Skip Navigation

GSM Phone Checklist

Home SIM Cards Guide GSM Phone Checklist

Off on an adventure? Don't leave those at home in the dark.

Now you can afford to use your mobile abroad!

Save money on roaming charges! For the easiest and most cost effective way to stay in touch just follow these simple steps:

1. Purchase a foreign SIM card

Purchase a foreign SIM card, the small plastic chip inside your phone, for the destination you plan to travel to.

Most prepaid SIM cards include:

  • Initial calling credit
  • Your new number before you travel
  • Local rate outgoing calls & texts (from 13p per min)
  • Free incoming calls
  • English user guide
  • Access numbers for friends & family to call you
  • No bills or contracts - just use on a pay-as-you-go basis
  • Top up the SIM card at thousands of local retail outlets

2. Make sure your mobile phone can be used in the countries you intend to travel to.

Most mobiles can be used in over 200 countries, but some countries like the USA have particular network requirements like using tri-band phones. If in doubt refer to your handset manual, or the phone retailer.

3. Make sure your handset is unlocked.

4. Give your new telephone number and access numbers to friends and family before you travel.

Thus avoiding the expense of having to tell them while you're abroad. The optional access numbers also help to reduce the cost of friends and relatives calling you from the UK. Also having a new number means that you can avoid unwanted calls that you would actually have to pay to receive otherwise.

5. Change the voicemail message.

Change the voicemail message on your current mobile telephone to let people know that you can be contacted on your new number.

6. Save your numbers in your handset.

Before swapping your SIM card make sure all your phone numbers are saved to your phone handset memory. This will mean that you can change your SIM card as many times as you like and still have your important phone numbers. Just remember to insert +<country code> before the numbers (when calling <country>).

7. Enter companion's numbers into your phone.

If you are travelling in a group, store your companion's new numbers on your phone. This will give you that extra bit of freedom when you want to do your own thing. You can easily meet up later at the price of a local call or text message.

8. Remember to enter important numbers.

Remember to put those all important numbers in your phone before you go, your airline confirmation number, travel insurance company, accommodation you've booked and anything else you might need.

Calling Cards

For those not interested in travelling with a mobile, calling cards are a great way to call home cheaply. Consider these benefits:

  • Save up to 70% on international calls
  • Make calls from over 150 countries worldwide
  • No sign-up or monthly fees
  • Toll-free access numbers
  • Pay in advance or pay later
  • And much more...

We've compared two popular calling cards to illustrate some benefits. Visit the International Calling Cards page for details. Or visit both providers directly to compare for yourself.