Master Using Your Phone Abroad

June 26, 2022

Learning how to use your phone abroad is essential for travel. In this article, we’ll go over tips, and tricks any global citizen can use.

Straining the Phone Bill

Although many travelers can sometimes leave the telephone out of their urgent affairs to absolve, doing so can have some damaging consequences to one’s wallet. Once outside of the country lines, a person using a mobile phone will be roaming data internationally. In most cases with a majority of cell service providers, this might mean a hike in data usage and fees. For those privileged enough to afford such high phone bills, there needn’t be any worry. However, for the growing number of individuals who are beginning to have access to the luxury of international travel, this could be a trip-canceling factor. Luckily, there are a decent amount of ways in which one might be able to save money when their interests lie outside of their home country.

Master Using Your Phone Abroad (non-infographic)

Data-Passes, Hotspots, and SIM Cards

These first three options have to mainly do with what’s inside your phone, and capitalizing on service provider deals. Though with some of these you may not be able to access everything at high speeds like those that exist at home, they are solid options when considering how to best lower your electronic budget.


This may well be one of the more expensive methods out there, but it has the benefit of eliminating that slow international 2-G data. Simply put, providers such as Verizon and AT&T sell data packs at a premium to users who want fast internet at a possibly lesser price than simply roaming internationally. Although perhaps not the most attractive option to use for the whole trip, a good strategy would be to simply buy the packs for the days when you know you will need fast data the most, lowering the travel bill significantly.


A fairly popular option that has gained some traction in recent years is renting a hotspot device to suit one or one’s group wifi needs. The direct advantage is of course that it would be Wifi instead of cellular data being used, subtracting the cellular service provider fees. A device with hotspot abilities would also be able to support a family within close proximity of each other, potentially cutting down the costs compared to some other methods on this list. Though some devices may be a little costly and would need to eventually be returned, it is a reliable option for those especially in groups to take advantage of.

SIM Cards

Perhaps the most complex on this list, SIM cards can potentially provide the greatest benefits for arguably some of the lowest costs when traveling abroad. For those who are unaware, a SIM card can store a person’s data within the phone. With a SIM card related to your destination installed, the phone can be used as if it was right at home. What many may also find convenient about this method is that these gadgets are quite frequently available to buy in most countries, and could potentially go for as little as $10 dollars. A great place to buy these SIM cards would be at the airport or at tourist sites. However, an even better idea would be to search for where to buy them in your target destination, as they are often much cheaper there.

The complicated component of the SIM card process is “unlocking your phone”. To unlock a phone for international SIM card use, one must request that it be unlocked from their phone carrier first before anything can be done. This part varies from provider to provider but is not terribly difficult. Another slight inconvenience is that any person trying to reach you using your original number will be denied, as installing a new SIM card gives your telephone a new identity and number. With all of this considered, if one can get past some of the mild complexities when using this system, it can be argued to be the best way to keep high-speed internet without running you out of money.

Taking Advantage of Older Phones

A slightly more unconventional way to save money on data abroad is to make use of older phone models for cheap data travel. This process still requires the consumer to indulge in a SIM card for use, but can have the extra advantage of giving someone two useable devices; the older phone to take the brunt of the data usage, and the newer one which no longer needs to have a new identity with a new SIM card. However, when utilizing an older phone, make sure that having two active devices is acceptable with your provider, as some only permit one at a time.

Renting Numbers To Save

For those traveling to the United States, renting a phone number can be extremely useful for any international business folk or vacationers wishing to make a great many calls inside of the country. By renting a U.S. number, anyone can make calls without paying for it dearly via international calling fees. Having a U.S. phone number within your possession also has other benefits for the international as well. Such a number can give access to various verifiable social media accounts and entertainment providers such as Netflix or Hulu. For an established and trusted provider for U.S.-based telephone numbers, a website like can fulfill one’s needs. With strong experience in the field, Tardigrada is able to provide its clients with real U.S phone numbers for a fair price. With everything in mind, all the options on this list are reliable, solid, and readily available for consumers to choose from.