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Recommendations and Tips for Reducing Charges When Travelling Overseas
When travelling overseas, some pre-planning is required to avoid plan overages and excessive out of pocket expenses. To help reduce voice and data wireless charges when you are abroad, there are zero ($0) and low cost mobile apps accessible from your mobile devices that you can use. We strongly recommend contacting your wireless carrier (or your ITG Support Representative for those with CBS-owned plans) to activate your international coverage while you are away, and/or disabling data roaming on your smartphone.
Most carriers offer a wide variety of international calling plans, with options from a flat monthly cost to options where you only pay for the specific days you need it. For example as of Spring 2017 both Verizon and AT&T have offerings as low as $10/day depending on where you are travelling, which is a low cost way to avoid hundreds or thousands of dollars in data and cellular overages.
- Verizon: International Travel Plans (check out their TravelPassSM)
- AT&T: Options for International Travel (check out their International Day Pass)
- Sprint: Travelling Internationally
- T-Mobile: Travel Without Limits
Always call your carrier before you travel for the most up-to-date plans and pricing options.
Common Apps to Avoid Excessive Wireless Voice and Data Charges
WhatsApp Messenger / Calling is a FREE messaging app available for iPhone and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your phone's internet connection to let you message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, and voice calls.
Viber is a messenger that is as fast & easy as texting – only for FREE. Viber messenger uses your phone’s internet connection (whether Wi-Fi or your data plan) to let you send text messages, share photos & videos, add stickers, or make voice and video calls - all for FREE.
Skype keeps the world talking… with an instant message, voice or video call – all for free, no matter what device they use Skype on. • Video calls – Skype is the only communications app that lets you make group video calls on mobile devices. • Chat – Reach people instantly. Send messages to your friends or create a group chat.• Share –Easily share photos, videos, documents, and files. Unlike email, Skype will transfer up to 300MB per file. • Voice calls –Make voice calls to anyone on Skype. You can also call mobile and landlines at low rates.
Make and send FREE local and international phone calls and multimedia messages via HiTalk. Enjoy live walkie-talkie, photo, and location sharing.
Tango is the messaging app with the best video calling. All messages and calls are free.
Send free SMS messages to US phones and make international calls at very low rates. Get transcribed voicemail—save time by reading instead of listening. Google Voice is currently only available in the U.S. When using Google Voice, both domestic and international calls are placed through a US-based Google Voice access number, and will use the standard minutes from your cell phone plan.
Most telecom providers also permit customers to make and receive free telephone calls over WiFi on their mobile device or phone when traveling. Below are a few of the more common provider apps:
Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are now one company, and now known as Spectrum. Phone 2 Go transforms your Home Phone experience by allowing you to make and receive calls, video calls, and text messages at no extra cost. Phone 2 Go allows you to make calls from anywhere in the world just as though you were in the comfort and economy of your own home. With Phone 2 Go, you can take your Home Phone service with you anywhere.
Get free text and group messaging, free calls, and free video chat with other Vonage Mobile users worldwide. You can also make low-cost international calls to all mobile numbers and landlines.
The XFINITY Connect app allows existing customers who have activated Voice2go to make video calls to friends and family who have also activated Voice2go. Learn everything you need to know about making video calls.
Additional AT&T & Verizon Wireless tips to avoid high usage charges: