Traveling to Canada? Here’s How To Avoid Expensive Roaming Fees

How to avoid expensive roaming fees when travelling to Canada for business.

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Have you ever got a pricy and unexpected bill for using mobile data when traveling abroad? This is common for travelers who use mobile data and phone calls. It’s important to be aware of data roaming charges when traveling abroad and to avoid them. 

So, if you are planning to travel to Canada, we at Inspired Travel Group are pleased to provide you with valuable insights on avoiding expensive roaming fees. 

In this article, we’ll reveal easy and clear ways to stay connected while exploring Canada without draining your wallet. So, you can say goodbye to those annoying roaming charges and say hello to worry-free communication during your travels to Canada. Let’s jump into it. 

What actually are roaming charges?

As per the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, roaming fees occur when you use your mobile phone beyond your service provider’s network coverage area. If you’re on a local plan, extra charges can pop up once you venture outside that coverage zone. Likewise, if you’re on a nationwide plan, charges can kick in as soon as you cross the country’s borders.


The charges you see on your bill are legitimate, and users have a binding agreement to cover them. If you come across unexpected fees, it’s essential to get in touch with your provider right away, as they could potentially make adjustments to the charges or arrange for a payment plan.

types of roaming charges

Here are 3 of the most common types of roaming charges: 

1. Voice call charges

When you make or receive a voice call outside your home country, a specific charge comes into play. Typically, this charge comprises of an initial fee to establish the connection and an additional fee for each minute of conversation. 

As an example, you could encounter a $5 initial connection fee and then an additional charge of $2 for each minute of the call. So, if your call lasts for 15 minutes, your total cost would amount to $35.

2. SMS charges

You’ll encounter this fee when you send or receive text messages using a foreign network. Typically, your mobile provider will bill you for each message, and the cost can differ based on the country and network company.

For a practical scenario, consider this: Someone from the United States might expect to pay significantly more to receive a message in Canada.

3. Data charges

Accessing various online services, such as enjoying music, staying connected on social media, immersing in gaming and managing emails, often comes with a heavy price tag. Customers are usually invoiced in relation to their data utilization, frequently measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). For instance, you might find yourself paying $10 for every gigabyte (GB) of data you employ, making web surfing quite a pricey endeavor.

How To Avoid Expensive Roaming Fees

Here are eight pieces of advice to steer clear of extra costs when traveling overseas.

1.Get a travel plan from your provider

One of the simplest ways to cut down on roaming fees is by purchasing a travel plan. Frequently, providers offer a daily fixed fee for using your phone abroad, with usage limits akin to your regular plan for calls, texts, and data. In some cases, you can even use your existing plan as it is while roaming. 

Additionally, many providers offer international data plans with large amounts of data at a lower price. These plans can be especially beneficial for those who plan to use their phones extensively while abroad.

2. Make use of Wi-Fi networks 24/7

A straightforward method to steer clear of roaming fees is to connect to Wi-Fi whenever it’s accessible. Numerous hotels extend Wi-Fi amenities to their guests, making it a convenient option for reducing roaming expenses.

By doing so, you can access the internet at more economical rates, send messages, engage in voice and video calls, stream audio and video content and even enjoy online gaming without worrying about additional charges.

When using public Wi-Fi, it’s important to consider using a virtual private network (VPN) service to keep your identity and browsing information safe. Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure, which makes them attractive to hackers who want to steal your sensitive information.

3. Turn off your data usage and data roaming

If you haven’t purchased a roaming plan before your trip, we recommend turning off data usage and data roaming in your phone settings. This prevents unexpected charges. 

If your plan doesn’t include texting and calling at your destination, you can use airplane mode to avoid accidental use of cellular data, texting, or calling. In airplane mode, you can still enable Wi-Fi to stay connected when available.

4.Manage your internet access time

Keep an eye on and reduce the time you spend online while abroad. Stick to using the internet for essential tasks and avoid aimless scrolling and casual browsing. It’s an easy way to prevent costly roaming charges from affecting your budget.

You can utilize a data monitoring app to control your internet usage. These apps track what you do online and warn you when you get close to a certain data limit. This way, you can stay within your chosen limits and avoid high data roaming charges.

5. Make SMS your primary way to communicate

When you’re traveling abroad, consider using SMS messages more often to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. While it might seem less convenient, SMS texts tend to be more cost-effective than lengthy voice calls that can quickly add up in expenses. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much communication you can achieve through text messages.

6. Get a temporary SIM card

You can completely avoid roaming charges by purchasing a short-term SIM card when you travel to a different country. Mobile providers often provide special SIM cards designed for tourists and those staying briefly because they see this as a valuable customer segment. 

Simply buy one of these temporary cards from a local network in a foreign country, use it for your calls, text messages, and internet needs, and discard it when you depart from that country.

7. Use virtual phone number

A virtual phone number isn’t tied to a physical place but rather to an online account. It’s typically set up to redirect incoming calls to another number. You can consider purchasing a virtual phone number for Canada and connecting it with your regular phone number. 

When someone calls your usual number, the call will be redirected to the virtual number while you’re overseas. This method allows you to avoid call roaming fees on your main phone number.

8. Acquire an eSIM

eSIM, or embedded SIM, iss a SIM card that’s integrated within your smartphone, in contrast to a physical SIM card that can be interchanged. Instead, it functions using software that’s adaptable whenever you decide to alter your SIM or network provider.

An eSIM allows you to join various networks without the need to change SIM cards when switching physically. This means you can effortlessly shift to a local network in Canada and return to your previous network when you leave, all without any SIM card swapping.

How do you stop your phone from roaming?

Android Phones

  1. Go to your Apps
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Mobile networks
  4. Tap the Data roaming slider to set it to Off/white


  1. Tap the Settings app on your home screen
  2. Tap Cellular
  3. Tap the Data Roaming slider to set it to Off/white.

Final thoughts

In summary, it’s crucial for travelers to grasp the concept of roaming fees and learn how to prevent them when using their mobile phones abroad. By making use of Wi-Fi, acquiring a local SIM card, selecting the appropriate roaming package and employing data-saving techniques, you can keep your expenses in check and enjoy your trip without the stress of hefty phone charges.


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