Vodafone has extended the benefits of its popular EuroTraveller scheme to eight distant lands although the cost has risen. As a frequent traveller around Europe I now take full advantage of Vodafone’s existing EuroTraveller plug-in which, for £2 a day allows you to roam without worrying about costs. With EuroTraveller, whatever deal you get in Britain—in my case this includes unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 8GB of monthly data—can be used also in other European countries.
After years of banditry on the airwaves, I was at first wary of a deal that seemed too good to be true. Would I get a shock at the end of the month? But it does what is says on the tin. I now seldom fall back on the workaround of using a local SIM card. Even in Greece, which I visit frequently, I have cancelled my local contract and make do with a pay-as-you-go phone, mainly for the convenience of local callers.
Now Vodafone has added some of these carefree benefits to the otherwise unattractive WorldTraveller option. Visitors to a few previously expensive countries, the USA, India, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Ghana, Qatar and South Africa, will be charged £5 a day to take their home contract with them on holiday. This has big implications for data users because, previously, World Traveller offered only a miserly 25MB for an even larger daily charge of £6.
There is a general move to reduce roaming charges, especially in Europe where the EU is determined to abolish them completely by 2016. Vodafone’s EuroTraveller is currently discounted at £2 and is scheduled to return to the previous £3-per-day tariff from September. But things are moving fast, with Three already offering free roaming in 16 countries. So it is quite possible that by the end of the summer Vodafone will have had second thoughts on the price increase. I suspect the fee will be reduced rather than increased.
I also believe that new inclusive rates for WorldTraveller will be extended soon to other countries. Asia is currently missing from the list and it is just a matter of time before Vodafone extends the scheme to China, Japan and other far-eastern countries.
Both schemes are available only to monthly contract holders. All you need do is register at no cost to let the company know you agree to the daily fixed charge.
We have come a long way from the bad days of only last year when unwary travellers could clock up a a bill of £40,000 while watching You Tube videos at the beach.