Roaming in Europe is changing. Over the last seven years, EU laws have made it cheaper. And from the end of 2015, it won’t cost you anything. But, for the time being, we’ve compared the three biggest networks to find which has the best deals when it comes to travelling Europe and staying connected. And if you’re travelling further afield, we’ve got some really helpful advice to stop your mobile breaking the bank.
If you’re on an EE, Orange or T-Mobile contract, £2 per day will give you unlimited calls and texts around Europe, while data costs either £1 per day for 20MB or £3 for 100MB. And whichever add-ons you go for, you’ll only be charged on days that you use them. So it’s worth calling EE and setting them up now in case you ever need them.
With O2, you can sign up for O2 Travel. It gives unlimited data, although speeds might be limited, and costs £1.99 per day. It also cuts the cost of making and receiving calls so you only pay a 50p connection charge and can then talk for up to an hour for free. And texts drop to just 5p to send. Again, you’ll only be charged on the days you use your phone, so we’d suggest always being prepared and opt in now.
Vodafone has EuroTraveller. For £2 a day you can use your UK allowances as normal. So if you get unlimited calls, texts and 4GB data each month in the UK, you get the same allowance around Europe. As with the other networks, you’ll only be charged on days when you actually use your phone in Europe, so we recommend setting it up now.
Toggle is designed for roaming around Europe. You can assign nine different numbers for nine different countries to a Toggle SIM card. That means you can get local call rates wherever you go in the EU. And all nine numbers can be reached at the same time, so if you’re in France and someone calls your UK number, you’ll still get the call.
Top tips for travelling outside of Europe
If you need to get online when you’re outside of Europe, make sure you’ve got the Onavo Extend app installed. It compresses data so you actually use less and don’t get charged as much.
If you need to get in touch with someone while you’re away, find a Wi-Fi network that you can connect to and use an app like WhatsApp or Skype to send free messages.
Turn off data roaming in your phone’s settings to avoid the worst bill shock. You won’t be able to use mobile data, but you’ll still be able to send and receive calls and texts.