Tablets and smartphones are rarely out of the hands of their owners these days, and the temptation to start browsing the internet or ringing family and colleagues when abroad is hard to ignore.
However, the costs are prohibitive. The European Union is working hard to force mobile operators to lower the cost of roaming within its boundaries, but travellers heading to the US, Asia and elsewhere have no such safeguards.
So V3.co.uk was keen to try out an offering from Truphone that claims to dramatically reduce roaming costs by using the mobile networks in foreign countries as its home network.
During a four-day trip to the US we used a Truphone SIM card to make calls and browse the internet, and the company gave us a comparison of what it would have cost using our regular O2 Simplicity SIM.
The results were startling. We made 39 minutes of outgoing calls while abroad which cost us just £2.92 on Truphone. The O2 charge would have been £35.08.
We were charged 23p for three minutes of incoming calls, rather than £1.21, and just 10p for 0.33MB of data (we were on Wi-Fi most of the time), rather than £2.01. Overall, our bill was a tiny £3.26, compared to £38.29 on O2.
Of course, a contract from Truphone costs money. Options include £58 a month for 450 minutes, 250 texts and 40MB of data, £109 for 800 minutes, 400 texts and 75MB of data, and £168 for 1,500 minutes, 750 texts and 500MB of data.
Furthermore, Truphone doesn't have deals in every country, so you could find yourself paying over the odds if using one of its SIMs rather than sticking with your regular provider.
O2 pointed this out and noted that many business users like to keep one SIM card and one number when traveling as it means that clients and staff can still contact them directly, rather than having to use other numbers.
Nevertheless, such a deal could be appealing for regular travellers racking up hundreds of pounds every time they head beyond the EU.
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