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Using mobile phones abroad

One of the most useful items to take with you when travelling

A mobile phone is one of the most useful things to have with you when abroad.

With useful extras such as currency converters, weather and travel text alerts, alarms and picture postcard messaging.

This small selection of tips may help you to get the best out of your mobile phone when taking it abroad with you.

International roaming

This service allows you to use your mobile phone abroad to make and receive calls. It's called international roaming.

Cheap text messaging

When using your mobile phone abroad you'll be using a foreign mobile network. As a result, when receiving incoming calls from your homeland while abroad, you'll be charged the international part of the call and you might have to pay extra to listen to your voicemail. So text messaging can often be the cheapest way to stay in touch.

Check for coverage

Not all mobile phones work in all countries - regardless whether they're set up for roaming or not. Most UK mobile phones use GSM standard and can be used all over Europe and 130 other countries around the world but are not compatible with networks in some other countries such as the USA, Caribbean or Japan. For these countries you'll need a quad-band mobile phone.

European SIM cards

A cost-effective way of using your mobile phone abroad is to use a country-specific SIM card in your mobile phone. European network SIM cards can be bought im many mobile phone stores. Spend more than a couple of weeks a year in a specific country and this is a good way of saving some money.

Credit level check

If you've got a pay as you go phone make sure you have enough credit to cover your stay. To be on the safe side check with your mobile phone network operator about how to use your credit card to top-up abroad before you leave.

Save time with memory master

In order to phone home from abroad you need to add the country dialling code. For the UK this is +44. For a comprehensive list of country dialling codes. Some service providers provide a solution to adding the country dialling code to the numbers stored on your SIM so it's worth asking them.

Portable charger

Mobile phone charging accessories are widely available so you should be able to easily find a charger to suit your mobile phone. You might find available a wind-up charger which will mean you'll not need a power source to recharge your mobile phone.

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