Great news pirates! As of June 15th, new regulations from the EU (love those guys) come into force, essentially abolishing roaming charges within the 28 member states of the European Union.
Wherever you are in the EU, your phone will act as if you're back home - any calls/data/texts will be taken out of your monthly package. If you use anything outside of that, you'll be charged the same rate as you would in your home country.
Before you start Tindering in Tallinn or sending Snapchats from Stockholm, we've summarised the main points of the deal here:
- The deal covers the 28 member states of the EU, as well as Iceland, Norway & Liechtenstein. They'll even let us Brits play along until we Brexit (after that, all bets are off).
- Certain mobile operators may include other countries (Three have a great deal on roaming, which also includes Australia, the USA and Brazil). For full details, contact your operator before you travel!
- The slogan is "Roam Like at Home" get the same deal whilst on holiday as you do back home. No bill shocks!
- Each time you cross an internal EU border, you should get an SMS from your mobile operator. It will inform you that you're roaming, and remind you of their fair use policy (see below).
What's the catch?
- To prevent you pirates really taking the mick when it comes to data, each mobile operator will have a fair use policy in place whilst you roam.
- No matter how much data you get per month back home, the fair use policy may mean you're allowed less whilst travelling. Each operator has a different policy, so please check with yours. The main UK networks start capping after a whopping 10GB or 15GB, so unless you're streaming an entire boxset of Downton Abbey, you should be fine.
- There are time limits on roaming - you can't just stay abroad forever! Each operator will allow you to use free roaming for a limited number of days in a certain period (e.g. no more than 30 days in a row, a maximum of 60 days in any 4 month period etc). Again, check the specifics with your operator
- 'Local' calls whilst travelling can be expensive! Remember, you'll still have a UK number, so calls you make will be classed as coming from your home country. If a call to Spain is super expensive whilst you're back in the UK, it will also be super expensive when you're in Spain. Make sense?
- Cruises will most likely not be covered. Pirates on the open seas have to use the ship's satelllite link, and there are no caps on what the operator can charge for this privilege. Look out!
Top Apps for using all that Data
If you'd rather keep your eyes glued to your phone whilst on holiday in a new, exotic destination, there's no problem anymore! We've added a quick roundup of some of our favourite travel apps below. How will you be using all this new data over the summer?
Now you can plot your next holiday direct from your sun lounger! Browse our latest bargains, and book flights, hotels and packages right from the app. Use our 'Travel Alerts' to get your perfect deals delivered to you as soon as they're published.
We can't have you pirates getting lost whilst you're away. Citymapper is our preferred app for helping us smoothly navigate 40+ urban metropolises all over the world.
You regular readers of HolidayPirates are bound to have a whole host of bookings for flights, boutique hotels and cool events coming up in the near future. TripIt acts like your pocket travel agent/PA/organiser, pulling together the essential information from your various confirmations and converting it into a single itinerary. Just forward your emails to the app, and Bob's yer uncle.
Download it here.
4. Google Translate
Even cunning linguists need a helping hand from time to time. Google Translate can prevent you from committing a language faux pas whilst abroad with its super fast translations for an insane number of languages. You can download languages to use offline. Even better, you can hold up your camera to small amounts of text and it'll be instantly translated. Wow!
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