Top 6 Tips for Cell Phone Users Traveling

With the holidays upon us, many of us are making travel plans to visit friends and family.   On top of all the planning that goes into a trip like this, the last thing I want to worry about is my cell phone bill.  I’ve heard so many horror stories from friends and colleagues who have been charged with outrageous phone bills while traveling.  Here are a few tips to avoid the same fate:

#1 Provide Additional Contact Information to Family and Friends
When I travel, I give my family the phone number for where I’m heading and ask them to try me at that number first.  Of course, I’m available by cell in case of an emergency, but this method helps me avoid needless charges.  Also, most of the friends and family I’m visiting have cell phones, as well, so borrowing their phone is great for making local calls.

#2 Check Roaming Fees
If you are in a situation where you will be traveling and must rely on your cell phone, check with your phone carrier about roaming fees before your trip.  This information will help you manage your minutes and avoid unexpected charges.

#3 Avoid Using Hotel Phones
When traveling, I find that it’s often the little things we don’t normally think about that make our expenses add up; an extra latte, a souvenir at a gift shop, tipping the bell hop or taxi driver.  One way to minimize these unnecessary expenditures is to avoid using phones at hotels.  These charges are often expensive (especially if dialing long distance) and can add up quickly, so if you need to make a quick call, use your cell phone.

#4 Limit Phone Usage to Brief, Essential Calls
Now is not the time to be needlessly checking email, texting or chatting with friends.  Roaming charges can be extremely high while traveling so try limiting your phone usage to short, essential calls.  For example, I usually make a quick call to family or a friend when I arrive to let them know I’ve landed and am on (or behind) schedule.  If you need the Internet, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi in your hotel or a local coffee shop.

#5 Utilize Features on Your Phone besides Calling
Simple features on your phone can be very useful to have when traveling.  Worried about making that morning appointment?  Your phone has an alarm clock.  Not sure how much to tip at dinner?  Your phone has a calculator.  Bored while riding in the car or waiting at the airport?  Your phone has built-in games.  Many cell phones features often go unused and can be an enormous asset when traveling.

#6 Remember why you’re traveling! 
Remember, the reason most of us are traveling this season is to visit friends and family.  Don’t waste your time chatting with friends back home. Instead, enjoy the company you’re with.  I always look forward to the holidays as a time to get away from the daily grind and enjoy the most important thing in the world – my family.

Safe travels and enjoy the holiday season!! For more tips about cell phones and related services, visit

2 Thoughts on "Top 6 Tips for Cell Phone Users Traveling"

  1. Kathleen Blount says

    I have had many problems making and receiving calls inside California as well as other states. When I mentioned this to my brother who has AT&T, he asked me why my phone didn’t switch to roaming mode? Now I’m asking you why Consumer cellular does not “roam”?

    reply to Kathleen

    • Dominic at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for the question, Kathleen. Although we don’t charge customers for ‘roaming’, our network does allow customers to roam from one service area to the next. Our coverage is typically strong through most of California and in fact, we’re utilizing AT&T’s network too, just like your brother. If you’re traveling, it often helps to turn the phone completely off for a minute before turning it back on. It’s a concept similar to rebooting a computer, and can often help you reestablish a stronger connection to the cellphone towers in the area you’re traveling through. However, if you’re still having trouble connecting from time to time, we may be able to look into your account to see if there’s anything we can do to assist you. If you’d like to pursue that, please contact us with your account number handy, at either 888-345-5509 or at [email protected]. Thank you.

      reply to Dominic

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