Traveling abroad presents a particular challenge for small-business owners: You want to stay connected to your business, but you’re wary of exorbitant international roaming rates. Here are some smart ways to minimize the worry of vacation communication—so you can focus on having fun!
International unlocking: Smartphones operating on what is known as the GSM (Global System for Mobiles) can be “unlocked.” This means the SIM card inside which connects your device to your carrier can be temporarily replaced with a SIM card for a carrier that serves your destination. Check with your carrier to determine whether your phone can be unlocked for international travel.
Explore carrier plans: Before you head to the airport, make an appointment to go over your mobile phone service options. Sprint offers International Data Pack add-ons for domestic data plans, along with special Canada Roaming rates. Verizon’s International Travel Program transfers your number to a loaner “world phone” for trips lasting 21 days or less. AT&T offers special Passport and Cruise Ship Packages for international travelers.
Buy a prepaid phone: Ask your carrier about special international phone rentals, or purchase a pre-paid phone that will allow you to pay for international calls as you go. These can be ordered online prior to your vacation, or purchased on the ground when you land.
Go digital: Don’t forget that this is your vacation—instead of being tethered to your smartphone, set aside a half hour before breakfast and a half hour after dinner to check in with your business back home. Take advantage of the complimentary business centers and Wi-Fi access located in most hotels and resorts. These workstations will allow you to communicate via email or video conferencing meetings free of charge.