If you are anything like the majority of people across the U.S. today, you take your cell phone with you everywhere you go. Even a short trip to the grocery store would not be complete without your phone nearby, whether to make a call or just to check up on your email. Of course, that habit doesn’t change when you go on vacation, and your smart phone is certainly going to play a big part in every RV trip that you take. However, unless you enjoy paying huge bills at the end of the month, you will want to be smart with your data usage while traveling. Depending on your cell phone contract, using excessive data while on the road can lead to steep charges, even if you don’t feel like you are using your phone any more than normal.
Get on Wi-Fi
The first key to avoid high data charges is simply to get on Wi-Fi service whenever possible. Nearly every business now offers free Wi-Fi when you come into their store, and many RV parks are even adding Wi-Fi in designated areas. You won’t have to pay for data through your cellular service when you are accessing the web via Wi-Fi signal, so getting on a network should always be a top priority.
Depending on your service carrier, you may be able to request a data reminder when you approach certain limits. These reminders are great because it is easy to mindlessly surf the web without thinking about just how much data you are chewing up. Most carriers will send you a quick text message when you are approaching your data limit for the month, which can be a big help in the battle against extra charges.
Get a Hard-Cap Plan
Some carriers offer data plans that simply have a hard monthly cap which will cut you off from data when you reach your limit. While it can be annoying to reach your limit and no longer be able to access the web from your phone, at least you won’t have to worry at all about overages. Of course, this method could be a problem if you have a job that requires you to be able to check in online from time to time even while you are traveling.
Put the Phone Down!
Of course, the best way to avoid data charges is simply to put down your phone and do something else. The phone, and the internet as a whole, will always be waiting for you when you come back. The whole point of RV travel is to be able to get outside and enjoy nature with your family and friends – and that isn’t going to happen when you are staring down at the screen on your phone. Disconnecting from time to time is great for your mind, and you can still keep the phone close by in case someone back home needs to contact you urgently. Most people find that they have a much more enjoyable vacation when they leave their devices alone and take a step back from the digital world for a few days.