If you're looking for a simple and cheap way to internet overseas, Vodafone's $5 a day data roaming is one of the best options for Australians.
While it's available in a large number of countries, it's always worth checking whether your travel destination is on the list. Here's an explainer on how it works and a list of every country you can use it in.
How Vodafone roaming works
Vodafone's $5 roaming allows you to use all of your regular plan inclusions while overseas. For $5 extra a day you are able to keep your phone number and use the same amount of data, calls and texts that your plan allows.
The $5 roaming charge triggers as soon as you access the network via data usage or a phone call and lasts for 24 hours. So let's say you open TikTok at 10am on a Wednesday morning using data, the roaming plan will trigger and last until 10am Thursday.
How to set up Vodafone $5 roaming
You shouldn't have to do anything other than switch to roaming in your phone settings. Once you arrive in a country where Vodafone's $5 roaming is available you should receive a welcome text and you're good to go.
What happens if you go over my data cap while roaming
If you go over your data cap the same thing will happen as in Australia - you will be slapped with a $10 charge and given an extra 1GB data to use until the end of your bill month. At this point we'd recommend grabbing a local SIM just in case.
How often you can use Vodafone $5 roaming
If you're a frequent traveller, it's important to note Vodafone's $5 a day roaming is available for 90 calendar days a year. If you go over this you will be charged pay-as-you-go-rates.
I made a mistake last week. At the time I wasn't sure how it had happened. I thought I had been so careful. So reserved. So responsible. And yet there I was, staring down the barrel of a $273 roaming charge.
Vodafone $5 Roaming Countries
At the time of writing there are 84 countries that Vodafone's $5 a day roaming works in.
- Aland Islands
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Indonesia (includes Bali)
- Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- UK (England)
- America (USA)
- Vatican City
- Virgin Islands, U.S.
- Northern Ireland
How much does data cost in other countries?
If you accidentally start using Vodafone data in a country not on the list, you'll be charged on a pay-as-you-go rate (PAYG) and it adds up quickly. Check the list carefully, because you don't want to end up like me and receive an expensive bill for downloading three episodes of Dirty John during a layover in the UAE.
PAYG on Vodafone will charge you $1 per MB of data used, so get yourself on Wi-Fi or invest in a local SIM ASAP. If you want to make or receive a phone call it will cost you $1 a minute and sending texts costs 75c each.
How much roaming costs on a cruise
Maritime roaming may kick in if you're on a cruise, even if it's just around Australia. It's largely the same as above in that data is $1 per MB and texts are 75c each. However, calls will jump up to $5 a minute.
Is Vodafone's $5 roaming worth it?
If you're going on a shorter trip, it's certainly on of the best options due to the the low daily price cap and how easy it is to use. It works as soon as you land which is great.
At the time of writing Optus is a week away from launching its new roaming plans so things could change there. As for Telstra it offers $10 a day roaming for 70 countries.
If you're going away for more than a week or two, it's definitely worth looking into local SIM options instead.
You can learn more about Vodafone's roaming here.