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Here are 3 things to know about roaming plans before you head overseas

This article is brought to you by Celcom.

When you’re travelling overseas, things can get pretty hectic—whether it’s a business trip or a vacation. Preparations for a big trip can be overwhelming, especially if you’re travelling in a party or if you’re bringing along family and friends.

And with the heavy dependence on technology and connectivity by most professionals and students alike, planning your internet plans well in advance is an essential part of preparing for a trip.

Now, there are a few ways to go about this.

Some choose to save a little cash and rely on free Wi-Fi connections in other countries. This can be slightly risky, as internet connectivity isn’t consistently present throughout many regions—imagine being lost in a foreign country without any internet connectivity to load up Waze or Google Maps.

Most people, especially those travelling for business, end up purchasing roaming plans for their trips. With the importance of messaging apps like WhatsApp, social media apps, and work-purposed apps such as Gmail, Trello, or Slack, it’s pretty much impossible to get along without a roaming data plan.

But roaming plans are traditionally very expensive, and many have avoided them for this very reason. But local telco companies have been changing that perception with some new plans—here are 3 things to know when you’re looking for a roaming plan:

1. Get a roaming plan that covers multiple countries

Telcos that offer roaming plans are often limited by availability issues, which depends on the partnerships between local and foreign telcos. In other words, make sure that the roaming plan you use is one that allows you to roam in multiple countries. There’s no point to it if you can only roam in a few countries, especially if it’s a multiple-country-region trip.

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For example, local telco provider Celcom tells us that they have over 146 4G LTE partners at 100 destinations worldwide. Again, more international partners = more regions you can roam in. This means that roaming for the Celcom Passport is supported in more countries—all at preset rates.

2. But first, make sure it’s the right plan

Before you’ve hooked onto a certain telco, take a look at the variety of plans they offer. Choosing the right plan depends on a few factors: where you’re going, what you’re planning to do there, and if you’re going to be calling local numbers on-the-move.

For example, some plans work automatically. The minute you step into a foreign country, your smartphone searches for a 4G partner’s network, and you’re connected. However, these plans are often very limited in what they offer—think of it as a backup option if you didn’t prepare/sign up for a roaming data plan in advance. However, this wouldn’t be the best option for a heavy user, as you’ll likely max out your quota pretty early on.

Other roaming plans cost a little more, but you end up saving in the long-run of things (especially if said data is used for work). From experience, it’s also worth considering plans that have call and SMS quotas along with a data plan—sometimes, good old-fashioned calls are still the most reliable way to contact someone.

3. Have a look at the Celcom’s roaming plans

Celcom offers a reasonable roaming plan for 4G LTE coverage overseas, with 3-days 3-in-1 and 7-days 3-in-1 to over 40 countries. Not only that, Celcom also offers 2 other plans to choose from such as 1-day & 10-day passes. It’s a little confusing at first glance, so here’s a quick breakdown of what you should be looking for:

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The 1-day pass (RM38) is the cheapest of the plans above, and turns on automatically once you’re roaming in one of the 160 countries supported. However, calls and SMS messages are somewhat limited, as Celcom tells us that your daily quota for calls/SMS depends on the location you’re travelling in.

Celcom is offering two 3-in-1 plans for Celcom Passport users as well. The first is a 3-day pass (RM88), and will come with a 1.5GB data quota, while you’re given 100 minutes of calls and SMS messages; this includes outgoing and ingoing calls from both Malaysia and the foreign country that you’re in.

The second 3-in-1 pass is 7-day pass (RM138), and comes with 3GB of data for your internet quota. The distinction here is the ability to make unlimited roaming calls on the plan. As this includes calls between Malaysia and the country you’re visiting, this amounts up to a ton of savings. Celcom also provides a special plan for those of you who are planning to visit Saudi Arabia, with 5GB of data, unlimited calls/SMS, and more.

If you’re interested to find out more about the Celcom Passport and the roaming plans offered with it, head to Celcom’s page for more details. In addition to that, you can stay up to date on any deals and promos from Celcom on their Facebook page.