Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Avoid 'Roaming' Charges When Traveling Outside the U.S.

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TWC News: Avoid 'Roaming' Charges When Traveling Outside the U.S.
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Staying connected is easier than ever, but when it comes to traveling outside your coverage area there can be some costly restrictions. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

Everybody’s doing it: Staying connected on the road.

"T-Mobile in the states actually now does free international roaming, I can use my cellphone just like I’m at home," says Ryan McGredy, a travel agent.

But with as many carriers as options, roam can be a four letter word. Simply speaking, find ways to avoid it.

"The easiest way to do this is use Skype and other data apps, WhatsApp, Viber and try to find a WiFi connection so you're not using any roaming rates in any of the countries that you are ever in," suggests Guy Gettens of Tru Phone.

Tru Phone is a mobile global network with carrier agreements in eight countries that is growing in popularity with business travelers.

"If you have 500 minutes with Tru Phone you can use them in any of those eight countries free of charge with no penalty. We also have the added benefit of being able to put multiple numbers on a single SIM," says Gettens.

For the average traveler though, who takes an international trip here and there, you have to shop carefully and understand just how far your megabytes can go. For instance, 500 megabytes is an average spent on a quick trip.

"You could do that using Google maps for 45 minutes. You could do that downloading a large file on your email. So it depends on what you're doing," says Gettens.

On a recent trip to Mexico I didn’t have to worry about finding a hotspot, because I carried one with me. For a base rate of $14.95 a day, Xcom Global allows up to five devices to connect at one time, within a 30 foot range.

I found it pretty reliable, however when it came to FTPing a 110 megabyte video report to New York from a remote Mexican Hacienda, the hotel WiFi worked best.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party.
 
 
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