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How To Avoid International Roaming Charges On Verizon


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Leia Hunt



Traveling internationally can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most dreaded aspects of international travel for many people is the hefty international roaming charges that can quickly accumulate on their phone bills. Luckily, if you’re a Verizon customer, there are several ways you can avoid these charges and stay connected without breaking the bank.


International roaming charges are fees imposed by your mobile service provider when you use your phone outside of your home country. These charges can include fees for making and receiving calls, sending and receiving texts and multimedia messages, and using data services like internet browsing or accessing apps. These charges can vary significantly depending on your destination and the specific plan or package you have with your carrier.


Verizon, one of the largest mobile service providers in the United States, offers various options for international roaming to its customers. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just planning a short trip abroad, understanding these options can help you avoid excessive charges and stay connected while enjoying your time overseas.


In this article, we will explore the different international roaming options provided by Verizon and share some valuable tips to help you avoid international roaming charges. We’ll also discuss how to prepare your phone for international travel and suggest alternative communication methods that can save you money and keep you connected without incurring exorbitant fees.


Understanding International Roaming Charges

Before we delve into strategies to avoid international roaming charges, let’s first understand what these charges entail. When you travel outside of your home country, your mobile service provider partners with local networks in the destination country to provide you with cellular coverage. However, this convenience comes at a cost.


International roaming charges are fees imposed by your mobile service provider for using their services on the partnered networks abroad. These charges can be quite high and can quickly skyrocket if you’re not careful. The most common types of international roaming charges include:

  1. Roaming call rates: This charge applies when you make or receive calls while roaming. These rates are typically higher than domestic call rates and can vary depending on the country you are visiting.
  2. Roaming data charges: Using data services while roaming can lead to hefty charges. From browsing the internet to using apps that require an internet connection, every bit of data used can add up to your bill.
  3. Roaming messaging charges: Similar to data charges, sending and receiving text messages and multimedia messages (MMS) while roaming can also result in additional fees.

It’s important to note that these charges can vary significantly depending on the country you’re visiting and the specific plan or package you have with your mobile service provider. Some countries might have higher roaming rates, while others may have more affordable options. It’s always crucial to check with your provider to understand the rates and options available for your destination.


Additionally, it’s worth noting that international roaming charges can be even higher if you’re traveling outside of the coverage area of your own mobile service provider. In such cases, your provider may have to rely on partner networks, which can result in higher charges.


Now that you have a better understanding of international roaming charges, let’s explore Verizon’s international roaming options and how you can avoid these charges while still enjoying seamless connectivity during your travels.


Verizon’s International Roaming Options

Verizon offers several international roaming options to its customers, allowing them to stay connected while traveling abroad. These options include:

  1. TravelPass: Verizon’s TravelPass allows you to use your existing plan’s talk, text, and data allowances while abroad for a daily fee. With TravelPass, you can use your phone in over 185 countries without incurring additional roaming charges. You are only charged on the days you use your device, with a set fee for each 24-hour period. This option can be convenient for short trips and provides a predictable cost for international usage.
  2. Monthly International Travel Plan: If you’re planning an extended stay abroad, Verizon offers monthly international travel plans. These plans provide a specific amount of talk, text, and data allowances for a fixed monthly fee. Monthly international travel plans often offer more cost-effective options for long-term travelers or frequent visitors to a particular country or region.
  3. Pay-as-you-go rates: If you prefer more flexibility and don’t anticipate heavy usage during your international trip, you can simply rely on Verizon’s pay-as-you-go rates. These rates vary depending on the country you’re visiting and apply to voice calls, text messages, and data usage. It’s important to note that pay-as-you-go rates can be significantly higher than using travel passes or monthly international plans, so it’s advisable to monitor your usage carefully to avoid unexpected charges.
  4. Global Data Plan: For frequent international travelers, Verizon offers a Global Data plan. This plan provides a set amount of data for use in over 130 countries and can be added to your existing plan for a monthly fee. The Global Data plan helps you stay connected without worrying about data overages or excessive charges while traveling.

It’s essential to check Verizon’s website or contact their customer service to determine the availability and suitability of these international roaming options for your specific needs and destination. Understanding these options will help you choose the most cost-effective solution to keep you connected while avoiding excessive roaming charges.


Now that you know the various international roaming options available from Verizon, let’s explore some essential tips to help you minimize or even avoid international roaming charges altogether.


Tips to Avoid International Roaming Charges on Verizon

While Verizon offers international roaming options to help you stay connected while abroad, there are additional steps you can take to avoid or minimize roaming charges. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

  1. Check your plan: Before traveling internationally, review your Verizon plan to understand what is covered and what additional charges may apply. Some plans may already include international roaming allowances or discounted rates for specific countries.
  2. Enable airplane mode with Wi-Fi: When you don’t want to use cellular services, but still want to connect to the internet or make calls, enable airplane mode and connect to Wi-Fi networks. This allows you to use Wi-Fi for data services or utilize Wi-Fi calling and messaging apps without incurring roaming charges.
  3. Use Wi-Fi calling: Verizon offers Wi-Fi calling, which allows you to make and receive calls and texts over a Wi-Fi network. This feature is especially useful in areas with weak cellular coverage or to avoid roaming charges altogether. Make sure to enable Wi-Fi calling in your device settings before traveling.
  4. Use messaging apps: Instead of relying on traditional text messaging, use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or iMessage to communicate with friends and family. These apps use data instead of SMS, allowing you to stay in touch without incurring additional charges.
  5. Manage data usage: Be mindful of your data usage while abroad. Disable automatic updates and background app refresh, and consider downloading offline maps and content before your trip. Utilize Wi-Fi networks whenever available and monitor your data usage to avoid exceeding your plan’s allowances or incurring high pay-as-you-go rates.
  6. Consider a local SIM card: If you have an unlocked phone, purchasing a local SIM card in your destination country can be a cost-effective option. This allows you to have a local phone number and take advantage of local rates for calls, texts, and data. Research local carriers and SIM card options in advance to ensure compatibility with your device.
  7. Research roaming agreements: Check if Verizon has roaming agreements with local carriers in your destination country. In some instances, Verizon may have favorable rates or partnerships that can reduce roaming charges. Familiarize yourself with the specific terms and conditions of these agreements before your trip.
  8. Use offline modes for apps: Many apps have offline modes that allow you to use certain features without an internet connection. Save maps, articles, and other content offline before your trip so you can access them without using data while roaming.

Implementing these tips can help you avoid or significantly reduce international roaming charges while still enjoying the convenience of staying connected during your travels. By being proactive and making smart choices, you can make the most out of your international experience without breaking the bank.


Using Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Calling

One of the most effective ways to avoid international roaming charges on Verizon is by utilizing Wi-Fi networks and enabling Wi-Fi calling on your device. Here’s how you can make the most of Wi-Fi connectivity:


Connect to Wi-Fi networks: Whenever possible, connect to Wi-Fi networks to access the internet and use data-enabled services without relying on cellular networks. Many hotels, cafes, and public spaces offer free or paid Wi-Fi access for their customers. Take advantage of these networks to browse the web, check emails, and use apps without incurring roaming charges.


Enable Wi-Fi calling: Verizon offers Wi-Fi calling on compatible devices, allowing you to make and receive calls and texts over a Wi-Fi network. This feature is especially useful when you have weak or no cellular signal or want to avoid incurring roaming charges. To enable Wi-Fi calling, go to your device’s settings and toggle on the Wi-Fi calling feature. You may need to enter your emergency 911 address to activate this feature.


With Wi-Fi calling enabled, you can use your Verizon number to make and receive calls and texts over Wi-Fi, just as if you were using a regular cellular network. This functionality is particularly handy when traveling to locations with limited connectivity or when you’re in buildings with poor cellular reception.


It’s important to note that both you and the person you are calling must have Wi-Fi calling capabilities enabled on their devices. Additionally, Wi-Fi calling uses your internet connection, so ensure that you have a stable and reliable Wi-Fi connection to avoid call quality issues.


By taking advantage of Wi-Fi networks and enabling Wi-Fi calling, you can stay connected without relying on cellular networks and avoid the costly roaming charges that can accumulate during international travel. Remember to configure these settings and test them out before your trip to ensure a seamless experience while abroad.


Using VoIP Services

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services can be a cost-effective and convenient way to stay connected while avoiding international roaming charges on Verizon. VoIP allows you to make voice and video calls over the internet, bypassing traditional phone networks. Here’s how you can utilize VoIP services:


Use VoIP apps: There are several popular VoIP apps available that allow you to make voice and video calls, send messages, and even share files over the internet. Apps like WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts offer free or low-cost calling options, making them ideal for international communication. Install these apps on your smartphone, tablet, or computer before your trip and ensure that your contacts also have the same apps for seamless communication.


Wi-Fi or data connection: To use VoIP services, you’ll need a stable internet connection. Connect to Wi-Fi networks whenever available to avoid using your cellular data, thereby saving on roaming charges. If Wi-Fi is not accessible, you can use your mobile data, but be cautious of any potential data charges that may apply according to your Verizon plan.


Call quality considerations: The quality of your VoIP calls may depend on the stability and speed of your internet connection. While Wi-Fi networks generally provide better call quality, using mobile data can work well if you have a strong signal. However, keep in mind that data-intensive services like video calling may consume a significant amount of data. Monitor your data usage to avoid exceeding your plan’s allowances or incurring additional charges.


International calling rates: It’s important to be aware that while many VoIP services offer free or low-cost calls, there may still be charges for calling international phone numbers outside of the app’s network. Before making international calls, check the rates offered by the VoIP service and compare them to Verizon’s international calling rates. In some cases, the VoIP service may offer more affordable options, especially for calls to countries not covered by your Verizon plan.


Using VoIP services can help you stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues while avoiding high international roaming charges. These apps provide a convenient and cost-effective way to communicate internationally, especially when combined with Wi-Fi connectivity. Remember to test and familiarize yourself with the VoIP app’s features and settings before your trip to ensure a smooth calling experience.


Getting a Local SIM Card

If you have an unlocked device, getting a local SIM card in your destination country can be an excellent way to avoid international roaming charges and enjoy affordable rates for calls, texts, and data. Here’s how you can go about getting a local SIM card:


Check device compatibility: Before considering a local SIM card, ensure that your device is unlocked and compatible with the local network technology in your destination country. Different countries use different network technologies, such as GSM or CDMA. Research the network types used in your destination country and confirm that your device supports them.


Research local carriers: Identify the local mobile carriers in your destination country. Look for reputable carriers with good coverage and reasonable rates. Check their websites or visit their stores to understand the available plans, packages, and services they offer to travelers.


Purchase a SIM card: Once you’ve chosen a carrier, visit one of their authorized stores or retailers to purchase a local SIM card. Make sure to bring your identification documents, as some countries may require their presentation for SIM card registration.


Activate the SIM card: Follow the instructions provided with the SIM card to activate it. This may involve inserting the SIM card into your device, contacting the carrier for activation, or using a specific activation code or app. Ensure that the SIM card is properly activated before using it.


Top up or purchase a plan: Depending on your needs, you can either top up your SIM card with credit or purchase a prepaid plan that offers a specific allowance of talk time, text messages, and data. Choose a plan that suits your requirements and budget. Some plans may offer add-ons for international calling or data roaming if needed.


Switch to the local SIM card: Once your local SIM card is activated and topped up, replace your current SIM card with the new one. Ensure that your device recognizes the new SIM card and allows you to make calls, send texts, and access data using the local carrier’s network.


By using a local SIM card, you can take advantage of local rates, avoid international roaming charges, and have a local phone number. It’s essential to plan ahead and research the available options to select a reliable carrier and a suitable plan for your needs. Make sure to inform your contacts of your temporary local number to stay connected while abroad.


Traveling to Countries with Roaming Agreements with Verizon

If you’re traveling to a country with a roaming agreement with Verizon, you may benefit from discounted rates or more affordable roaming options. Verizon has partnerships with various international carriers, allowing their customers to enjoy better roaming rates in these countries. Here’s what you need to know:


Check Verizon’s roaming agreements: Before your trip, visit Verizon’s website or contact their customer service to find out which countries have roaming agreements. This information will help you understand the available options and potential cost savings for your destination.


Understand the roaming options: Each roaming agreement may offer different options and rates. Some agreements may provide discounted rates for voice calls, texts, and data, while others may offer specific international travel packages. Review the details of the roaming agreement to determine whether it aligns with your usage requirements and budget.


Monitor usage and charges: Although roaming agreements can provide cost savings, it’s essential to be aware of your usage and any associated charges. Even with a roaming agreement in place, there may still be fees for certain services or usage beyond specified allowances. Keep track of your usage to avoid unforeseen charges on your bill.


Consider TravelPass: Even if you’re traveling to a country with a roaming agreement, Verizon’s TravelPass option may still be beneficial. TravelPass allows you to use your existing plan’s talk, text, and data allowances in over 185 countries for a daily fee. Compare the cost of using TravelPass with the rates offered through the roaming agreement to determine the most cost-effective option for your specific travel needs.


Be prepared for coverage variations: While roaming agreements provide improved rates, it’s important to note that coverage and network quality may vary in different countries. Research the coverage of the local carrier associated with the roaming agreement to understand potential limitations in certain areas or regions within the country.


Traveling to countries with roaming agreements with Verizon can provide you with more affordable options and potentially better access to cellular services. Always verify the details of the roaming agreement for your specific destination and factor in your usage patterns to make an informed decision about the most cost-effective way to stay connected while abroad.


Using Messaging Apps for Communication

When traveling internationally, using messaging apps can be an excellent alternative to traditional text messaging and a cost-effective way to stay connected without incurring international roaming charges. Here’s how you can make the most of messaging apps for communication:


Install messaging apps: Before your trip, ensure that you have popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, or Facebook Messenger installed on your device. These apps allow you to send text messages, make voice and video calls, and share multimedia files over the internet.


Connect to Wi-Fi: To minimize data usage and avoid roaming charges, connect to Wi-Fi networks whenever possible. Wi-Fi networks are commonly available in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and public areas. By utilizing Wi-Fi, you can use messaging apps without consuming your cellular data.


Consider data usage: If you need to use messaging apps outside of Wi-Fi areas, be mindful of your data usage. Messaging apps generally consume less data than other data-intensive activities like browsing or streaming videos. However, it’s still advisable to monitor your usage and adjust your settings to reduce data consumption. For example, you can disable auto-downloads of media files or set the app to use less data for voice and video calls.


Group chats and voice notes: Take advantage of group chats to stay connected with multiple friends or family members simultaneously. Group chats can be an efficient way to plan activities or discuss travel arrangements. Additionally, many messaging apps allow you to send voice notes, which can be a convenient alternative to typing long messages while on the go.


Multi-platform compatibility: Ensure that the messaging app you choose is compatible with various platforms, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. This compatibility allows you to switch seamlessly between devices and ensures that you can communicate with your contacts regardless of their preferred device.


Inform your contacts: Let your contacts know that you’ll be using a messaging app for communication during your travels. Share your username or contact details and encourage them to install the same app if they haven’t already. This way, you can stay connected and avoid international texting charges that may apply when communicating through traditional SMS.


Messaging apps provide a convenient and cost-effective way to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues while traveling internationally. By utilizing Wi-Fi networks and being mindful of data usage, you can communicate seamlessly without incurring expensive roaming charges on your Verizon plan.


Preparing Your Phone for International Travel

When planning for international travel, it’s essential to prepare your phone to ensure seamless connectivity and avoid unexpected roaming charges. Here are some crucial steps to take before your departure:


Check device compatibility: Verify that your phone is compatible with the network technologies used in your destination country. Different countries may operate on GSM or CDMA networks. Check your device’s specifications or contact your mobile service provider to confirm compatibility.


Unlock your phone: If your phone is locked to a specific carrier, consider unlocking it to use local SIM cards from different countries. Unlocking allows you to switch to a local SIM card and take advantage of more affordable local rates for calls, texts, and data. Contact your carrier to inquire about the unlocking process.


Research destination’s mobile networks: Understand the mobile network landscape at your destination. Research the local mobile service providers, network coverage, and available plans. This information will help you make informed decisions about buying local SIM cards or utilizing your current plan while traveling.


Download maps and offline content: Take advantage of offline maps and content by downloading them before your trip. Many navigation and travel apps offer offline capabilities, allowing you to access maps, guidebooks, and other useful information without relying on an internet connection. This can be especially handy when you’re in areas with limited or costly data access.


Backup your data: Before departing, ensure that you have backed up all important data on your phone. This includes contacts, photos, and important documents. Backing up your data ensures that even if your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged during your travels, you can easily retrieve your information.


Optimize settings for data usage: Review and adjust your phone’s settings to minimize data usage while traveling. Disable automatic app updates, background app refresh, and other features that consume data. Consider using data-saving modes if available on your device to restrict data usage to essential apps only.


Update your apps: Update all the apps on your phone to their latest versions before your trip. App updates often include bug fixes, performance improvements, and enhanced security measures. Having up-to-date apps ensures smoother functionality and better protection during your travels.


Carry travel adapters and chargers: Don’t forget to pack the necessary travel adapters and chargers to ensure that you can power and charge your device abroad. Research the electrical outlets used at your destination and bring adapters accordingly.


By taking these steps to prepare your phone for international travel, you can avoid connectivity issues, reduce the risk of excessive roaming charges, and enjoy a hassle-free experience staying connected throughout your journey.



International travel no longer needs to come with the fear of hefty roaming charges on your Verizon phone. By understanding the options available and implementing some smart strategies, you can stay connected without breaking the bank.


Verizon offers international roaming options such as TravelPass and Monthly International Travel Plans, providing flexibility and predictable costs for your international communication needs. Additionally, utilizing Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi calling can help you stay connected while avoiding cellular networks and roaming charges.


VoIP services and messaging apps offer convenient alternatives to traditional calling and texting, allowing you to communicate over the internet and save on international rates. Installing these apps before your trip and connecting to Wi-Fi networks whenever possible can help you avoid data charges and stay in touch with loved ones.


If you have an unlocked device, getting a local SIM card in your destination country can be a cost-effective option. Research the local carriers and their plans to take advantage of affordable rates and avoid international roaming charges altogether.


Before embarking on your journey, ensure that your phone is prepared for international travel. Verify device compatibility, unlock your phone if necessary, and optimize settings to minimize data usage. Back up your data, update your apps, and pack the necessary chargers and adapters to ensure a smooth experience abroad.


By following these tips and being proactive in managing your phone usage, you can enjoy your international travels with peace of mind and avoid any unpleasant surprises when your phone bill arrives. Stay connected, explore new destinations, and make beautiful memories without worrying about excessive roaming charges on Verizon.