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Smartphone abroad: 8 tips to avoid unpleasant surprises


July 30th, 2021 - 3pm

Getting ready to go on holiday abroad? Here are a few tips to avoid seeing your mobile phone bill skyrocket when you return.

The suitcase is packed, you're ready to go on holiday! In order to stay in touch with your loved ones and to capture those beautiful moments spent abroad, your smartphone will certainly accompany you during your trip. But be careful, it is important to follow a few rules if you don't want to have any unpleasant surprises when you receive your bill.

Check the roaming rates

Before you leave, check your mobile operator's website for the roaming rates that will apply in your destination country. As soon as you cross national borders, roaming charges apply when you use your smartphone to make or receive calls to landline or mobile numbers, to send SMS and MMS messages, or to surf the mobile Internet.  You will not be charged for receiving SMS messages.

Depending on your destination country, these charges may vary. It is therefore important to know them in advance so that you are aware of the extra costs you may incur by using your mobile phone in another country. Note that within the European Union, you pay the same amount as if you were using your phone in Luxembourg.

If you have a work smartphone, you should know that there are business plans that block automatically when a certain amount is reached so that you do not receive exorbitant bills.

If you are a professional, don't hesitate to contact your account manager or service manager to find out all the details about roaming, and to find the packages or options best suited to your needs.

Subscribe to a roaming option

Depending on the destination you are going to and the use you plan to make of your mobile phone abroad, it may be useful to subscribe to an option for the duration of your trip.

For example, Orange offers you the Roaming Passes. Starting at €9, you can benefit units (minutes or SMS) abroad and mobile Internet data for 7 days from its activation. This way, you can be sure to avoid roaming charges and not to exceed your bundle abroad. When travelling in Europe, you can also buy an extra 5GB of mobile internet for €9, valid for 30 days.

If you have to work during your holidays, contact your mobile fleet manager to see if your employer offers options to suit your needs and travel.

Download your films, series, videos and music in advance

Got a long journey? Would you like to listen to music, watch a series or films during your holiday? Think about downloading these contents to your smartphone before you leave. You can also do this when you are at your holiday destination and your device is connected to Wi-Fi. This will ensure that you don't consume mobile data unnecessarily.

Turn off mobile data while on the road

When you're on the road, don't forget to turn off the mobile data on your smartphone before you cross the border into a country that is not included in your package, as the meter can quickly go crazy! If you're crossing Andorra, for example, it's best not to connect to the internet as every MB used in the country is charged at a high rate.

The same applies if you have to take a boat. While at sea, your smartphone may connect to a satellite network. The mobile data consumed in this way will incur high charges.

To avoid problems, simply go to your phone's settings and disable cellular data/roaming.

Connect to Wi-Fi as soon as possible

Make it a habit to connect to Wi-Fi whenever you can: at motorway rest stops, in the airport, in restaurants, in museums, etc.

Once you are at your holiday destination, register the Wi-Fi code of your holiday home as soon as you arrive so that your smartphone can connect to it automatically when you are there.

Disable your Wi-Fi assistant

Whether you have an Apple smartphone, or an Android 5.1 or higher, you have a Wi-Fi Assistant. This feature allows your phone to find a reliable public Wi-Fi network and connect to it. To do this, your phone uses mobile data, which can lead to data consumption without you even using your smartphone. To avoid this unpleasant surprise, consider disabling this option before you travel abroad. Here are the steps to follow for an Android or Apple device.

Deactivate your voice mail

Outside Europe, each message left on your voicemail is charged as an incoming call, and each message accessed is charged as an outgoing call. To avoid these extra costs, you can cancel the call forwarding on your answering machine.

There are two possibilities. Type ##002# in your phone application and press the call key. It is also possible to deactivate your voicemail via your phone settings and the "Phone" application. The way you do this will differ depending on your smartphone model. Do not hesitate to ask one of our advisors in an Orange shop if you have any problems deactivating your voicemail.

Monitor your consumption

There are several ways for you to track your consumption at any time abroad. You can text "ORANGE" to 60200, or visit your Orange Customer Centre online.

You are now ready for a worry-free holiday with your smartphone!