Apps Gone Wild

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….OK well one of them. It’s the time when many Canadians can be found dusting off their luggage, scrambling to find summer clothes and sighing deeply as our toes are freed from the bondage of warm socks! We are the vacationers!

Those of us who can’t go away chase the dream by sucking up the photos that our travelling friends share on social media. Ah yes, it’s the days when Facebook allows us momentary glimpses into the lives of others and I know I’m happy to scroll on and on…

As you’re planning and packing there is one potential risk to travelling which I want to draw your mind’s eye to. It’s not a disease, accident or heaven forbid a cancelled flight…it’s a potential underlying cost which can bring your happy travel memories to a crashing halt when you return home. Your mobile phone bill.

family in dominicanRecently my family and I were on a group trip to the Dominican Republic to enjoy our friends’ vow renewal. It was a fantastic trip where many of us purchased travel data passes for our phones. This is ESSENTIAL if you’re going to use your phone at all while travelling. The fees without a travel bundle could be massive and who needs that stress?

I know I tend to use a plethora of data while travelling so I arranged the TELUS Caribbean Combo Pass for my trip. This included:

  • 300 minutes of talk time
  • 300MB of data
  • Unlimited incoming and outgoing texts

And when I tell you I use a lot of data when travelling, I mean a lot — so much that I received a text alert from TELUS telling me I had used 200MB of my 300MB by the second day! Firstly, how great is it that you receive texts updating your usage? After taking a look at my phone I realized that I’d overlooked turning off all of the push notifications for the social media apps I use and they had gone WILD. I hadn’t taken the time to get to know my new phone well enough and had left myself open to this.

dominican beachImagine what that could have looked like if I hadn’t had a travel pass which notifies you. In fact, for even more peace of mind, TELUS actually blocks your ability to access data until you confirm you want to go over your limit and use more. Reactivating was very easy; I just confirmed I wanted to continue using data and was back up and scrolling. This safety feature will save people $$$ in the event that they have apps going wild in the background without being aware.

Thankfully I had the TELUS travel pass which is designed to protect me in the manner it did, but one of the teens on the trip wasn’t so lucky. She was given permission to text a friend from the hotel so she turned her phone off Airplane Mode and happily shared a few pics with her BFF back home. She didn’t access any social media or open any other apps and yet when they arrived home they received a bill for over $900! Again the apps went wild behind the scenes!

The solution to avoiding bill shock

Staying connected while travelling doesn’t have to cost you the world. My friends at TELUS have come up with some solutions to help us travel smart! Check out this blog post and see below for more tips and tricks.

Julie is a blogger, speaker, travel enthusiast and social media expert. Read more about Julie’s journey at soberjulie.com