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Roaming abroad. How to save money on a trip


Many people face a problem when the Internet is spent on trips at such a speed that you do not have time to replenish your balance. We tell you how to travel with minimal Internet consumption and budget.

In Russia, the Internet is quite cheap and very fast. We are so used to it in big cities that we don't even see the need to connect to WiFi in cafes or other public places. But everything changes when we arrive in any other country.

What is "roaming"?

Advertising of a mobile operator upon arrival in Qatar

Before we leave the airport, we often receive SMS messages saying that the balance has gone into negative territory. How is it? It's all about roaming. Our mobile operators have contracts with operators in many countries, according to which traffic is first transmitted through them and then redirected to Russia. All this infrastructure costs a lot of money. In addition, this is an additional income item for local operators of the host country. How can you not make money on tourists?

What should I do? Common solutions.

To study the special conditions of your mobile operator.

Before traveling, you need to check the availability of special conditions and packages on your mobile operator's website. They change often, but when you connect them, you may have a completely different pricing, and ready-made packages of several gigabytes can be an even more profitable solution than buying a local SIM card.

Purchase a local SIM card at the airport

Mobile operator's desk at Bahrain Airport

As practice shows, this is the most popular solution. Almost every airport has round-the-clock counters where you will be sold a local SIM card with a travel package. But there is one point - the airport is far from the most favorable fares. If you purchase a SIM card already in the city, you can get a much larger Internet package or an extended validity period for the same money.

By the way, if you decide that you will purchase a SIM card upon arrival, turn off roaming in your phone in advance.

If you have an iPhone: go to Settings - Cellular connection - select your SIM card and turn the Data Roaming switch to the off position inside.

If you have an Android phone: Settings - Wifi and Network - Select your SIM card and turn the Roaming switch off inside the section.

Upon landing, you will not consume traffic, and you will be able to read messages after activating a new SIM card or connecting to Wi-Fi at the airport (in most cases, it is provided for half an hour for free).

Purchase a local SIM card in advance

With the advent of eSIM, it became possible to connect a virtual SIM card, which connects immediately after purchase using a QR code. Even before the trip, you can go to the Airalo, Drimsim or similar website and order a virtual SIM card.

Important! Find out in advance about the connectivity on your phone. For example, in the iPhone, this feature appeared only from version 12, while the ability to connect multiple virtual SIM cards became possible only from version 13 of the device.

If your phone does not support eSIM, you can order a regular plastic SIM card with home delivery (for example, from DrimSim).

The tariffs of such cards may be less profitable than buying directly in the host country, but you save time on registration and activation.

Once in Turkey, I tried to purchase a SIM card. After the purchase, the manager said that everything would work in 15 minutes. There was no time to wait, and we drove on. But the SIM card did not work after 15 minutes, an hour, or 6 hours. It was only when I got to another city that I managed to find a communication salon, where, after looking at the receipts, they said that they had sold a phone case. Well, I had photos of the place of purchase, contacting him, they still connected the Internet to me.

Another problem lies in the policy of protecting some countries from "grey imports". For example, if you purchased a SIM card in Turkey, then your phone will be able to work for no more than 90 days from the moment of activation without providing a residence permit, while the phone itself will not be able to activate throughout the country after 120 days without paying tax. That is, if you used your phone during the winter holidays, then you will not be able to physically connect any new local SIM card in Turkey during your summer vacation.

How to travel with roaming

Filming the moment the plane landed

And now to the most important part. Yes, it is possible to travel only with roaming. I'm telling you how. Save and share with your friends.

The Internet in my recent trip, which lasted about a month, cost me about a thousand rubles. Before the trip, I purchased an online eSIM card for $ 12 with 5GB of traffic and a validity period of 30 days. The links were above.

My friend Alik, who traveled with me, used only roaming from Megafon with the "Roaming without worries" package for 3,200 rubles for 30 days with 7 GB of Internet.

In fact, I spent 3.5 gigabytes during the entire trip, and Alik even less, since his messengers were not charged at all.

Step 1: Disable Updates

On the iPhone: Settings - Basic - Software Update - uncheck the Download iOS updates and Install iOS updates switches. If necessary, you can update manually with wifi connected.

On Android phones: Setup - System - System update and check the Automatic download via Wi-Fi box in the settings

Step 2: Turn on the "Data Saving" mode (Low Data Mode)

This mode will automatically disable iCloud syncing and any app updates without a Wi-Fi connection.

On the iPhone: Settings - Cellular connection - Select your SIM card - activate the switch "Data saving"

On android: Settings - Wi-Fi and network - SIM card and network - Data saving mechanism - Activate the switch

Step 3: Disable background data updates

Each application in your phone is synchronized against the background with a certain frequency. Let the background update be activated only when Wi-FI is connected

On the iPhone: Settings - Basic - Content update - Specify Wi-Fi content update or disable it altogether (Off)

On android: Here, to disable synchronization, you need to log into each application, but we do not see the need for this, since there is a more global setting in step 4.

Step 4. Disable access to cellular data for applications

All applications where the check mark is unchecked will not work on the cellular network. At the same time, you can activate the messenger or other necessary programs to stay connected.

On the iPhone: Settings - Cellular connection - rewind a little lower to Cellular data for the number and uncheck all applications.

In android: Settings - Applications and notifications - Data usage control. In the block with the list of applications, select prohibit for all, and then select the ones below that will need to sync over Wi-Fi.

Applications that you will need all the time (for example, Telegram or Whatsapp) can be left marked with allow.

Step 5: Saving traffic in messengers

By default, all information in messengers is downloaded automatically. I don't think you want your phone to download thousands of photos and videos from different telegram channels while walking along the beautiful embankment. To do this, go to the settings of the programs that you left with access to background synchronization and disable automatic downloading of media files in cellular data mode.

Congratulations, now your traffic will be consumed minimally, while you will be able to control it. If you need to set a route, enable network access for Google maps while you are setting a route. If you plan to study the information about the attraction in detail, go to the nearest cafe and connect to Wi-Fi.

Join Gidza! 😍 Here we share our experience ✌️


April 11, 2024 12:24 pm



Write a comment
Alex Trebuchet
November 13, 2023 09:04 pm
Cool life hack. Apparently, the messenger does not spend almost any Internet at all, right?
November 13, 2023 09:06 pm
Absolutely. Well, it will take a couple of megabytes a day. But it's nothing.\nAnd one more thing, turn on access to cellular data for the camera so that geolocation is accurately set for photos.