One of the more frustrating things when you’re using an Australian telco is knowing that the moment you head overseas, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be charged heavily for the privilege of using your phone overseas. Except on Vodafone, where the roaming solution is at least, you know, a little fairer.

Ask anyone who plans an international holiday or business trip about the phrase “bill shock” and they’ll probably give you a soured face, the glum look that appears when you’ve just realised there’s nothing on the menu that suits you and you’ll be there for hours.

It’s not such a different experience if your mobile telco hasn’t exactly updated its prices for international travelling, and you kind of know just what it’s going to be like the moment you land overseas.

You’re usually not concerned about call cost per se, but data costs tend to rack up very quickly, as a megabyte turns into several turns into gigabytes and the bill shock sets in.

Vodafone has been doing its best to limit any potential bill shock, and years ago had the great idea of a concept called “$5 Roaming” which provided any plan on its “Red” plans with the ability to pay $5 per day to get the plan benefits you find in Australia to apply overseas when you land.

For that extra cost of $5 per day, a regular allowance of 5GB per month applies when you land, so if you had only consumed 2GB before you left and landed in one of the supported countries, you had 3GB to work with provided you paid for that $5 per day before you left.

Previously, the Vodafone additional service worked for locations such as the United States, Singapore, Thailand, and quite a few European nations including England and Germany, and this week, Voda is adding a few other spots to the list, with warm locations like Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands being added, while the slightly cooler Canada also makes the list.

“We are proud to continue to lead the change in transforming the way Australian consumers and businesses roam, particularly to popular travel destinations for Australians such as the South Pacific and Canada,” said Loo Fun Chee, Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone.

“To put things into perspective, someone travelling to Canada for a 14-day holiday could save up to $130 off their total roaming bill by switching to Vodafone,” she said.

Bill shock continues to be a problem for Australians, and with data being the chief reason likely to cause problems with the wallet overseas, not all telcos are coming to the table to find a solution that doesn’t involve gouging.

Vodafone’s option, however, provides a bit of a solution even if it does come at the expense of an extra five dollars per day you’re out of the country on top of the plan’s regular payment.

It’s worth noting that Vodafone cannot necessarily be sure what speed or service you will be getting from a country-to-country basis, as in some of these instance, you’ll be jumping on shared networks Vodafone pays to make use of.

However, it does come with peace of mind, ensuring that whatever plan options you have monthly will be provided to you even when you’re not in the country you signed up to them for.

You will want to keep your travelling down to a maximum of 90 days per calendar year, however, as Vodafone’s $5 Red Roaming only works for a maximum of 90 days yearly.

“The expansion of $5 Roaming to Canada comes ahead of the busy ski and snowboard season, which is a clear favourite travel destination for Australians,” said Chee.

“This will mean when people travel to Canada in the next few months they can use their phone to take snaps when they’re on the slopes and be able share those moments on social media as soon as they happen, without having to find hotspots or rely on expensive hotel Wi-Fi.”

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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