During the trip, three options are available to establish cellular communications and mobile Internet — roaming from your home operator, tourist travel cards and SIM cards from local companies. The first two are suitable for those who travel abroad for a relatively short period or constantly move between countries. For a long stay in one state, you will have to issue a local tariff.
Low-cost offers usually focus on one goal — to provide you with more Internet traffic or provide calls at a bargain price. Universal tariffs, of course, will cost more.
In large cities, do not forget about public Wi-Fi points. But not all of these networks support high data rates. In addition, with such a connection, it is better not to use banking applications and sites that involve important personal information. These networks are not protected from the actions of scammers.
Before traveling abroad, turn off background mobile data usage and data roaming. Automatic system updates are best downloaded over Wi‑Fi.
Roaming of Russian operators is the most expensive communication option on a trip. But at the same time, the phone number will remain the same, you won’t have to deal with local peculiarities of paying tariffs and change the SIM card. It is enough to set the number of minutes, the package of SMS messages and gigabytes of Internet traffic, as well as connect additional services if they are needed.
During a long trip, not everyone can afford the expensive daily subscription fee. It is important to set the tariff in advance so as not to receive a bill for a large amount from your operator. When roaming, you will have to pay for both outgoing and incoming calls. The cost of one day of use can be comparable to paying for a month in the home network.
At the same time, in the mobile application of your operator, you can connect not the whole tariff, but only certain options. It is worth looking for some useful features like a free roaming period. This will help, for example, to manage to find and buy a local SIM card abroad without extra overpayments.
Roaming may have to be used in countries with restrictions on the purchase of local SIM cards or with very expensive communication tariffs. But in this case, it is better to switch to a travel card.
Buy a travel SIM card
Travel cards are designed specifically for travel — payment terms are more suitable for long trips. Such cards are supported in hundreds of countries, and tariffs include fixed prices for calls and mobile data. You don’t have to pay for incoming money.
Travel SIM cards are not tied to a specific mobile operator — the network is selected automatically in a new country. But you will have to register or transfer accounts in instant messengers and social networks to a new international number.
Some companies offer call forwarding from a Russian number for free or for an additional fee. With this service, relatives will be able to call your usual number. Travel cards are sold on official websites or in communication stores. Some of the most popular options are Drimsim, Simtravel and Globalsim.
Install a local SIM card
To use a local SIM card abroad, you need to understand the nuances of tariffs, come to the communication salon with your passport and purchase a new number by signing an agreement in the local language. Then relatives, friends and colleagues need to tell your number and reconfigure accounts in messengers or create new ones.
Not the easiest process, but it will save you money. True, calls to Russia will be expensive, but you can easily use the Internet connection through instant messengers.
Please note that not all countries will be able to buy a local SIM card on their own. Somewhere, local numbers are sold only to citizens, or they are offered exclusively with a phone. In such situations, you should ask for help from local residents you know or purchase a tourist SIM card prepaid for several months.
In some regions, operators work for several states at once. For example, you can issue a number with a tariff that is valid throughout the European Union.
Select a virtual eSIM if your smartphone supports it
An electronic SIM card, or eSIM, is a chip that is built into a smartphone. With such a module, mobile communication is established without the usual piece of plastic. In addition, you can use eSIM at the same time as a physical card from another operator.
Be sure to check if your device has such an eSIM chip. If it is available, you can easily load the settings of telecom operators. And the process of acquiring a new number is noticeably simplified in this case.
During a trip, for example, you can turn off the SIM card of your home operator and use eSIM for calls. Or share Internet connection and calls between cards.
For eSIM, there are tariffs for traveling abroad. In Russia, for example, Beeline, Tele2 or Tinkoff Mobile have options. International carriers also offer eSIMs that work in dozens of countries. Drimsim, Telwel and Airalo are popular among such companies.
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