-after holiday destination equipped with all the bare essentials: iPod, iPad if you’re lucky and, of course, your phone. You enjoy your holiday and make the most of the sun, completely oblivious to the costs you’re raking up. Until that dreaded bill comes through a month later and you question how you could have possibly spent that much.
That was me six months ago. I went to Mexico and was totally unaware that my BlackBerry Torch was using the internet and updating apps without my knowing. All because I hadn’t turned off my data roaming settings.
I didn’t know this at the time but data roaming means using the internet on your phone abroad.
Luckily, if you’re travelling abroad, Three has a data roaming limit of £49 a month so you can’t go over this amount. You'll also get text messages from Three when you've used 80% and 95% of this amount, so you know how much you've used and it won't come as a surprise.
And, if you want to use data while you’re travelling in the EU, you can take advantage of the Euro Internet Pass. This will let you use email, apps and the internet on your phone as much as you like until midnight UK time for just £5 a day.
Since my experience, I found out that’s it’s easy to turn off data roaming before you go away or even when you’re abroad. You’ll need to use your My3 account.
When you turn off data roaming you’ll still be able to make calls and texts abroad. You just won’t be able to use the internet. It’s best to use free Wi-Fi hotspots or an internet cafe very cheaply if you do need to use the web or check your emails.
Three offer a really useful step-by-step guide that shows you how to turn off data roaming using your My3 account. You can also keep track of what you’re spending abroad using your My3 account.
For my next planned trip to the Philippines, I know I’ll be switching off data roaming and finding a cheap internet café. That way I’ll be able to stay in touch with my friends without having to pay those expensive bills.