You land in Bangkok, Thailand. Then you make a call to your friend who has settled there, and tell him to pick you up. There’s noise and you can’t make out what he said. And he is nowhere around for next 30 minutes. You make another call. You talked for a few minutes and understood where you’ve to meet him. Finally you get a message from your carrier that you spend Rs. 1000 for these two calls. Welcome to Thailand, welcome to excessive high international roaming!
An international SIM card for Thailand is the best solution to avoid fat roaming bills like the story above while staying in touch with your family and friends. You can buy an international SIM card directly online while you are in India. That said, choose a right voice and data plan as per your need (your calling/browsing habits, duration of stay, type of device). Don’t get moved by any marketing gimmicks and teasers.
Foremost, please check and confirm the tariff of your international SIM bundle (calls, data and mail) with your provider and set a usage plan for yourself. Otherwise there is every chance that you’ll exhaust your services soon or overspend on it.
When you’re in a free Wi-Fi zone in Thailand, please upgrade your mobile phone and/or laptop OS and applications. Often it’s been observed that this kind of updates consume a hell lot of bandwidth, sometimes even it surpasses the data you actually use in sharing files, making chats, browsing and checking mails. If you don’t have any such free Wi-Fi zone, you may disable app and os updates throughout your roaming in Thailand, to save big bucks on your international SIM card data.
Also make sure to use free VOIP, avoid making outgoing calls. As for browsing, say no to streaming audio and video content. Youtube and a dozen other popular such *tubes tax you a lot on data. To draw a parallel, a full days data consumption in browsing sometimes equals to a few minutes of media streaming.
Besides you, you may block ads, popups, flashy content, scripts and even images (if you can restrain) by using proper browser extensions on laptop. Another tweak to save on data is to access web through data compression proxy servers. Google chrome on desktop, and opera on both laptop and mobile devices have such options.
The last but the most extreme bandwidth saving hack is to setup a web-cashing proxy on your laptop, if you tether it with your roaming Mi-Fi device. Web caching servers such as squid and polipo have a variety of uses ranging from caching repeated requests to save on your international sim card data use and increase speed, to filtering web resources for security.