Phone tips for Australia

 

Phone tips

When traveling it’s handy to have a sim card of the country where you are at that moment. Calling/using the internet/texting, whatsapping etc, with your Dutch subscription in a foreign country is (still unfortunately) very expensive. Change (if possible) your own subscription. Lower or cancel your own subscription.

 

Lowering/canceling your subscription

Some providers offer you the possibility of lowering your subscription or the possibility to cancel your subscription every month. Look into this beforehand. If you do want to cancel your subscription you usually have to do this with two months notice (in writing). This is also something to keep in mind, check saving tips for more.

 

Foreign sim card

In a foreign country, you can always buy a sim card. This way everyone can reach you and you’ll have low costs. It’s important to remember that you don’t need a direct line to your own country 24/7, you’re on a trip. If you do want to contact someone in your own country, then you have a (cheap) service with your prepaid card of the country you’re in at that moment.

 

Phone company

Australia has one main phone company, just like the Netherlands. In Australia, this company is called Telstra. If you decide to buy an Australian prepaid sim card (which we really recommend!!) it’s easiest to just buy one from Telstra (activate your card here if you’ve bought one).

 

Australia has more phone companies besides Telstra, but Telstra does have the most and best service throughout the whole country (keep in mind this does NOT actually mean EVERYWHERE, for example, the outback).

 

With a prepaid sim card from Telstra in your unlocked smartphone, you can also use some of the free wifi offered at certain locations like cafes, restaurants, airports etc.

 

So having internet (through free wifi, so free) and also being able to call with your Australian prepaid sim card for little money is a deal, right? It’s usually also cheaper than using an Australian plan! Look up the prices of your own plan with your own provider. Here you’ll find the Telstra shop that is closest to you!

 

Cell service

Whether you choose for an Australian sim card or not, the cell service in Australia is limited to in and around the cities and villages. When you have to go a long distance (especially in the states WA and NT), moving from place to place, there’s a big chance that between these places there’s no service. Your (smart)phone with a Dutch sim card automatically looks for the best available carrier, which means your Dutch sim card isn’t necessarily better or worse in service.

 

Keep in mind that there are places where there are no villages/cities and where there’s no service. You can’t call or be called.

 

Skype (free calling)

Calling from Australia to another country can be really expensive. An alternative could be to use Skype to call back home. This is free when you’re using the internet. You need two computers to do this, one for you and one for the person you’re trying to call. You’re both also going to need a pair of headsets with a microphone and a personal Skype account. This account is really easy to make just click here.

 

You can also choose to buy call credit for your Skype account. You can use this call credit to call from your computer (using Skype) to a landline. You still pay far less than you would when trying to call with your cell phone. If you want to call someone using Skype, you do need a steady internet connection. You can read all about how to use the internet as cheap as possible by reading the internet tips!

 

Internet tips

Wifi

Using the internet is (thankfully) becoming easier to use with our cellphones, (mini) laptops and Ipads. A tip is to remember that (free) internet is being offered more and more. For example, think of cafes, bar, hostels, restaurants (even the McDonalds!) and churches. All these offer free wifi nowadays.

In most cases, it’s also possible to use the internet in (public) libraries. Sometimes you have to sign in to use one but after that, you can just go ahead and use them all you’d like. These services are also free. Hooking up to the wifi is easy, too.

 

TIP: In some cases, you can walk/drive into a neighborhood and see if there’s an unprotected wifi network somewhere. If you have a long lasting battery, you could, with a bit of luck, sit in a park and use somebody’s (who lives in that street) unprotected wifi network. This way you can keep everybody up-to-date on all your adventures.

 

TIP: Did you bring a laptop on your trip? Type your blog story on a word document first. When it’s done you’ll only need 5 minutes of internet to post the complete story on your (we)Blog. This is so handy even for general e-mails to friends and family! This saves you so much time (on the internet) and for other (important) things!!

 

For your top 10 cheaper smartphone internet tips, check out this page!

 

Call cards in Australia

Besides Skype, cellphone data and internet, you could also choose to use call cards. Almost every hostel, tour agency, post office or internet cafe promotes these cards.

You can usually buy them at any of the above.

Keep in mind there are a ton of different call cards. The most important tips to choose the right call card are listed below:

1.Can you call the country you want to call?

1.Can you use the call card to call from the place you are at that moment (so is this a call card for all of Australia or only for certain places)?

2.What are the costs per minute? Or do they charge you per second?

3.Do you pay your starting rate with cash? Or can you use your (debit/credit)card? (And what is the starting rate are they asking you to pay?)

4.How many Australian dollars are on the card? (=long or short calls)

A good call card is the ChitChat card. This card allows you to call from different places in Australia for about 1 cent a minute. When you call outside of these certain places, it’s a little more expensive but still really cheap. These certain places are listed on the back of the card. For every phone call, you need to pay 50 cents, but as long as you DON’T hang up, you can continue calling. You’ll hear a voice ask if you want to dial another call. So as long as you don’t hang up the phone but instead the people you’re talking with you’ll able to continue calling other people.

 

 

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