Tech Tips: International Spring Break

March 22, 2013

Going to Mexico or out of country for Spring Break? Follow these tips to keep in touch while abroad and keep your bill in check.
• Check Phone Service
o Determine your service availability and whether your phone is compatible and will work.
o Get the right packages. Different rates apply for calling, texting, and data usage. Get a package for each just to be safe. The data package you choose will depend on what you plan on doing while abroad. It’s important to remember that email and many apps use data in the background even if you are not surfing the web.
o Check out your carrier’s website for international roaming information. Make sure you have your questions answered. Information on how to retrieve voicemail, data rates, and country codes can all be located online.
• Reduce your time on international networks
o Use wifi whenever possible. This allows you to use a local internet connection instead of a cellular connection.
o Ensure your data is turned off. International data roaming is typically preset to off. Double check to make sure you aren’t connecting to networks unwittingly.
o Change your email settings to receive email manually instead of automatically. Then check email once you are on a wifi network.
o Track your usage. Many phones now will keep track of the data you use. Ensure you don’t go over your international package. If you believe you are going to go over your package, call customer service and change your package.
o Download the AT&T Call International Application. Use the app on wifi to make calls when traveling internationally. Call as much as you want with no monthly recurring charges or hidden call fees.
• Be prepared
o Know the international number for customer service. Your customer service number may be different when you are abroad. AT&T’s is +1-916-843-4685
o Know the laws. Talking on the phone while driving is prohibited in some countries.
o Know who to call. 911 is unique to the U.S. In many European countries, the emergency number is 112.
o Know how to charge your device. To charge your phone abroad, you will need a universal phone charger and plug adapters for the countries you are visiting.

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