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5 Tips for Using the Apple iPhone in Europe

March 12th, 2011 · 3 Brilliant Opinions · Travel Tips

The owner of the flat we are renting in London recently emailed me to get my cell phone number.  That prompted me to start thinking about what I needed to do to avoid high roaming charges and fees while we are in Europe.  I spent over 30 minutes on the phone with the folks from AT&T.  This is what I learned.

  1. Purchase AT&T World Traveler ($5.99/month) – this will allow any calls I make while in London or Paris to be charged at a rate of $0.99/minute instead of $1.39/minute.
  2. I don’t text that often, but the Global Messaging 50 Package will allow me to send up to 50 messages (including photos, video  or picture)  while I’m outside the US.
  3. You need a data package if you plan to check email or browse the web. (They are priced from $24.99 for 20MB up to $199.99 for 200MB)  I opted for the lower end data package as AT&T assured me that I could call in upon my return to the US and adjust this upwards if necessary.
  4. I was also advised to turn the data roaming option off when traveling to avoid high fees.  Luckily our flat has wifi so this should allow me to check my email, browse the web and chat on Twitter without running up additional charges.
  5. The AT&T representative also advised to call before your trip (24 hours is fine).  Many people call on their way to the airport which makes for a very confusing and tense dialogue.  Also, call them upon your return so they can prorate any fees and adjust your bill accordingly.

If you need any additional information about traveling internationally with the Apple iphone, you can check with your carrier or visit the AT&T website.  If you don’t have an iphone (now why is that?!), contact your cell phone carrier and be sure to ask about plans that reduce international roaming charges, that covers text messaging and allows for a data plan for web/email.



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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Ann

    Update: I just got my phone bill post – London/Paris. After doing all of the above, my bill came in just shy of $300. I called AT&T immediately. They explained to me that any calls to my hubby (usually free in the US) where being charged at 0.99 per minute. I’ve been a great customer for over 3 years and let them know that. They adjusted the bill down to $60. If you have any issues with your cell bill post-travel, call your carrier. It was definitely worth it in my case.

  • phone

    where was your husband? and where were you calling him from?

  • Ann

    We were both in London. Often, I would be shopping not more than a few yards away, lose sight of him and call to locate him. Guess I should not have used my phone like a walkie-talkie.

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