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when you go abroad do you still use your phone? is there any charges you occur on your phone if you do? just a question i had and wondered about xx


Hi speciallisa1983

Depending on your contract, you will suffer enormous data charges. I used my phone in Germany for caching and got stung with over £120 phone bill for data roaming. If I were you take a gps with you even if it means buying a cheap pre-owned unit before hand.


Have a great time wherever you're going. B)

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• Check with your provider, if data roaming is in your mobile contract and what it may cost. A lot of individual models exist. I would recommend a plan with maximum data for a fixed price. So you won't be surprised with a high bill. But you can do the math yourself, just be careful reading and accepting the options.


• If you don't want to accidentally use online access with your phone, be sure to switch data roaming off (depends on your phone if and how that is possible).


• Consider using temporary WLAN access instead. This may be available much cheaper or even for free at certain places of your travel. Hotels, public places or restaurants (McDonalds, ...) may offer that. You'll need some offline capacity for your geocaching routine when leaving the WLAN area (see next points).


• Consider using an offline capable app (for iPhone I'd recommend "Looking4Cache Pro", since it's totally designed for offline usage, including maps, cache data and offline logging) and pre-plan your trip ahead with pocket queries or update cache data by WLAN (see above).


• Same as last point, but using a decent GPS device. The update per WLAN may not work unless you have a computer with you.


• You always can fall back on pre-planning your trip with pen and paper (or printer and paper), if you can't get online access, don't have offline capacity or no pocket queries (i.e. as a basic member). Take the cache listing, hints, spoilers, recent logs etc. with you (the web page offers a printout format with differen options) and enter the coordinates in your phone/GPSr manually. Just as in the good old days of geocaching...


Have a nice trip! :)

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The official app has an offline function: you can download cache descriptions, but also photos and maps and cache that way. Works best with a pocket query, but you can also chose numbers of caches around a map center or my hand. I usually load my travel pq on my iphone and use it as a backup, or for earthcache descriptions. Just always switch off roaming! Though i must say I don't always do that as I canuse 1gb pretty much everywhere for 20 euro (which my employer pays)

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Also, just a little help to you if you decide to move to Ireland and go geocaching in a foreign country with an Irish phone.


If you are with Vodafone they have an option that has Vodafone Red, which is you pay 1.99eur a day for 100MB of data in the UK, 2.99eur in Europe and 4.99 in selected countries such as Australia or Hong Kong.


Just a tip :)

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If you are in the UK and on the 3 network, there are no extra charges in using your phone in the following countries



I'm not from the UK nor know anything about the 3 network. Does that include data? I've wondered if there was some provider in Europe that offered data plans for multiple countries. With so many smaller countries and the ease of crossing borders for the Schengen countries it would seem like it would be a good idea.

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Ben0w offers some good advice.


I have done a lot of caching in different countries so it's something I've dealt with many times.


First, if you don't have some sort of international data plan with your service provider, you'll want to turn off roaming before turning off airplane mode on your phone. Most countries charge about $20 per megabyte.


Most service providers offer international plans but make sure that you'll get data roaming and pay attention to how data you're getting. For example, one plan has a monthly fee of $30, for 120MB and $30 per 120MB in overage fees. 120M isn't much, especially if you're using an app on a smart phone that is going to download base maps. I haven't compared all the different service providers but those that I've looked at offer monthly plans. I've never purchased a international plan because I'm only traveling for a week or so, or the plan isn't offered in the country I'm visiting.


If you're not a premium member now, become one, at least for a month so that you can run pocket queries. The official geocaching app as well as some others will let you download the results of pocket queries to your phone as well as basemap tiles. Some apps allow you to use maps offline. Once you have pocket query data on your phone you can navigate to geocaches without using any data at all. You don't really need base maps (using the compass screen for navigation) but they do help when caching in unfamiliar cities with a complex maze of narrow streets.


Personally, I prefer to use a standalone GPS. I have a Garmin Oregon and use the free routable open street maps. The coverage is excellent. I've used them in many different cities in Europe, in China, Japan, Singapore, Costa Rica, and several different countries in Africa.


Bring a laptop with you. Wifi hotspots are everywhere. Internet cafe's are actually much more common in places like Africa which still doesn't have good wired internet infrastructure. Once your in a wifi hotspot you can access the site and download geocache data (use a good waypoint manager such as EasyGPS or GSAK).


Plan ahead. Before leaving, create pocket queries for every area you think you might visit. You can create as many as you want and they won't count toward the daily quota unless you schedule to run on a specific day. Once you're abroad you can use a wifi hotspot to download the results of a PQ to your laptop (and transfer them to a GPSr) or download them to your phone. View listings some caches in places where you'll be visiting. You might not be able to easily decode hints in the field or translate cache pages written in another language. I learned my lesson after solving a 4 star D puzzle cache in Paris then spent a half hour looking for it before giving up. The cache listing actually had a spoiler photo, which if I would have printed off before leaving would have shown that I was searching on the wrong side of the street.


Forget about the numbers. You're in a different country. See the sights and find caches in places you'd want to visit even if there wasn't a cache there. Instead of trying to find dozens of caches during the day look at some of the multi caches that will show you some of the sights in the city.

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I was wondering about the same issue in the original post.

I live in the UK, and have just acquired my first smartphone. I have taken a contract with 3 mobile as I spend a lot of time in France and, as stated above, 3 allows use of your monthly allowance of calls and texts to UK phones, and data use, without extra roaming charge.

My daughter insisted however that I switch "data roaming" off unless I really needed it.


I am a bit dense about all this still, but I find that even with data roaming switched off, my geocaching app functions normally, so I suppose it is using the 3g network.

My question is:

As I am in France at present, is it going to incur extra phone cost to geocache in this way? It is working very well here.

What is the app connecting to? If 3g, then does that mean a phone number? And if so, would it be a local one in France (for which I know I would have extra to pay)? Or is it linking back to. UK phone number, in which case I think there will be nothing for me to pay extra to 3 mobile.

Or should I switch data roaming back on, and somehow disable the 3g connection? Is this even possible?



Edited by Loiseau85
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