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How to Save Data When Travelling Abroad

If you’ve ever travelled out of country, you’ve probably come home to the unpleasant surprise of an abnormally large phone bill. But fear not, there are a couple of options to stay connected without paying the price later: 1) turn off your cellular data, rely on free Wi-Fi, and use an internet-based calling app instead of your phone; or, 2) purchase a roaming package from your mobile provider ahead of time.


Relying on free Wi-Fi is often the cheapest option. Make sure to turn off your cellular data and roaming so that you don’t incur any unexpected charges. Typically, you will find free Wi-Fi wherever you’re staying, allowing you to not only text but make free calls through a variety of apps. You can still take photos and video, just wait until you’re connected to Wi-Fi to share them with friends and family back home.



Use secured Wi-Fi—one that requires a password to access—so you’re not unknowingly sharing private information. If you are accessing an open connection, you should limit your activity or use a virtual private network (VPN) to help protect your information. You can download a VPN app for your phone which institutes a password, achieving the same effect as secured Wi-Fi.



If you want more flexibility, your service provider will typically offer a roaming package of some sort— another excellent option. There may be limits to the amount of data you can use so choose something that will be feasible for the duration of your trip. You can also limit your data use by shutting down unnecessary apps, setting your email to manual refresh, not streaming video or audio and avoiding data-heavy navigation apps.



With a little planning you can stay connected while out of country and avoid a massive phone bill. And, while you’re at it, why not try to enjoy some time away from your phone too?



The above content is provided for your reference and interest only. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as, the advice of an experienced professional. Loblaws Inc. or its affiliates do not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.