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How to Avoid Expensive Roaming Charges When Traveling Abroad

Jan 30,2024 | wilming

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Traveling abroad can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it's important to be mindful of potential roaming charges that can quickly add up and strain your budget. In this article, we will explore what data roaming is, understand roaming charges, and the reasons behind their expensiveness, and provide you with valuable tips on how to avoid roaming charges effectively.

Data Roaming?

Data Roaming refers to the ability of a mobile device to access a cellular network and use data services while outside of its home network coverage area. It allows travelers to stay connected to the internet, send and receive text messages, make calls, and use other cellular data services when they are in a different country or region that is not covered by their home network.

What Roaming Charges Refer To?

Roaming charges are extra fees imposed by your home network or service provider when you use your mobile device on another network during international travel. These charges are applied for using mobile data, making calls, and sending messages while abroad. Roaming charges can be significant and can quickly accumulate, leading to unexpectedly high bills.

Photo man hand holding a smartphone.communicate with mobile phones and modern social networks around the world.element of this image furnished by nasa

Photo man hand holding a smartphone

Why Are Data Roaming Charges so High?

Several factors contribute to the high cost of roaming charges:

  • Wholesale Costs

Your home network must pay an overseas network to provide you with mobile services while traveling. These wholesale costs are often passed on to the customer in the form of expensive roaming charges.

  • Infrastructure and Operational Costs

Maintaining a global network infrastructure and partnerships with various networks worldwide involves significant expenses for telecommunication providers. These costs are reflected in the high roaming charges.

  • Profit Margin

Roaming charges also include a profit margin for your home network or service provider. They aim to generate revenue from international travelers who require mobile connectivity while abroad.

Ways to Avoid Roaming Charges

Photo woman using mobile phone check money via mobile phone and internet network

Photo woman using mobile phone check money via mobile phone and internet network

Now, let's explore several effective ways to avoid roaming charges and stay connected without breaking the bank:

  • Buy a Local SIM Card

One of the most common and cost-effective methods is to purchase a local prepaid SIM card in the country you are visiting. Simply swap out your existing SIM card with the local one, providing you with a local number and access to affordable local data and call rates.

  • Connect to Wi-Fi

Take advantage of Wi-Fi networks available in hotels, cafes, and public spaces. Connect to secure Wi-Fi networks to make calls using VoIP services like WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime. Use messaging apps, such as WhatsApp or iMessage, for free text messaging.

  • Toggle off Data Roaming for Your SIM &Wi-Fi Calling

Toggle off Data Roaming on your device to disable mobile data and cellular connections while still allowing Wi-Fi connections to make sure your home SIM card does not charge for data running Enable Wi-Fi Calling(such as iMessage and WhatsApp) if your device and carrier support it, allowing you to make calls or send texts over a Wi-Fi network.


  • Use Offline Maps and Download Content

Before your trip, download maps, translation apps, and entertainment content (books, music, movies) in advance that you can access offline. This will reduce the need for data usage while you're on the go.

  • Consider International Roaming Plans

Contact your home network or service provider to inquire about international roaming plans. Some providers offer specific plans with discounted rates for data, calls, and messages while traveling. Evaluate the cost and validity to see if it suits your needs.

  • Utilize Travel SIM Cards or eSIM Data Plans

Explore the option of using travel SIM cards or eSIM data plans, which are prepaid SIM cards specifically designed for travelers. These cards often offer competitive rates for data usage and calls in multiple countries without the need for physical SIM card swapping.

Get One ESIM Now!


ByteSIM is a reputable eSIM data plan provider with 5M+ subscribers in 200+ countries /areas per year, and the user number is ever-increasing day by day. You're all set to get started if your device is carrier-unlocked and eSIM-compatible .

  • Customize your eSIM(destination, data amount, umlimited data plan option, validity time, quantity). You can choose from local, regional, and global eSIMs according to your needs.

  • Toggle on your eSIM line when you arrive at your destination and it will be activated and instantly connect to a local network.


While staying connected while traveling is vital, being mindful of roaming charges is equally important. By understanding data roaming, the reasons behind expensive roaming charges, and utilizing the tips mentioned above, you can avoid excessive charges and make the most of your mobile experience while abroad. Keep in mind that it's crucial to plan, research the best options available, and choose the approach that aligns with your budget and communication needs. Safe travels!

For your next trip, head to the ByteSIM store and find one preferred eSIM package!