Mobile roaming charges push up cost of winter holidays says moneysupermarket.com

04 December 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Brits who are heading abroad for a winter holiday this year could be in for a cold front when they get home and receive their mobile phone bill, according to moneysupermarket.com.

But the savvy traveller can keep these costs down, the comparison site said, and avoid getting 'piste off' when they return from a week on the slopes, by comparing mobile phone tariffs before they go and opting for one which offers cheaper alternatives.

There are some mobile phone providers which offer better deals, such as Orange's World Traveller Service, or O2 mobile phones's International Traveller Service which offers calls at 17p per minute from the USA, instead of the standard £1.37 a minute.

Vodafone also offers a competitive deal, charging a connection fee of 64p but then taking the rest of the call out of inclusive minutes for contract customers, or charging the call at a domestic rate for users of pay as you go mobile phones.

New roaming caps are now in place in Europe, which means mobile phone users are getting a better deal when they call from abroad, but it remains considerably more expensive to make international calls than local ones.

"Whether you're flying off to Lapland or hitting the ski slopes, the cost of using your mobile abroad can be significant." said James Parker, manager of mobiles at moneysupermarket.com. "Before going away this winter you should always check with your operator how much calls, texts and data will cost and if there's a cheaper international tariff available while you're away."

For the frequent traveller, Mr Parker recommends they get a global SIM card, which can be a cost effective option, allowing users to roam anywhere in the world with the same SIM, making it the perfect solution for those travelling to more that one country. Or, for people that visit the same country on a regular basis, getting a local SIM card could be the most cost effective way of calling.

"It's not just calls or texts that can be expensive outside the UK, the cost of downloading files or content can be significant." Mr Parker continued. "Just spending a little time finding out what the best option is when using your phone abroad can save you a fair amount of money."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd