Taking your mobile abroad

Off on your travels? Stay in touch whether you’re by the pool or on the slopes. Our charges are easy to understand and have no hidden extras. Check out our top travel tips before you check in at the airport. Happy holidays!

Our top tips

Before you go…

1. Set up your service
Register or log in to Your Account to make sure you’re set up. If not, just call 789 from your mobile or 0345 6000 789* from any other phone.

If you Pay Monthly and you’ve been with us for less than 3 months, we may ask you to pay a £50 deposit. If you Pay As You Go, you’re good to go.

2. Check your coverage
If you Pay As You Go, you can use your phone in over 100 countries. Pay Monthly? It’s over 200.

See where we cover

3. Check your phone
Most phones will work anywhere, but you’ll need a triband or quadband phone for countries like USA and Canada, so it works on their network.

4. Set up a voicemail PIN
If you Pay Monthly, set up a voicemail PIN so you can pick up voicemail while you’re away. Just dial your voicemail and follow the instructions.

When you get there…

5. Getting started
As soon as you arrive, switch on your phone and you’ll automatically connect to one of our partner networks. If you receive a text message saying PERS – just ignore it – it’s just us making sure you’re on the best network.

Can’t connect? Try these tips to give your phone a helping hand.

  • Turn your phone off and then back on again.
  • Go into your phone settings and select a network manually.
  • Try removing your phone’s battery, while it’s still switched on – this helps reboot it and find a local network.

6. Making a phone call
Making calls back to the UK? Drop 0 and add +44 (e.g +447953 967 967). Calling people within the country? Drop 0 and add the country code.

What you pay for:
You’ll pay to receive calls, as well as make them.
Friends in the UK will pay the standard UK rate to call you.

7. Picking up your voicemail
Dial your voicemail in the same way as in the UK. Interrupt your voicemail greeting by pressing # and enter your PIN. In some countries, the voicemail symbol won’t appear, so if you’re expecting a message then it’s a good idea to keep checking.

What you pay for:
In the EU, you’ll only pay to listen to your messages.
Outside the EU, you’ll pay to receive the message and to listen to it.

8. Getting online
Whether you want to check the weather, tweet a picture of the view or update your Facebook status and make everyone green with envy, it’s easy to stay connected. In the EU, you’ll need a Travel Pass. Elsewhere, just access the internet as normal (but don’t forget the costs of getting online abroad are different from the costs at home).

We’ve got three Travel Passes for you to choose from:
10MB - £0.35
50MB - £1.50
250MB - £5

To get a Travel Pass, just text BUY plus the name of the pass you’d like to 23456 (e.g. ‘BUY 10MB’). They last for 30 days and start straight away, so just buy one when you’re ready to use it. You can also check how much data you’ve got left as you go along by texting STATUS to 23456, free of charge.

What you pay for:
Browsing online. (Of course, if you’re travelling in the EU, all you pay for is the cost of your Travel Pass – and you’re all set!)

Connecting to WiFi
Using data while you’re abroad won’t cost the earth if you’re just checking the football scores or sending an email, but it could get pricey if you start watching videos or listening to music. Your hotel or a nearby café should have WiFi. Check that they won’t charge you and you can browse the web for free.

How to connect your mobile to a WiFi network

9. Topping up
Love to Pay As You Go and registered your credit or debit card with us? You can top up abroad in 2 easy ways:

By text – send the amount (£5-£50 in multiples of £5), the last 6 digits of your card and the last 3 digits of the security number (or 4 for American Express) on the back to 789 222
By phone – call 789 and have your card handy.

Either way, it’s free. Or, if you’ve packed some vouchers, text the 16 digit number to 789 111.

Checking your balance
If you Pay As You Go, simply text ‘balance’ to 789 000.

Your credit limit abroad
If you Pay Monthly, you’ll have a credit limit on your account. Normally we contact you when you’re near your limit, but it can take a while for charges from a foreign network to come in, so it’s not a good idea to rely on your credit limit to help you budget.

10. Trust our texts
We want you to come home with lots of happy memories, not nasty surprises – so we set a £36 limit for mobile web when you’re outside the EU. We’ll text you when you reach £28 to let you know you’re approaching your limit, and again to tell you you’ve reached your £36 limit. Of course, if you want to use more, you can. We’ll tell you how in our texts.

11. Message for free
Sending a text costs 1p from the EU or 30p and potentially more from anywhere else (getting them is free). Save pennies for more exciting things by finding some WiFi. Then you can email, or use an instant messaging app like WhatsApp or Skype, to message your friends for free.

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