Anyone who travels internationally knows the fear of pulling out your phone in a foreign country. Things we do all the time in our home country add up to big spending as soon as you’re abroad, leaving you to evaluate every decision: How much will it cost to listen to my voice mail? What kind of roaming charges am I going to return to? Should I turn off my data roaming entirely? Thankfully, an explosion of savvy 3rd party apps is making mobile data-only plans the most cost-effective and convenient solution for staying connected while traveling abroad. Messaging, sharing photos, emailing, mapping unfamiliar cities, and yes – even making calls can all be done over data-only apps. GigSky, now a Concur App Center partner, can help you transition to data only plans during your international trips. With GigSky you can select from various data plans based on how much data you will need and for how long. To get started, you just need an unlocked device, a GigSky data SIM card and the GigSky app. If you have an Apple iPad with Apple SIM installed, you can simply select a GigSky data plan straight from your device to get connected. With the Concur integration, travelers get the benefits of GigSky’s worldwide data service combined with seamless expensing and reporting in Concur. After connecting your Concur account to GigSky, an e-receipt will automatically be sent to Concur for purchases. To help you get started, here’s a break down of some of the best apps available today.
Voice Apps That Use Data-Only
Viber – Viber has a great assortment of fun communication tools for free messaging and voice calls anywhere in the world, all in one single platform. The feature set is comprised of messaging, photos, videos, voice notes and voice calling. It also includes entertaining emoticons and stickers to send to your more expressive contacts.
Messaging Apps That Use Data Only
Extra Precautions with Data Overseas
Even with data-only plans, you’ll want to use a few tricks to keep your mobile data costs in check: 1) Many apps run in the background (social networking notifications, e-mail, GPS, etc.) which can drain your battery and data plan. Push e-mail is a feature that ensures you receive messages as they enter your inbox, but it uses up data quickly. If you have an iPhone, adjust by accessing Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data to receive e-mail less frequently. You can also manually disable push notifications for each app on an iPhone; click on the app and turn the Notification Center to "Off." 2) A lot of applications use GPS to track your movements. Turning off GPS, and only using it when you need it, helps cut down on data usage. 3) Data monitoring applications provide users with stats on their usage, like how much data they use during the day and information about which applications are using the most data. They will also send alerts to notify you as you go over certain data thresholds.
Data-Only Will Keep Down Costs, Period.
It may seem a leap from the norm, but surviving on data only is completely doable with a little prep work, and especially rewarding for business travelers. The cost savings can be significant, and it eliminates the hassles of managing voice, text, and data plans simultaneously. Download the GigSky app today and stay connected to your essential voice apps, messaging apps, must-have travel apps and favorite websites. Learn more about GigSky in the App Center and connect your Concur account.