How to Use Your iPhone While Traveling Abroad

Planning a trip abroad is exciting but it can also be stressful. You have to book your flights and your hotel, not to mention deciding what items you need to take away with you. One of the things you’ll also likely be thinking about is how you can use your iPhone whilst you’re abroad.

Using your phone abroad usually costs a lot of money because of data roaming charges your network will charge. However, there are a number of ways that you can use your iPhone abroad that won’t break the bank and we’ll go over them in this post for you. Some of these ways to use your iPhone abroad you might not even know about.

First things first…

Turn off Data Roaming!


The first thing you’re going to want to do is to turn off data roaming. If you use your cellular network to access the internet whilst you are abroad, you’re going to rack up a hefty bill at the end of the month. Data roaming charges just aren’t kind and they can come as a surprise if you’re not wise to them.

When you are abroad, only use your Wi-fi if you need to use the internet. Hopefully, your hotel or B&B will have its own private Wi-fi for you to connect to so you can save some money.

Here’s how to turn off Data Roaming;

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap on Cellular.
  • Tap on Cellular Data Options.
  • Tap on the toggle next to Data Roaming to turn it off.



Make Calls Online

If you’ve turned off your data and you’re now using the local Wi-fi you can make calls over the internet with certain apps. You can use apps like Facetime and WhatsApp to make in-app calls. This is very helpful when you’re near Wi-fi.

Here’s a list of handy online apps that you’ll be able to make calls from;

  • Facebook
  • Whatsapp
  • Skype
  • iMessage
  • Bip
  • Google Duo
  • Zoom

However, this isn’t going to be the best option if you have relatives that don’t have these social media apps. It’s also not useful if you’re in the middle of nowhere and need to make a call. The next best thing would be to speak to your carrier to see if they have any overseas data plans.



Speak To Your Carrier

You can speak to your carrier about using your iPhone abroad and some carriers will be able to set you up with some of their overseas data packages. Most carriers will have data plans that you can use when you’re overseas, or, they will allow you to use overseas data as you go so you can keep an eye on how much you use and spend.

This option is going to be much cheaper than having your data roaming engaged whilst you are abroad although it’s still going to cost you more each day than if you were in the United States.

Here are some popular carrier deals we found for overseas usage;

  • AT & T $10 a Day Pass
  • Verizon Pay as you go coverage starts at $2.99

If you don’t plan on using your phone their phone a lot then talking to your carrier might not be the best option for you.

Instead, this third option could be your best bet.



Unlock your iPhone

Your only other option to use your iPhone abroad is to get your iPhone unlocked. We’ve talked about all the benefits of unlocking your iPhone before but another benefit of unlocking your iPhone is so you can use a different (foreign) sim card in your American iPhone.

If you unlock your iPhone then you’re essentially removing your carrier’s restrictions and you’ll be able to then use your phone as if it wasn’t connected to your carrier. There’s a number of different ways that you can unlock your iPhone and one obvious way is to speak to your carrier about unlocking your phone.

The process of unlocking your iPhone is quite an easy one. All you have to do is ring up your carrier and ask them to unlock yours from their service. The only problem is, this can take a number of days if not weeks and you might even find they reject your request.

So, what’s the next best option for unlocking your iPhone so you can use it abroad? The next best (and probably the fastest) is to use a third-party service like this one. All you need to do is enter your carrier details and the pop in your IMEI number. Once you’ve done this, you can then begin the process of unlocking your iPhone. Usually, you’ll get your iPhone unlocked in a matter of minutes.

Once you have unlocked your iPhone you can go and buy a local sim card which will give you access to local cellular networks. Your best option is to purchase a prepaid sim card so you know how much you are using. When you get back home to the states, all you need to do is swap out the foreign sim card an put your American on back in.

Sriyansa Mohanty
Sriyansa Mohanty
Student and a Blogger from India.

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