You have organized nearly everything for your trip to your host family, and now you are wondering what to do with your cell phone, mobile phone or smartphone . On one hand, you want to be available so your friends and family can call you any time during your au pair stay, but on the other hand you are also afraid of the high costs of using your cell phone abroad .
Of course you can take your cell phone with you, but we recommend canceling all roaming functions on your cell phone and all internet options on your smartphone before your trip. If you are not sure how to do this, contact the phone company so they can change the configurations on your chip.
The rate you pay for your cell phone or your smartphone back home is usually only for the mobile network in that same country. That means that even if somebody calls you on your phone while you are abroad as an au pair, you have to pay the costs for forwarding an international call. So using your cell phone during your au pair stay can get very expensive very fast.
Many host families give their au pair a cell phone . If that is the case with your host family, you should definitely talk to them about how to split the costs, or whether you have to pay for part of your cell phone bill. Find out if you can use it for all of your phone calls (also for your private calls) or if there are any restrictions.
For your information: There are many very cheap flat rates for cell phones and smartphones that allow you unlimited phone calls to land lines or other mobile phones or unlimited internet access for your smartphone. If you want to use your cell phone regularly during your au pair stay to talk to friends abroad or to keep in touch with your family, it is usually cheaper to get a cell phone contract with a fixed rate than a prepaid phone. Tell your host family about this, too.
If your host family doesn’t want to give you a cell phone or if you already have a great phone, you could offer your host family to use this phone, but with a chip and a contract from your au pair country. If you do this it also means that during your au pair time abroad you will have a different phone number and you’ll have to tell your friends and family that you have a new cell phone number.
If your host family doesn’t want to give you an au pair cell phone or a smartphone for your daily life you might consider using your own cell phone abroad , which means that you will have to look for a cell phone company. Ask your host family if they can help you find a good cell phone company for your needs.
If you have a smartphone and want to use it during your au pair stay ask your host family for their WiFi password so you can use your host family’s internet for free. That way you can use the video chat or send chat messages for free.