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Tips to Optimize Mobile Data Usage while Travelling Abroad


Travelling abroad brings with it several data dependencies for mobile subscribers. They want to stay in touch with family and keep their social media feeds updated on-the-go, be it on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or WhatsApp. Anything you use over the internet involves data consumption. Maps, hotels, travel itineraries, language translating apps and a dozen others need a strong internet connection. It is here that your service providers help your situation as they know your data dependencies.


However, on many accounts, subscribers returning from trips abroad have faced heavy data roaming charges. Here’s a set of tips you can follow to make maximum savings on your data usage and travel smoothly.


1. Free Public Wi-Fi


US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and many European countries allow tourists to avail free Wi-Fi, without the need for a username or password. All they need is to register on apps that allow them to gain free high-speed Wi-Fi with zero charges.


2. Use offline apps


You’ll be surprised to know that many apps that you need while travelling are available and run offline. Language translation, maps, hotel bookings, contact finding, and a dozen such tasks can be easily carried out using apps, even while you’re offline. These apps work partially or fully even in the absence of an internet connection and automatically pitch you updated information once you turn your Wi-Fi on.


3. Download browsers that compress data


Google Chrome and Opera Mini use compressed data and help users save maximum data. Both Android and iOS support these browser apps.


Opera mini uses servers that can compress data before it is sent to your device, thus reducing data consumption by a good 90%. It has a built-in ad blocker that increases data transfer speeds.


Google Chrome, on the other hand, uses compressed text and images on its servers before sending them to your phone. It has a data saver feature that reduces data consumption by up to 50% besides reducing data roaming charges.


Both the above browsers come equipped with dashboards that help users to keep track of data usage and data savings.


4. Restrict Data Hogs


Constant app updates and backups including push notifications keep eating up most of your phone data. To stop this, what you can do is: disable auto updates or set apps to run only when your Wi-Fi is on.


5. Share your data less


Too many data sharers on your phone data can only increase your data roaming charges. So, it is always better to restrict the number of people using your data connection via hotspot.


6. Add usage limits per day/month


Setting usage limits on your phone data helps keep a tab on your data usage. You can set daily/monthly data usage limits on your mobile data, saving you from data over-usage.


7. Avoid streaming videos and music


Make use of data wisely. Avoid streaming live videos or watching them online. It’s better to save videos to watch offline when your Wi-Fi is on. It makes sense to save data for use while in need.


8. Switch off Data Roaming


Turn off your data roaming when not in use. Switch to aeroplane mode if you don’t want to use any of the mobile calling/data services at all. Turn off phone data if you want to only make calls or send texts. And turn on your data roaming only if you want to use the internet. Make sure that you don’t forget to turn off your data roaming once you’re done using the internet.


9. Make sure your GPS is off


While travelling abroad, don’t forget to turn off your GPS when not in use. If kept on, most of the apps will begin to access location information from it. And, that consumes a major chunk of your phone data that may lead to high data roaming charges when your back home.


Word of Advice: You must plan your data usage needs before travelling. Doing so could save you from heavy international data roaming charges. And, last but not the least, make sure that a few emergency apps like cab booking and contact finding apps are pre-installed on your phone before you head for an international journey.

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