European data roaming gets ever cheaper
Vodafone has reduced the charge for its Europe-wide Euro Traveller service by 33percent to only £2 a day. Using this option, UK Vodafone subscribers can use their full home allowance of calls, texts and data when visiting any other European country. Euro Traveller, even at the previous £3 daily charge, was always a good deal since competitors still restrict data, for instance, often to a paltry 25MB per day.
Vodafone's reduced price, which is valid until the end of August, is evidence of a race to the bottom in roaming. As from later next year the EU is banning roaming charges and the entire Union will become, in effect, a home zone. This will make it unnecesary for frequent travellers to keep a stock of pay-as-you-go SIM cards for various countries.
Roaming charges outside Europe can still be excessive and we should all be wary. But there are bundles and packages you can buy from your service provider. Vodafone, for instance, charges a flat £6 per day (provided you are registered for the service) but with restricted usage, including only 25MB of data. Fortunately it is becoming increasingly easy to pick up local cards with cheaper data and calls in most countries, including the USA and China.
Travellers to Europe should note that it is essential to register for the Euro Traveller package before setting off on a trip. Otherwise excessive roaming charges will apply. The good news is that you need do this only once and you are then covered for all future trips. Fourteen pounds for a week's holiday browsing is acceptable, until it becomes zero pounds next year, and this is the one of the reasons I stick with Vodafone.