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Using your Cell Phone’s Call and Data while traveling through Colombia

I have been working virtually and remotely for more than a decade. Still, since the COVID pandemic, more and more people have opted to work remote jobs. Moreover, working remotely allows some people to work and travel. Although it’s not the case for me, when I travel, I still like to have phone access in case of emergency, to communicate with family and friends, and to keep up with new acquaintances. 

Can I use my phone while traveling through Colombia?

You can use your phone while traveling through Colombia. It mainly depends on your cell phone carrier. If you are in the U.S., I recommend contacting your cell phone carrier and asking about International phone and data packages. It used to be that these packages were costly; therefore, many of us got conditioned not even to consider them. 

Are international Call and Data Packages worth it?

Some international call and data packages provided by cell phone companies here in the U.S. are totally worth it, depending on what you expect to be able to do. 

Photo and video sharing generally take a lot of data and may not work as well as you expect. That is something more suited for Wi-Fi. 

Most Call/Data packages are about $10/day, and although that sounds like a pretty steep price, hear me out on how I’ve managed to use it and not spend more than $20 on the entire duration of the trip. Sometimes I may only pay $10. 

Generally speaking, the day we arrive at a destination may be one of the days when having an International Call/Data plan comes in handy. After we land, we may have to get in touch with our ride to our hotel or ultimate destination. For example, Bogotá’s airport is big and can be chaotic sometimes. I avoid getting out of the airport until I’ve contacted our ride, whether a family member, friend, hotel service, car service, cab, etc. Bogota’s traffic can be tricky and challenging, and it’s not unheard of for people getting stuck in traffic and not being able to make it on time. After I have called/texted our ride, then we proceed to leave the airport. 

Since I use the Call/Data plan on the first day and the price is per day, I take advantage of reaching out to as many people as I need to get in touch with. For example, I may use this time to confirm hotel reservations, tours, activities, etc. Although most Colombian businesses communicate via email and social media, most small businesses do better by phone. 

From then on, I turn my cell phone on airplane mode. I will use Wi-Fi at hotels, local restaurants, and many places that offer this service. I will only take my phone off airplane mode in case of an emergency or if I must make a call/text/email, or use data. Generally speaking, I rarely use it, but I like knowing I have it in case I need it. 

In this scenario, I will only spend $10 on my entire trip. 

What Cell phone companies provide an international Data Plan?

AT&T and Verizon offer International Data Plans. Most cell phone companies here in the U.S. provide an international data plan. The trick is learning more about each plan and understanding what it entails. Two of the most popular data plans are from AT&T and Verizon Wireless. 

What is included in the AT&T International Day Pass?

According to the AT&T website, the International Day pass gives you access to 210+ countries worldwide. You will have unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. You will only pay for the days you use. No extra charge after 10 days per line. 

What is the cost of the AT&T International Day Pass?

As of this year (2023), the AT&T International Day Pass is $10/day. 

What is included in the Verizon Travel Pass?

According to the Verizon website, the Travel Pass gives you access to 210+ countries worldwide. You will have unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. You will only pay for the days you use. 

What is the cost of the Verizon Travel Pass?

As of this year (2023), the Verizon Travel pass is $10/day; however, if you travel to Mexico or Canada, the price is $5/day.