Savvy Summer Travelers Find Free Ways to Communicate on their Phones, Devices

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Summer travelers agree that it’s costly to communicate on the road and are looking for alternatives to save money, according to a new survey by leading free mobile communications app, textPlus.

textPlus INFOGRAPHIC - Savvy Summer Travelers Find Free Ways to Communicate

45% of all travelers connect with apps like textPlus over WiFi to text and talk from their smartphone and/or tablet. For international travelers, the number jumps to 64% using free apps over WiFi.

Summer travelers agree that it’s costly to communicate on the road and are looking for alternatives to save money, according to a new survey by leading free mobile communications app, textPlus.

Over 500 respondents shared their habits when it comes to communicating while traveling both domestically and internationally. According to the results, more than half of international travelers said roaming charges are too costly. To avoid excessive fees, 39% said they pay a flat rate on their mobile plan to avoid additional charges. However, 65% said even a flat rate was too costly.

To avoid these charges, travelers are finding alternative ways to communicate from their phone and devices:

  • WiFi, which is ubiquitous and often free of charge, is used by 71% of all travelers in cafes and 45% of all travelers in hotels. These respondents said they use WiFi because it “costs nothing”.
  • The majority of travelers bring more than just a smartphone so they have options to communicate whenever and wherever they choose. 72% of all travelers said they take a tablet, and 51% said that tablet is WiFi-enabled, making it available for texting and calling services.
  • Travelers are increasingly turning to free mobile apps to communicate at no cost.    
  • 45% of all travelers connect with apps like textPlus over WiFi to text and talk from their smartphone and/or tablet. For international travelers, the number jumps to 64% using free apps over WiFi.

“When I came back from a trip to Mexico with a $6000 phone bill waiting for me, I knew there had to be a more cost effective way to communicate on the road -- and that’s how textPlus was born,” said Scott Lahman, Founder and CEO of textPlus. "We’re not just offering a free way to text and talk, we’re also giving travelers ultimate choice and convenience -- whether it’s connecting over 3G/4G or WiFi, from a smartphone or tablet, and even from locations like a plane.”

Based on the findings, textPlus has some simple tips for travelers to prepare them before getting on the road to help save time and money:

1. Plan ahead with your carrier. The biggest mistake travelers make is to assume their current mobile plan will cover their texting, calling and data costs -- especially when traveling internationally.
2. Monitor usage by placing your phone or device in airplane mode or turning data roaming off and using WiFi instead. You can also turn off push notifications and location services.
3. Consider bringing a WiFi-enabled tablet -- you can even use it on the plane to text.
4. Scope out WiFi in advance. Check hotels, coffee shops and airports where you’re traveling.
5. Avoid additional costs altogether by using a free mobile communications app like textPlus that allows you to text for free, and call for free or at significantly reduced rates from smartphones or tablets.

About textPlus
textPlus is a leading worldwide communications destination. Over 30 million people have downloaded textPlus to talk and text for free on iOS, Android and Windows phones and devices. The company was founded in 2007 and backed by leading VC firms Matrix Partners, GRP Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. For more information, visit http://www.textplus.com.

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Heather Meeker
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