Travel Tips

Quick Tip: How to Turn Off Data Roaming On Your Phone

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Won’t it cost alot to use my smart phone internationally? Doesn’t even turning it on incur large charges?

These types of questions are among the most frequent I get from family and friends who are taking their first international trip in awhile. Folks who don’t want the cost of a Global Data plan or having to mess with getting a local sim card or phone.

You can, in fact, use your current cell phone internationally, including most of your apps — the key is to turn off data roaming.

There’s no cost to having your phone ring, only if you take the call or make a call. For text messages it’s usually $.05 to receive a text message and $.25 to send, but check your plan to make sure. For me this is great option, as I want to be reachable in an emergency. If you turn your phone on airplane node you will not be able to receive calls or text.

You can use wifi, (widely available now in cafes, stores, hotels, etc) to connect most of your apps, check your emails, and make cheap or free phone calls via services like Facetime, Skype, and Viber.

Turning Off Data Roaming on Droid

I have a Samsung Galaxy S4, so for the Droid instructions, the screenshots are from that and may vary slightly from your own screen.

1. Pull up Settings

How to turn off data roaming droid settings

2. Go to Mobile Networks, you may need to click on More Networks first.
How to turn off data roaming droid settings page

How to turn off data roaming droid mobile  networks

3. Click on Global Data Roaming Access (you are not committing to anything at this point)

How to turn off data roaming droid mobile settings4. Make sure you’ve denied global roaming or turned it off

How to turn off data roaming droid global data roaming options

Turning Off Data Roaming on iPhones

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select General
  3. Select Network
  4. Toggle the Data Roaming button to off

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