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How to Save Money on Your Phone Usage When in Portugal

So you’ve bought your plane ticket to Portugal, booked a hotel, and packed your suitcase a thousand
times. But what about your mobile phone? Is your mobile device ready for international travel?

Not only do you need to make sure that your mobile phone will work in another country, but you should
also consider how much money you’re going to spend on mobile phone usage while in Portugal.

Thankfully, there are lots of simple things you can do to save money on your mobile phone usage
when in Portugal. Here are some of our top tips to help you keep your phone bill low while on your
travels:

1. Mobile Roaming Costs
Lots of us want to be able to use our smartphones or mobile devices while we’re abroad. Using a
smartphone is an easy way for us to stay connected with our family and friends back home without
having to buy lots of new hardware or a specialist service. However, before travelling to Portugal, it
is important to check the cost of roaming on international networks. Aside from special deals offered by some networks, there is no universal pricing standard for the rest of the world. This means that travellers who do not check the cost of roaming could end up coming home to large bills. This is why it is so important to check how much you’ll be charged for data usage, calls and messages while in Portugal.

The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the amount you spend on roaming
charges. The best option is to purchase a SIM-only deal that offers good roaming rates. Make sure
you compare SIM-only deals to find the best one available for you. Lebara offers some amazing SIM-
only deals which could be perfect for you. Not only do Lebara makes sure that their customers get
no nasty bill shocks and no out of bundle surprises, but they also allow you to change or cancel your
play at any time.

2. Purchase a Local SIM Card
If you’re intending on visiting Portugal for more than a couple of weeks, it might be an idea to
purchase a local SIM card. If you want to do this, you will need to make sure that your mobile phone
is unlocked to all networks. Buying a local SIM card can save you money and help stop you from
worrying about reaching your roaming limits. However, it is important to remember that your phone
number will change when you purchase a new SIM. While this isn’t a huge problem, it might be an
idea to warn your friends and family that you will be contacting them on a new number.

3. Turn off Automatic Updates
Although software updates are important as they help to protect your data and help eliminate any
security issues, it might be advisable to hold off downloading updates until you return home (or you’re connected to your hotel’s free Wi-Fi network). It’s also a good idea to make sure that your software isn’t automatically downloading in the background.

4. Put a Cap On Mobile Phone Charges
Before travelling to Portugal, it’s advisable to put a cap on your mobile phone charges. This can save you from bill shocks when you return home. In the EU, mobile phone bills are automatically capped at £50, but if this amount is too high for you, the mobile network will be able to adjust the limit for you. You simply need to contact them before you set off.

5. Turn Off Data Roaming on Your Mobile Device
If you don’t want to be charged for using the internet while abroad, make sure you turn off data roaming on your mobile device. This will ensure that you don’t connect to the internet when you don’t need or want to.

6. Monitor Your Usage
If you want to ensure that you don’t rack up huge mobile phone bills, you need to keep an eye on the amount of data you are using while in Portugal. After all, you don’t want to use up all of your data allowances on the first day of your holiday. Most mobile phone networks now have an app that users can log into to check how much data they are using. You can also view this information on the mobile network account page. This is often the most accurate record and the one that a network provider will use when creating a bill for data usage. Another way to check how much data you are using is to look at your smartphone’s built-in data traffic log. While this option will give you a rough idea of how much data you are using, it isn’t quite as accurate as any of the other options we’ve spoken about.

7. Wi-fi Messengers Can Save You Money
Apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage and Viber allow you to send messages and make telephone calls while using Wi-Fi. This means that you can stay in touch with your family and friends for free.

8. Turn Off Apps that are Running in the Background
Lots of us don’t realise that some apps continue to run in the background, even when we’re not using them. While this doesn’t usually cost much money when we’re at home, this isn’t always the case when we’re abroad. Before travelling to Portugal, it’s a good idea to decide which apps you will need to use while away and which ones you can do without. You can then switch off mobile data for these apps. This can help reduce your mobile phone bills considerably.

9. Google Translate Doesn’t Require Internet to Work
If you’re not fluent in Portuguese, there’s a high possibility that you’ll need to use a translate app while abroad. The good news is that you don’t need the internet in order to use Google Translate. You simply need to download the local language to your phone. You can then access this language offline whenever you need to.

10. Save Travel Routes Offline
Another brilliant way to save money on your mobile phone usage when in Portugal is to download Google Maps. Google Maps allows you to download a map to use when you don’t have a connection to the internet.

11. Don’t Live On Your Mobile Phone
There’s not much point in travelling to a beautiful country like Portugal if you’re going to spend the whole time on your mobile phone. Instead of spending lots of time on your mobile phone, enjoy the experience. Don’t try and view Portugal through your phone screen. Not only will this help you to have a better holiday, but it can also reduce your chances of being targeted by thieves. When travelling around Portugal, it’s a good idea to keep your mobile device out of sight but make sure you know where it is should you need it. When we’re travelling abroad, our phones become the travel buddy of dreams, providing us with translations, directions and useful tips on the local area. But, walking around with your phone in your hand is one of the biggest giveaways that you’re a tourist and can actually get you a lot of unwanted attention, not to mention costing you a small fortune too. However, there are lots of things you can do to save money on your phone usage when in Portugal. If you’re travelling to Portugal this year, make sure you follow our advice above.

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