What You Need to Know Before Selecting a Mobile Phone Plan

What You Need to Know Before Selecting a Mobile Phone Plan

By: marysmith

There are tons of factors to consider when tracking down the best cell phone plans. The price is sure to be an important factor for many people, but finding a plan that matches your budget doesn’t mean you’re getting a good deal. You’ll want to consider what coverage is like in your area from each provider, what perks come with the plan, whether your existing phone supports the carrier, and much more. Let’s look at some examples of how your usage may fit well with particular plans.

Are You Traveling in Rural Areas?

Will you have limited access to WIFI? Will you even have a cell signal? If traveling abroad in a rural area, you will need to see what works best once you land abroad. Even if you have an international travel cell phone plan, it may not be reliable in the middle of nowhere Cambodia. Local sims are the best plan of action in these areas. If you are really worried about being able to get data access, you can buy or rent pocket hotspots that can connect to your phone. So even if you are completely off the grid, there are options for internet access so that you can email your family back home and keep them up to date about your life abroad.

Are You Hostel-Hopping?

WIFI doesn’t grow on trees—meaning it’s not (always) free. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. But you can’t always just rely on loitering outside of a McDonald’s to connect for a quick second when you are lost. At a cafe, you will likely need to grab a coffee to access the WIFI code and at a hostel you could have an additional fee for the internet password. Keep in mind that when you are traveling it might be nice to have a sim or a travel cell phone plan with some data.

Choosing a mobile phone plan - National Seniors Australia

What Is Your Goal For Having Easy Access To Your Phone?

Remember that our favorite little devices can become a crutch for escapism or a deterrent from our ability to be immersed into foreign cultures. You didn’t come all this way just to watch more Netflix, did you? Although you may get overloaded with cute doors and foreign food, not everyone is obsessed with it as you are. Put your phone away, look around, meet REAL people, and save your fingers from the arthritis that is bound to hit you sooner rather than later. Yes, we love our phones, but it shouldn’t be your bestie.

International Data Plan

This is great if you are planning to expat in one place for a longer period of time. If you are gone abroad and living in a country for a year or more, you may want to just stick with a local mobile plans. Depending on where you live, you may find better deals through long-term packages.

Best Phone Plans For The Average User

We’re all special in our own way, but statistically, you probably fit into the category of an average mobile plan user. I know I do. I stream music and short videos when I’m on the go, but realistically I only get through a few gigs of data per month. I like to have a hotspot as an option for friends or my laptop, but it’s only used occasionally. Texts are pretty much a thing of the past, but I get through a few hours of calls every week. Sound familiar?

To be honest, the average user will almost certainly get better value from a prepaid plan (see the best prepaid plans section below). Still, there are benefits to a limited-data contract. You may well get better perks and easier customer service.

Back to Top