Tricks to Traveling with Your Cell Phone

international phone plans

Are you worried about international calling rates when you travel? Do you know what you’re charged for when you use your phone abroad or on a cruise? What are data roaming charges, anyway? Save money with the right international phone plan for your needs. And keep costs down in the first place with a few smart traveling tips.

International calling plans

There are many ways to keep your cell phone plan costs under control when you travel. It doesn’t matter if you have an unlimited plan, a prepaid plan, or any of the other options AT&T offers. We make it easy to stick to your travel budget and avoid unexpected fees.

AT&T International Day Pass

Take your qualifying AT&T cell phone plan with you to more than 100 countries. Add International Day Pass whenever you need it, and pay only for the days you use it. You get unlimited talk in those countries and to the U.S., and unlimited text to the whole world. You use the data in your plan, whether you’re on a specific Mobile Share plan or AT&T Unlimited—so, yes, you can have unlimited data while you travel. It’s $10 a day for each device.

AT&T Passport

If you’re traveling for a week or more, and planning to wander a little farther, take AT&T Passport with you to more than 200 countries. Passport covers you for a month at a time, starting at $60 for 1GB of data with talk and text included. There’s a 3G plan as well.

Roam North America

Are you going to Mexico or Canada? Take your AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced℠ or Unlimited Choice Enhanced℠ plan with you! Enjoy unlimited talk and text, plus access to your plan data. You’re already covered. You may also add Roam North America to other cell phone plans.

Pay per use

If you don’t have an international phone plan, or you’re traveling to a country that’s not covered by your plan, you’ll be charged pay-per-use rates. AT&T works hard to keep your pay-per-use rates for talk, text, and data low. However, you’ll probably want to try some of these tips for travel savings to keep your cell phone bill within your budget.

Smart tips & ways to save

Did you know that the plus (+) sign usually appears if you press and hold the zero key on your dial pad? To call or send a message back to the U.S., dial + 1, and then the 10-digit phone number.
Be sure to bring a universal phone charger and plug adapters for the electrical systems where you’ll be visiting.
Have questions or need to make changes to your plan? Call AT&T International Customer Care at +1.314.925.6925 wherever you are. It’s free from your AT&T cell phone!

Money matters

To use cellular data, turn on Cellular Data Roaming in your device Settings. When you don’t want to use cellular data, turn it off entirely. Go to Settings on your device and look for Cellular or Network options.
Using International Day Pass? Turn off data roaming on the days you won’t be using your phone, and you won’t get an automatic $10 charge.
Send texts with your phone’s built-in texting feature, not third-party apps like iMessage, Skype, and Hangouts. These apps are treated like all the rest when you’re traveling, using data instead of your text feature.

Tips for travel savings

  • Connect to Wi-Fi®, especially if you download, send, or receive large files.
  • Disable background apps that you’re not using. For example:
    • For iOS devices, go to Settings, then General, and then Background. Turn Background App Refresh to OFF or Wi-Fi
    • For Android devices, go to Settings, then Connections, and then Data Usage. Turn Data Saver to ON. Next, select only the apps you want to allow to use data in the background.
  • Don’t stream. Download content before leaving the U.S.—or when you’re on Wi-Fi—to avoid streaming movies, videos, music, or other content while abroad.
  • Switch your phone’s email settings from Push to Fetch. You can manually download your email when you’re on Wi-Fi. This makes a huge difference in your data use if you download attachments. To switch:
    • On iOS, go to Settings, then Accounts & Passwords, and then Fetch New Data. Turn Push to OFF and in Fetch, select MANUALLY.
    • On Android, turn Data Saver to ON. Be sure that email is not selected to allow data usage in the background.
  • Keep an eye on data-heavy apps:
    • Navigation
    • News and weather
    • Social media
    • Video chatting
    • Games with heavy graphics or that need to run online

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This article was written by an AT&T employee. The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.

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