Hi! My name is Becky and I am one of the social media contributors for Fidelity. I thought as summer winds down, I would share with you my experience of using mobile data abroad since the EU roaming changes came into effect in June.
The changes for most of us were a huge relief. Gone are the days of having to buy expensive EU data bundles or the worry of having not switched off your data roaming, when you reach your destination. However, we can now breathe a sigh of relief since we can now use our phone package in the EU, without the exorbitant costs. Gone are the days of sitting on the plane, approaching the airport, wondering if there will be free Wi-Fi for you to check in with the world, before being plunged into the data darkness that we were all used to.
This summer, I ventured to Spain on a bit of a whirlwind trip. I had planned to go to 3 different cities, so the changes couldn’t have come at a better time. The ability to use Google maps, check in on Facebook and a variety of other data-guzzling activities, without the added cost, was a breath of fresh air. So, as I landed at my first stop – Barcelona airport – I quickly googled how to take the metro into the city, and it became very apparent that this new-found ability to use data on holiday was going to help massively.
So off I trekked to the metro, where of course, my Spanish lessons as a child clearly were not going to magically kick in. So, I quickly downloaded the Google Translate app to help communicate with the poor ticket officer who thought I was trying to travel to a city on the other side of Spain. Train ticket successfully purchased, I was off.
What became very apparent on my travels this summer, was the increased phone usage of everyone around me. Now I may have just been putting two and two together, but it did seem that more and more people were attached to their phones. Sitting on the train and looking around, it reminded me of a 7.30am commuter train into London. Of course, I am not complaining as being able to use my phone properly was a huge help, but I did find I probably actually used it more when on holiday than I do at home. Within 4 days, I had the dreaded message “You’ve used all your data” and so quickly jumped online to purchase some more. In total, over a 2-week period, I ended up using a whopping 10GB of data. Now, I know that for some that might seem the norm, but to put it into perspective, at home I have a 4GB data allowance and rarely do I go near using it all. Of course, you can argue there is more Wi-Fi at home, but I did make the conscious effort after day 4 to use Wi-Fi wherever I could.
So, my advice if you still have some holiday plans left this year in the EU is to enjoy the ability to use your UK data to enhance your holiday experience. However, I also recommend going back to being “old school” and finding a map of the area you are in, and use to go exploring. Those Facebook updates can always wait until you are back on Wi-Fi!
As always… stay connected!