Summertime is also travel time for many people. Thanks to the roaming regulations in the EU, surfing with your smartphone costs just as much in many countries as it does at home. But of course that doesn't apply in all countries. Where should you be careful when it comes to mobile communications abroad?

The EU roaming regulations have been in force since 2017. But you can use your smartphone abroad like you would at home, and not only in EU countries.

You can also benefit from EU roaming when traveling to Great Britain, Norway, Iceland and overseas territories such as La Réunion or Martinique. However, this does not apply in all European countries and mobile phone charges can quickly become expensive when traveling abroad.

Where should you be careful when using mobile phones abroad?

Not all areas in Europe are subject to the EU roaming regulation. Before traveling to the following areas, you should definitely check the terms of your mobile phone contract:

  • Andorra
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Kanal­inseln
  • San Marino
  • Vatikan­stadt

Many providers also include these travel destinations in the EU country list and thus offer favorable conditions for surfing abroad. However, you should check your contract in advance to avoid unnecessary costs.

Roaming outside the EU

Outside the EU, roaming can quickly become very expensive. It is advisable to deactivate roaming on your smartphone before you leave.

Otherwise, your cell phone bill can be very expensive. For example, with Vodafone, a minute of phone calls in Cuba or the Maldives costs 3.99 euros. Mobile data costs even more. For example, you'll have to pay 16.99 euros per megabyte – and that really doesn't get you very far on the internet these days.

It can therefore be a good idea to set up a cost airbag before you travel. Your mobile phone provider will then inform you when you have reached 80 percent of the preset cost limit.

Mobile communications: These are the alternatives to roaming abroad

If you are planning a longer trip or want to travel spontaneously, mobile data can be very useful when travelling. In this case, it can be a good idea to get a local SIM card or an e-SIM. This way you can protect yourself from unnecessary costs and also be flexible on your trip.

However, if you prefer to stay with your mobile phone provider, you can also buy travel packages for non-EU countries here. Vodafone, for example, offers daily or weekly packages.

If you book weekly, you can use 50 free minutes and 50 SMS every day. You have four GB of data available for the whole week for the price of 34.99 euros. After that, the speed is throttled. Telekom, for example, offers two GB for a week for 15.95 euros.

However, the prices and offers of mobile phone providers vary greatly. Individual providers often have different offers for different countries. It is therefore worth checking your options before you leave so that you can avoid unnecessary costs.

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