Travelling abroad this summer? Can’t bear to go without Facebook and Snapchat while you’re away? Don’t worry, O2 Travel has got you covered. O2 Guru Nick explains and offers some other top travel tips…
O2 Travel is bigger and better than ever before, now covering anywhere in Europe for £1.99 per day, Turkey for £3.99 per day, and 65 more destinations including the USA and Australia for £4.99 per day. What does that mean for you exactly? It means you can use your phone as if you were at home, with up to 120 minutes of call time, 120 texts, and all the data you need for a flat daily charge. If you don’t use your phone that day (and your data roaming setting is switched off), then you won’t be charged, simple! It gives you the freedom to call home, show off those hot dog legs on Instagram, or Facetime your mates knowing exactly what you’ll be spending – no worrying about the bill when you get home, and leaving you free to relax and enjoy your holiday. You can find the full breakdown here:
What if you don’t plan on using your phone very much I hear you ask? £1.99 or more per day sounds like a lot to send a quick text home to say you landed safe after all. We’ve got you covered here too, as O2 Travel is entirely optional, and can be switched off if you get in touch with us – if you do so you’ll pay the standard rate in the country you visit for each individual text, minute on the phone, and MB of data. This varies by country but in Europe is as little as 1.2p per text, 3.6p per minute on the phone, and 4.3p per MB of data. You can find these rates per country by visiting o2.co.uk/international.
Data Roaming – Lots of customers love using data abroad to stay in touch, but we also have plenty of customers who think a holiday is the perfect time to take a break from Whatsapp and Facebook and would rather keep that turned off, chill out, and not worry about roaming costs. Sound like you? Make sure before you go that your data roaming is switched off. This is a setting on the phone and varies a little by device:
On iPhone head to Settings, Mobile Data, and Mobile Data Options, make sure the switch for Data Roaming is on the off position and greyed out – if it’s green, turn it off.
On Android (Samsung, Sony, HTC etc), go to Settings, and look for Mobile Networks (This often means choosing the ‘More’ option first, but not always) and again toggle the Data Roaming switch to the greyed out ‘Off’ position.
Lastly, on Windows Phone – Head to Settings again and if you are Windows 8 or 8.1 go straight to ‘Mobile + SIM’, if you are using Windows 10 you’ll need to head first to ‘Network and Wireless’, then ‘Mobile + SIM’. Once there make sure the drop-down box is set to ‘Don’t Roam’
Following these steps will mean your phone won’t connect to the internet through the mobile network and you can’t be charged for roaming data – only calls and texts that you happen to make.
What’s great with this is it gives you control – so if the hotel wifi is a bit flaky one day or you’re out and about with no wifi around you can switch your roaming on, use the data you need, and turn it off again when you’re done.
It’s also worth checking your App Store or Play Store settings to make sure it’s only doing auto-updates of apps over wifi, to prevent it doing this over mobile data when roaming. On iPhone head to Settings – iTunes and App Stores, and turn off the ‘Use Mobile Data’ switch. On Android go into the Play Store, then settings, and set ‘Auto-update apps’ to either Do not auto-update or over wifi only.
If you need any further help, visit o2.co.uk/guru for online support, or to book an appointment with a Guru in-store.
How about some Guru Pro-Tips?
Photos – What’s better than capturing the moment while away? A picture’s worth a thousand words after all, and great for those slideshows when you get home! Most smartphones now come with brilliant cameras, as good as pretty much any point-and-shoot you can buy, but how do you get the perfect shot?
If you’re looking for beautiful scenery shots don’t forget the rule of thirds – this means one third of the picture should be taken up by either the ground or the sky, with the other part making up the final third. Most cameras have an option to switch on gridlines in their settings which takes the guesswork out if this and lets you line it up perfectly.
For brilliant selfies make sure the lighting is right, if there’s no light around you won’t come out clearly – if that’s not possible some phones are starting to come with a proper flash on the front camera, such as the Xperia XA Ultra which features a 16MP, stabilised camera with a flash – just for those unforgettable selfies.
It’s a good idea to back up your photos to iCloud or Google Photos over the hotel’s wifi, just in case (heaven forbid) your phone takes a dip in the pool. That is, of course, unless your phone is, for example, a Galaxy S7 or an Xperia Z5 – that waterproofing could be a lifesaver! If it’s not waterproof, remember that O2 Insure covers you worldwide in case of accidents.
Free Calls Home – Sound good? If you are on Pay Monthly or Business, you can download TU Go before you, erm, go. This nifty app links to your O2 account and allows you to call and text home via wifi – so long as you’re in a hotel or a bar with a wifi connection, place your call or send that text via the app and it avoids roaming charges.
Apps like Whatsapp and Skype support similar functions over wifi, provided the person you are getting in touch with also has that app on their phone. TU Go is a little different as you call their normal number – including landlines, so they don’t need the app to pick up your call.
Most importantly, have an amazing holiday!