Travelling around Europe with your phone is getting a whole lot cheaper. And by next summer, it’ll be completely free. But travelling through the rest of the world can still be quite expensive. So if you need to travel for business, pleasure or to visit family over the festive season, you’ll want to know which network gives the best roaming deals. That’s why we’ve rounded up all the costs and benefits of the three big networks so you can decide which is best for you.
If you’re travelling to Europe, O2 has an add-on called O2 Travel for both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go customers.
With O2 Travel added to your contract, you’ll be able to use unlimited internet for just £1.99 a day – although speeds will get slower if you use a lot of data. It also makes calls to the UK and Europe cheaper. You’ll be charged 50p to connect each call, but then you can talk for free for up to an hour. And texts are free to receive and only 5p to send.
If you add O2 Travel to Pay As You Go you’ll still only be charged £1.99 a day, but the allowances are different. You’ll get 50MB of data a day, calls will cost 18p per minute to make and 4p per minute to receive and texts will cost 5p to send and free to receive.
Whether you’re on a contract or Pay As You Go, you’ll only be charged for your add-ons on the days that you actually use your phone.
There are also add-ons available if you’re travelling further than Europe, but you’ll want to check the price for where you’re going on the O2 website.
EE also has a range of add-ons that could save you money while you’re abroad. And EE has a handy way of stopping you accidentally running up a massive bill – you can only use internet while abroad if you have an add-on.
With EE in Europe, you can buy your internet separately to calls and texts so you only pay for what you need. There are a few options for internet. £3 per day gets you 50MB data, £5 per day gets you 100MB, £12 will give you 200MB for a week and £25 will give you 500MB to use in a week.
You can also get unlimited calls and texts for just £2 per day when you’re in Europe. And if you have an EE Extra contract, that’s already included.
If you’re going further afield costs jump and vary depending on where you’re going, so you’ll need to check EE’s website for the latest costs for where you’re travelling.
If you have a Vodafone contract, there are options for travelling in Europe and the rest of the world.
EuroTraveller is great if you’re heading to one of the countries in Vodafone’s Europe Zone. You can take all your UK calls, texts and data with you for just £3 a day. And you’ll only be charged on the days that you use your phone. Plus, if you go over your regular allowance, you’ll only be charged standard UK rates.
If you’re on Vodafone Pay As You Go, EuroTraveller still costs just £3 a day and lets you use your standard minutes and texts allowance, but you’ll also get 100MB data to use in Europe.
Vodafone also has a few key countries in the rest of the world covered for Pay Monthly customers by its WorldTraveller add-on. For £5 a day, you can again use all your usual allowances of minutes, texts and data in Australia, Egypt, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa and USA.
And if you have a 4G Vodafone plan, you can get the faster internet speeds in these 23 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA.
You can find a full list of which countries are covered by Vodafone’s deals on their website.