On O2, you can use your mobile phone abroad at no extra cost in up to 75 destinations, depending on your price plan.
With O2 Travel, it’s possible to use your mobile phone abroad at no extra cost in up to 75 destinations. In up to 63 additional destinations, you can pay a flat rate of £4.99 per day for 120 minutes, 120 texts and unlimited data abroad.
The countries in which you’re able to use the O2 Travel offer depends on the price plan you have. On O2’s Pay As You Go plans, you’ll have access to international roaming at no extra cost in 43 European destinations. This increases to 48 destinations on O2 Pay Monthly plans and to 75 destinations on selected Pay Monthly plans with more than 10GB of data per month.
In this article, we’ll review the O2 Travel offer including the countries where you’re able to use it and how much it will cost. We’ll also look at data speeds when abroad, the fair usage policy on O2 Travel and alternative roaming offers from other networks. Finally, we’ll look at how you can keep your current phone number if you’re moving to O2 to take advantage of their O2 Travel offer.
What is O2 Travel?
On most O2 price plans, it’s possible to use your mobile phone abroad when travelling to other countries. The destinations that are included within the O2 Travel offer depend on the type of price plan you have:
|O2 Price Plan||Inclusive Destinations||Other Destinations|
|Pay Monthly (most price plans)||48 European destinations||£4.99/day in 63 non-European destinations|
|Pay Monthly (selected 10GB+ plans*)||48 European destinations
27 non-European destinations
(75 destinations in total)
|£4.99/day in 36 non-European destinations|
|Pay As You Go||43 European destinations||£1.99/day in 5 European destinations|
For customers with an O2 mobile broadband plan, the O2 Travel offer isn’t currently available. This is because international roaming is not available on O2’s mobile broadband service.
O2 Europe Zone Countries
All Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go customers on O2 can use their normal UK allowances when travelling in Europe. On Pay Monthly, there are 48 European destinations included. Meanwhile, there are 43 destinations included if you’re an O2 Pay As You Go customer.
The following destinations are part of O2’s European roaming zone (locations marked with a † are only available on Pay Monthly plans) :
- Canary Islands
- Czech Republic
- French Guiana
- Isle of Man†
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Within Europe, you’re able to use your inclusive minutes and texts to contact any other number within O2’s Europe Zone. Your usage of European roaming is subject to the fair usage policy described here: the most important being that it should only be used “for periodic travel, like holidays or short breaks”. If you use your mobile phone abroad for 63 days or more in any four-month period, O2 reserves the right to apply a regulated surcharge to your usage (currently 3.3p/minute, 1p/text and £4.50/GB).
On most Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go plans, you can use up to the entirety of your normal UK data allowance when abroad in Europe. The only exception is on O2’s unlimited data plans where your data usage in Europe is limited to a maximum of 20GB per month.
On O2’s Pay As You Go plans including Big Bundles, roaming is not included in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco or Switzerland. In these places, you can pay £1.99/day for 100MB of data.
O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Countries
On selected Pay Monthly plans with more than 10GB of data per month, O2 offers international roaming at no extra charge in a further 27 destinations outside Europe. The additional Inclusive Zone countries are available on contracts taken since the 28th March 2019 and excludes 30-day rolling SIM-only deals.
If you’re on a Pay Monthly contract with access to O2’s Travel Inclusive Zone, you’ll get 120 minutes, 120 texts and unlimited data to use each day in the following destinations:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- United States
If you exceed the daily usage limit of 120 minutes or 120 texts, you’ll be charged for additional usage at O2’s standard international roaming rates. Incoming phone calls and text messages will also count towards your daily usage limit of 120 minutes and 120 texts.
O2 Travel Countries
In 63 destinations outside Europe, customers with an O2 Pay Monthly contract can pay £4.99/day to use their mobile phone through the O2 Travel offer. With the offer, you’ll get a daily allowance of 120 minutes, 120 texts and unlimited data. Both incoming and outgoing phone calls and text messages will count towards the daily usage limit on O2 Travel.
You can use the £4.99 per day O2 Travel offer in all of the following destinations:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica*
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador*
- Hong Kong
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Zealand*
- Saint Lucia
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- St Kitts & Nevis
- St Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United States*
To opt-in to the O2 Travel offer, text TRAVEL to 23336. It can take up to 24 hours for O2 Travel to be enabled on your account so it’s best to opt-in before departing on your trip. To opt-out of the offer and to pay O2’s standard international roaming rates instead, text NOTRAVEL to 23336.
The £4.99/day charge on O2 Travel is calculated from midnight-to-midnight in the capital city of the country you’re visiting. For instance, customers travelling to the USA will be charged based on Eastern Standard Time as that’s the time zone used in Washington DC. Usage beyond the daily limit of 120 minutes and 120 texts is charged at O2’s standard international roaming rates.
The £4.99 O2 Travel offer isn’t available to customers on O2 Pay As You Go.
In the past, O2 has been criticised for reducing the download speeds on their service for customers travelling abroad to other countries.
Within Europe, the latest traffic management policy referred to in O2’s terms and conditions states that download speeds abroad will be capped at 1Mbit/s during seasonal traffic peaks. This traffic management policy was, however, last updated in July 2017. Since then, most customer feedback is that speed limits have been removed for customers travelling inside of Europe. However, download speed limits still apply when you’re travelling to countries outside of Europe.
According to the O2 Travel terms and conditions, download speeds when abroad will be reduced if you use more than 150MB of general data or more than 50MB of streamed video or audio data in a single day. On top of that, download speeds are always reduced for things like audio/video streaming, file transfer, online gaming, P2P downloads and cloud backup services:
“There’s no fixed data allowance with O2 Travel, so to manage traffic we may slow down the service. We may also slow down the service if you reach a level of data consumption which we deem to be excessive, network affecting, affecting the use of other customers or usage that is not in accordance with your terms of service. This will be more than 150MB of general data or more than 50MB of streamed video or audio data (the “assumed fair usage amounts”) in a day. Audio and video streaming are available with O2 Travel but the quality of the audio/video will be optimised for a mobile device. The speed available for file transfer, online gaming, peer to peer downloads and network back-up services is restricted and may not work with O2 Travel.”
The use of tethering and personal hotspot also isn’t permitted in O2 Travel countries outside of Europe.
Fair Usage Policy
O2 has a fair usage policy for their O2 Travel international roaming service. The fair usage policy depends on whether you’re travelling to another European country or to a country outside of Europe.
If you’re travelling to another country within O2’s Europe Zone, it should be on a temporary basis, such as for a holiday or short trip.
According to O2’s terms and conditions, a surcharge may be applied for your usage if you spend more 63 days abroad in Europe over a rolling 4-month period. If you exceed the 63-day limit, O2 should give you the opportunity to demonstrate prevailing use in the UK. They should also give you two weeks notice before a surcharge is applied at a rate of 3.3p/minute, 1p/text and £4.50/GB of data.
If you’re travelling to an O2 Travel country outside of Europe, the following fair usage limits apply:
- Download speeds will be throttled by O2 if they believe your usage is “excessive” or “affecting the use of other customers”. This threshold is 150MB of general data each day or 50MB of streamed video or audio data.
- The download speeds available for file transfer, online gaming, peer-to-peer downloads and network backup services is restricted. According to O2, these services “may not work with O2 Travel”.
- Audio and video streaming optimisation are in use. This may reduce the quality of your streaming content when abroad.
- The use of tethering and personal hotspot is not permitted in O2 Travel countries. This means you’re unable to share your data connection with other devices.
- When using O2 Travel outside Europe, your SIM card can only be used inside a smartphone.
Alternative Roaming Offers
As an alternative to O2 Travel, you can also consider the following international roaming offers from other mobile networks:
- EE: Roam Further Pass
On EE Smart Pay Monthly plans, you can use your mobile phone abroad at no extra charge in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. To benefit, you’ll need to choose the Roam Further Pass as your Swappable Benefit. Alternatively, you can pay £10/month to add it to your plan.
- Three: Go Roam
On Three, you can use your mobile phone abroad in 71 destinations at no extra charge. This includes most European countries along with the USA, Australia, Brazil, Singapore and more. Unlike O2 Travel, a major benefit of Go Roam is that the free international roaming is also available on Pay As You Go for customers travelling outside Europe.
- Three: Data Passport
Three charges £5/day for a Data Passport giving you unlimited data for use in 89 worldwide destinations. This includes all of Three’s Go Roam destinations, with the addition of Azerbaijan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
- Vodafone: Vodafone Global Roaming
If you’re a Vodafone Pay Monthly customer, you can roam in 48 destinations at no extra charge. This increases to 77 destinations with Global Roaming Plus (available on Vodafone’s Unlimited Max price plans). In another 104 Roam-further destinations, it’ll cost you £6/day to use your normal UK allowance.
In addition to the above, all UK mobile networks that offer international roaming are legally obliged to offer roaming at no extra cost for customers travelling to other EU countries.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re joining O2 to take advantage of their O2 Travel offer, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
To do so, ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get this through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.
Once you’ve received the PAC Code from your old network, order your new mobile phone or SIM card from the O2 website. When it arrives, you can provide the PAC Code to O2 by submitting it through this online form. Your phone number transfer will then be scheduled by O2, normally for the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your phone number to O2, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:
For more information about O2 Travel, please see O2’s official website.