Expert view: Don't get burnt when you travel this summer

Business telecoms specialist Unified World Communications offers top tips for holidaymakers looking to use their mobiles abroad.

Unified WorldIt's summer time. And you know what that means: Harrowing international travel with your mobile phone. But it doesn't need to be.

Since mobile phones are now so much a part of our everyday lives, it's hard to part with them when we hop on a plane to another country. But stories of £2,000 iPhone bills when we return have scared many people into turning off their phones or leaving them at home.

But what if you'd like to check in on the kids back home during your trip, or you need to find your travel companions while wandering around the Gothic quarter in Barcelona? Or maybe you've met some nice locals who want to catch up with you later, but they need your number to text you? Well, I'm here to tell you that using your phone in another country need not be as scary or expensive as you think.

Before you leave

Getting set up Some phones are automatically barred from working abroad. We do this for your security – to stop anyone who isn't authorised to use your phone from using it overseas, where rates are higher.

Getting your voicemail Listening to voicemail while you're away is easy – but you'll need to set up a security code before you go.

Find out the costs Make sure you have the right package for your requirements.

When you arrive

Welcome message In most countries, you'll get a welcome text from us as soon as you arrive and switch on your phone.

It'll tell you how much it costs to use your phone abroad, as well as other useful information. This may vary depending on your phone model.

Which network? Your phone should automatically connect to one of the local networks. If this doesn't happen, you can manually search for a network.

Calling while you're away

Change your numbers If you're calling or texting from outside mainland UK and Northern Ireland, replace the 0 with +44. (For example, 07774 477 000 would be +44 7774 477 000). This includes calling within the country you are.

To listen to your voicemail, your normal voicemail access code should still work. If you have any doubts, contact us and we will confirm for you.

I need emergency help Remember, other countries use different numbers for emergency services. In Europe, 112 is the normal code.

Stay productive abroad

Stay Connected Access to mobile internet is a great way to stay connected with colleagues, customers and suppliers when you’re away on business. With it, you’ll be able to use your phone to send updates by email, log in to sites to show clients important documents and catch up on any work you’ve missed.