roaming making phone calls traveling tips

Roaming: 10 Tips for Making Phone Calls While Traveling

Making phone calls while traveling can quickly burn a hole in your wallet. Read these roaming tips to save money when traveling outside of Switzerland.

Here you can find the 10 most important roaming tips for making calls while traveling. You can find key data roaming tips for using Internet while traveling here.

Tip 1: Do not take it easy

It may be convenient to simply continue making phone calls after leaving the country without making special arrangements ahead of traveling. But Swiss mobile operators use expensive standard rates for automatic roaming, which means you pay a lot for the convenience. If, on the other hand, your mobile subscription already includes a certain amount of roaming call time which is unused, you may not need to make any special arrangements prior to traveling.

Tip 2: Add a roaming option or buy a roaming package

Many mobile operators offer roaming options and roaming packages.

Roaming options generally have a basic fee of 10 Swiss francs or less. In exchange for that basic fee, you get much lower rates for calls made using roaming. If you plan to make phone calls while traveling, activating a roaming option is a good idea. Depending on which mobile service provider you use, a roaming option can save you money if you make as little as two minutes of phone calls.

Roaming packages give you a predetermined number of call minutes for phone calls made from outside of Switzerland. However, many mobile operators limit the use of roaming packages to calls made from countries in Europe and in some cases specific additional countries. Some operators offer roaming bundles which include phone call and data roaming.

The roaming comparison on moneyland.ch makes finding the right roaming option or package easy.

Tip 3: Check expiry dates

Both roaming options and roaming packages are only valid for limited periods of time. Typical terms are 7 days, 30 days or 1 calendar month. Check the expiry dates of options and packages before buying them. The expiry model used by Salt is particularly unfavorable: Roaming options are valid until the ninth day of each month. If, for example, you purchased a roaming option on June 8, you would only benefit from it for 2 days.

Tip 4: Terminate roaming options after trips

Do not forget to have your mobile service operator deactivate roaming options after you return from your trips abroad. If you do not, the option will roll over to the next term automatically, and you will continue to be billed for each term even though you are not using the roaming option.

Tip 5: Turn off your answering service

Leaving your phone answering service activated while traveling can get expensive. You may end up paying three times for each call received by your answering service: Firstly, you may pay for the call to be redirected from Switzerland to the country in which you are traveling; secondly, you may pay for the call to be redirected from the country which you are traveling in to your answering service back in Switzerland; thirdly, you may pay to call your answering service in Switzerland from the country which you are traveling in.

Tip 6: Roaming costs for answering calls

Accepting phone calls while traveling abroad also incurs roaming fees. You can only avoid these costs by not answering phone calls and disabling the rerouting of calls to an answering service. Tip: If you expect to receive a lot of calls while traveling, make sure to get a roaming option or a roaming package designed for that purpose.

Tip 7: Call with Voice over IP apps

You can avoid high roaming fees by using a Voice over IP app (like WhatsApp or Skype) to make calls. Requirements: You must be logged into wireless, online network. The people whom you communicate with must have the same Voice over IP software installed on their devices.

Voice over IP apps can also be used with mobile data. If you purchase a data roaming package before traveling, making voice over IP calls using data roaming will normally work out cheaper than making regular calls at roaming rates. As a general rule, one minute of Voice over IP calling uses 1 to 2 megabytes of data.

Tip 8: Use WiFi calling

If you are able to connect to wireless, online networks, you can make use of WiFi calling. However, using WiFi calling is only possible if your mobile operator provides this service for your specific device and subscription. Additionally, your operator must enable WiFi calling outside of Switzerland. Currently, only Salt subscribers can use WiFi calling while traveling abroad. WiFi calling outside of Switzerland is not yet offered by Swisscom, Sunrise and other mobile operators.

Tip 9: Avoid mobile subscriptions which include roaming

Many mobile subscriptions include roaming in subscription fees. However, these subscriptions are generally expensive. These subscriptions generally let you make calls to Switzerland from countries in Europe at a flat rate. Swisscom limits the number of roaming days included in subscriptions. Salt and Sunrise also include calls from Turkey, the United States, and Canada. However, getting an affordable mobile subscription and then getting cheap roaming options or packages separately is generally a cheaper option.

Tip 10: Select a cheap mobile subscription

Some mobile operators offer subscriptions and prepaid offers with very affordable rates for local use, but charge notably higher roaming rates than other operators. These operators often have no roaming options at all, or very limited options. Make sure to compare roaming offers when choosing mobile subscriptions.

More on this topic:
Roaming rate comparison
Data roaming tips
Mobile subscription comparison

About Moneyland Magazine

The moneyland.ch magazine provides accurate, unbiased information on topics related to finance and money. In addition to research and expert interviews, the magazine contains numerous financial guides.