CCS Gary LutherSUMMER is finally here and across the north east people are packing their suitcases and preparing to jet off to locations across the globe.

And whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, one local company is now offering advice for those expecting to have to use their mobile phones abroad in an attempt to help their customers and other people across the region avoid unnecessarily large bills.

Most of us will use our mobiles at some point while abroad, whether it’s replying to emails, taking photos, calling relatives back home or uploading pictures to Facebook.

To make sure you stay connected while overseas Gary Luther, of north east IT and telecoms experts CCS, shares his top tips.

Turn off data roaming

By leaving your data roaming option switched on you are telling your phone to automatically connect with the network in the country you are visiting. This will mean you receive all your emails and notifications but at a very expensive rate. Instead, ensure data roaming is switched off and connect to the internet through free Wi-Fi, offered at hotels, airports and restaurants.

Contact your provider before you leave

It is always worth letting your network provider know that you will be travelling abroad with your mobile in advance. Most providers will have a roaming cut off limit in place, when travelling within Europe, of around £40-£50 (meaning your phone will automatically disconnect once it reaches this limit, protecting users from large phone bills) however, it is worth checking you have this facility in place for future journeys and holidays. If your travel takes you outside of Europe, check with your Network what caps are available to you before you leave.

Use free apps to make phone calls

If where you’re staying has free Wi-Fi, it’s a great idea to log in as once connected you can use apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger to make phone calls for free, while those travelling for business can use Skype for Business. Free video calls can also be made using Facetime and Skype. Just make sure you have whatever apps you need downloaded before you leave.

Buy a bundle

If you are unsure whether or not you will have access to free Wi-Fi while away, you can buy a data bundle from your supplier before travelling. Usually sold on a daily or weekly basis this will allow you choose the option that best suits your requirements, with different amounts of data available. Buying these in advance usually works out cheaper than waiting until you arrive at your destination. There are new deals and bundles being released all the time so it’s worth calling your provider to see what’s available.

Download content in advance

Downloading films and TV shows can use up large amounts of data so try to download anything you need using your own Wi-Fi connection before you leave. Many people use Spotify to stream music which also uses up large amounts of data, but not many know that you can also download playlists to your device, meaning you can still enjoy music for free while abroad.

Find My Phone

Before you set off, make sure you have downloaded a ‘find my phone’ app. If your phone is lost or stolen while abroad language differences can sometimes make it difficult to locate. This type of app will mean you can locate your device using a friend’s phone or logging into an internet café.

Photos

There’s nothing worse than trying to capture that perfect holiday moment only to find your storage is full. Free up space on your phone by saving all your photos to a cloud-based system such as iCloud or OneDrive before you leave.

Keeping your phone safe

Hot temperatures can damage phones so make sure you don’t leave your mobile out in the sun for too long. Buying a case for your phone will help keep it safe and avoid damage and try to always try to keep your phone out of sight.

Emergency contacts

Make a note of your network provider’s emergency contact number before you leave so you can get in touch if your phone is lost or stolen while abroad.

Charging

Ensure you have the correct plug adapter for the country you are travelling to so you can keep your mobile charged while away. It is also worth buying as portable battery charger to allow you to charge your phone on long flights or during a day at the beach.

Sunderland-based CCS was established in 1986 and works with a variety of regional, national and international businesses including Nike, Puma, Flymo and Newcastle International Airport, providing B2B telecommunications and IT technology, including mobile phones, IT products and services, desktop support and telephony platforms.

For more information about CCS visit www.ccs.co.uk or follow @CCSNorthEast on Twitter.