AT&T sends us tips for international traveling

iPhone users on AT&T received an email filled with tips on how to manage usage and save money while traveling internationally. With access to email, Visual Voicemail, safari and data using applications, it doesn't take much to rack up a very expensive bill while abroad. Instead of surprising you with a giant bill, AT&T has decided to give iPhone users some saving money strategies. Here they are:

  • If you want to place calls but not use data, turn data roaming "OFF". This will block email, browsing, Visual Voicemail and downloads, but it will not block SMS or MMS messages. But feel free to use wifi; you can do so without accumulating any data charges.
  • If you want to use data but not receive email automatically, turn Fetch New Data "OFF". This will allow you to have total control of your data usage because nothing will be synced or downloaded in the background without your solicitation.
  • If you want to use data and track your usage while abroad, consider purchasing an International Data Package. The 20 MB package is $24.99 per month, the 50 MB package is $59.99 per month, the 100 MB package is $119.99 per month, and the 200 MB package is $199.99 per month. If you decide to purchase an international data package it is recommended to reset the usage tracker to zero so that you can estimate your data usage while abroad.

Any of you plan to travel abroad for the holidays? If so, which of AT&T's tips are you planning to partake in?

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at

More Posts



← Previously

Dungeon Hunter 2 now available for iPhone!

Next up →

Daily Tip: How to customize iPhone and iPad multitasking [Jailbreak]

There are 21 comments. Add yours.

Will says:

I have gotten variations of these in snail mail a couple times now, a few useful tips but they're pushing their own service. What ATT won't tell you is that the best thing to do for traveling abroad is to just unlock your phone and then buy a local sim card, many offer data plans and it's far cheaper than any of the international plans ATT offers.

kingweb says:

Best tip is to unlock your phone and get a local som card and not pay outrageous roaming charges

Mxo says:

@George 100% agree. You nailed it.

Lance says:

The email was for iPhone users & you can't unlock an iPhone unless you jailgreak it.

Lance says:

Excuse me...I meant jailbreak.

JLJFoto says:

I just got back from 2 and a weeks in Japan. I didn't trust the expensive plans so I kept the iPhone and iPad in airplane mode with wifi turn on.

Say what?? says:

So I would have to buy another plan to travel abroad? Is this a terminate anytime I want to monthly fee or am I trapped into ANOTHER two year contract?

kingweb says:

@Lance, yeah, so Jailbreak it. And if you dont like the jailbreak, then unjailbreak it when you are back. The fact is that AT&T will charge you more than the cost of a new phone when you get your billl with the roaming charges. $2.00 or more per minute!!!

Tim says:

If only there was an unlock for IPhone 4 4.1...Does anyone think it will come out this month?

Daniel Torres says:


TTrq01 says:

Interesting that they leave out recommending to download your favorite VoIP software like Skype or Google Voice and then make calls from a hotspot.

Chexican says:

I recently went to Europe.. I SO wish I jailbroke &unlocked, but foolishly instead I paid the data plan and had to watch my data like a hawk. google maps will eat thru 20MB in an instant, which is a hard lesson when maps are necessary in an unfamiliar city. Hell, if ur considering their obscene rate for 200MB, you might as well go full blown and just buy an iPhone overseas which I think is already unlocked by apple legitimately. AT&T's suggestion to use wi-fi overseas is silly cuz Europe has far fewer free hotspots than you normally find in the US. As much as I love my iPhone, I hate the greedy carrier lock.

Bizarderic says:

Based on these plans 1gb/month costs from 1000-1250$ per month!!!

ChefStephen says:

I frequently travel to the UK and always use a local SIM card.

Wes says:

its absolutely shameful how much they charge for international data. these plans are what.. supposed to be for international business travelers? frankly, a businessperson who pays $1 or more per megabyte is beyond moronic

Wes says:

@ chexican
I've never been to Europe , but i would think they'd be more liberal with free wi-fi. i'm disappointed to find out it is the opposite over there.

robnaj says:

I have a better tipe jailbreak unlock and use a different SIM with some play as you go data iPhone has penta band

Mikasn says:

Seoul Korea rocked with the 50mb plan and lots of free wifi. They don't have sims for use there. Just had to rent a crappy 3G while there for phone calls home to US, or it would've been 2.29 minute vs. .60

USAFRetired says:

Before I went to Italy, I bought a very cheap unlocked Motorola quad band phone and bought a local sim card. Was in business in minutes. Free incoming calls for the entire stay.

Josh says:

Jail-broke and unlocked my iPhone when I went to Malaysia, used local SIM card. 3G Internet costs me about $5 a week there. Best decision ever, Google maps was incredibly useful abroad.

Theodoridis Georgios says:

IPHONE 2 G Dear A & TT, I request you years to help before 2 is an iPhone the first genaration to adjourn debitel mobilcom get Händy number was customized 017 641 052 966 number was CW1066118669 EMEI NR.011546004603931 of the iPhone, the provider has ordered it from America A & TT course is can can add from there with a simlock, here, Apple has not support me to help unlock that say only in america to the Contract has expired I can not make updates, I find it sad that no longer gets gabrauch machen.Bitte helps me I am grateful because I will not direct it in English behersche America A & TT weiter.Mit Sincerely Georgios Theodoridis