Some networks offer inclusive roaming in countries outside the EU, while others don't. What's more, if you're canny and choose your network wisely you can even get inclusive roaming in destinations much farther afield.
That largely depends on where you like to holiday. We'll be looking at the following providers based on their costs, data allowances, and general roaming policies:
At the time of writing, Three’s Feel at Home scheme covers 71 worldwide locations, more than any other network. And winningly, it includes really popular destinations, such as the USA, Australia and Hong Kong.
However, a lot of these destinations are only available on a Three Advanced plan, which is usually more expensive than a regular Three deal.
Typically, Advanced plan contracts work out at around £3 or £4 a month more than an Essential plan. But, in addition to Three’s Feel at Home inclusive roaming scheme, an Advanced plan will also get you Go Binge which allows you to use select streaming services without eating into your data.
Still, if you normally travel in the EU and don’t use streaming services on the go, you might be better off saving some money and going with an Essential plan instead.
Similarly, EE’s Feel at Home scheme aims to cover 80% of the destinations EE customers visit. But it’s only available on 4GEE Max plans, which generally cost a lot more.
For the extra outlay, a 4GEE Max plan will also get you EE’s fastest 4G speeds and a TNT Sports subscription for the duration of your contract. But again, you’ll have to weigh up whether or not those benefits are worth paying more for.
If you’re planning a trip abroad and you’re still locked into a contract, you could get a one-month SIM-only deal or a pay-as-you-go SIM plan that comes with inclusive roaming for your destination.
If, for example, you’re heading off to the USA for a fortnight and you’re currently on an O2 pay monthly contract, you have a couple of options. You could pay £4.99 a day for an O2 bolt-on that’ll give you 120 texts, 120 minutes and all the data you’ll need. Which would cost you a total of £69.86 over your two-week holiday.
Or you could get a one-month Three Advanced plan SIM that’ll give you inclusive roaming in the US. At the time of writing, you can get 600 minutes, unlimited texts plus a generous 8GB of data for just £14 on a one-month rolling contract. And so long as you cancel your contract with 30 days’ notice, this deal works out at £55.86 cheaper than using a bolt-on.
Below we take a look at each network in turn to see what's on offer.
Roaming policies vary wildly from network to network. So, how do you know whether you'll be able to use your phone when you're abroad and how much it'll cost you?
Luckily, we've done all the leg work for you in this handy network-by-network guide.
This information was correct at the time of writing.
Three’s Go Roam offer lets you use your at–home allowance of calls, texts and data without paying extra in 71 locations.
These are in Europe and beyond, including USA, Australia and New Zealand. You can see the full list of countries here: Three Go Roam.
It's worth noting that Feel at Home is reserved for customers on Three's Advanced Plans.
Calling numbers within a country will cost extra. But you'll be notified of the rates with a text message from Three when you arrive at your holiday destination.
If you're on a Three Essential Plan, you'll still be able to use your allowance for no extra charge in the EU. But you won't qualify for inclusive roaming in locations further afield.
To find out how much you could save, use the special calculator on Three's website.
Three also has a £5 per day Euro Internet Pass for other destinations.
Want to know more? Take a look at our Three roaming FAQs.
Vodafone offers a selection of roaming schemes.
Roam-Free lets you use your regular monthly allowance of calls, texts and data in 48 European countries for no extra cost.
Roam Further allows you to access your monthly allowance in a further 104 countries for an additional £6 per day.
There's also the Global Roaming Plus scheme. Reserved for customers on Vodafone's Red Entertainment plans at the time of writing, this allows customers to use their UK allowances in 77 location, including those in the EU and much further afield.
Vodafone has a 25GB cap on its roaming allowances, although that should be more than enough to see you through.
Find out more with our Vodafone roaming FAQs.
All O2 pay monthly and business customers qualify for inclusive roaming in 49 European destinations. These are deemed to be in O2's Europe Zone.
Customers who signed up for a plan with 4GB or 15GB data allowance or more also qualify for the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On roaming in a further 27 locations further afield, including USA, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand. On each day in these destinations, customers are granted a daily allowance of 120 texts, 120 minutes, and 150Mb of data.
The O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, included on select plans, lets you roam in a further 27 international destinations. If you’re not on an eligible plan, the bolt on costs £6 per day.
If you're not on a cheaper plan that doesn't include an extended worldwide roaming scheme as standard, you can sign up for an O2 Full Travel Bolt On for £6 per day. That buys you 120 minutes and 120 texts per day and uncapped data to use in locations outside O2's Europe Zone.
Want to see which countries are covered? Have a read of our O2 roaming FAQs.
EE customers who signed up on or after 7 July 2021 will need to pay £2 a day to roam in the EU. Anyone who is on an EE contract that started before that date won't have to pay EU roaming charges.
EE has introduced a new range of 4GEE Max plans for new and upgrading customers that allow customers to use their monthly allowances across 53 destinations worldwide.
These include EU countries as well as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. This covers over 80% of the time EE customers spend overseas.
Take a look at our EE roaming FAQs.
Virgin Mobile offers inclusive roaming in 43 destinations with its Roam Like Home scheme. These include 28 EU locations, as well as locations in Europe but outside the EU, such as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Gibraltar.
Roam Like Home also includes some countries outside Europe, such as Canary Islands, French Caribbean, Martinique and Reunion.
Interested? Find out more with our Virgin Media roaming FAQs.
iD Mobile offers inclusive roaming in 50 destinations in the EU and beyond with its Roam Like Home scheme.
The offer applies to SIM only contracts, pay monthly mobile phone contracts and pay as you go.
Want to know more? Check out our iD Mobile roaming FAQs.
All Sky Mobile customers are able to use their mobile data, calls and texts in 36 European locations for £2 a day.
One major benefit of Sky Mobile as far as roaming goes is that, if you've already stored a trove of unused data in your Sky Piggybank, you can use the data when you're in Europe, too.
Find out more with our Sky Mobile roaming FAQs.
TalkTalk customers can use their monthly allowance of calls, texts and data for no extra cost in 49 destinations.
However, it's worth bearing in mind that customers who have been with TalkTalk for less than 3 months will need to pay £25 as an advanced payment to activate roaming.
Want to see which countries are covered? Take a look at our TalkTalk roaming FAQs.
Customers on BT Mobile can enjoy inclusive roaming in 47 destinations thanks to BT's Roam Like Home scheme. This includes locations such as the Canary Islands, Norway and Switzerland.
And you can use the BT Mobile app to track your usage, so you can make sure you don't go over your allowance.
Want to see which other locations are covered? Read our BT Mobile roaming FAQs.
giffgaff offers inclusive roaming for all its customers in 37 locations in the EU and beyond.
And topping up overseas is easy too. All you need to do is head to the giffgaff website, which free to access, even if you’ve run out of credit.
It's worth noting that you won't be able to use your allowance if you're visiting a country not included in giffgaff's 37 locations.
Want to know which countries are covered? Take a look at our giffgaff roaming FAQs.
All Tesco Mobile customers can use their monthly allowance of calls, texts and data for no extra charge in 48 European destinations.
Customers travelling further afield will still be able to use their phones while on holiday, but they will need to pay extra.
Want to find out which destinations are covered? Take a look at our Tesco Mobile roaming FAQs.
SMARTY now lets you use your regular monthly allowance of data, calls and texts from anywhere in the EU for no extra cost.
Travelling further afield? You can buy an add-on for that.
Want to find out more? Check out our SMARTY roaming FAQs.
Want to know more? Take a look at our complete guide to roaming.
Using your phone while travelling overseas can result in some pretty serious charges if you're not careful. Here's what you need to know about mobile roaming and data roaming charges.Learn more
Learn how to make cheap overseas calls on your mobile phone and discover which networks specialises in cheap international calls.Learn more