Set up your phone for travel abroad
Before you head off, there’re a couple of steps to check in Your Account to make sure you can use your phone abroad.
Log in to Your Account and head to Plan & Device
Select Manage Services
Find the Going Abroad section and set the slider to ON
Make sure International call barring is switched OFF
Just so you know, it takes up to 24 hours for these settings to be updated, and then you’re good to go.
Things to remember
When you set off
Switch your phone OFF
When you arrive
Switch your phone ON
While you’re away
Check your usage
Calls and texts Calls and texts
When you're abroad your phone will receive calls and texts as normal, but to make calls when abroad, you'll need to check you've got an international dialling code as part of the number.
To add the international dialling code to a number, hold down the '0' key on your phone's keypad until you see '+' instead. Then you'll need to add the country code for the number. You'll need to do the same in your device's contacts for a saved number.
So, to call a UK number, drop the initial 0, then add '+' and then the UK country code 44 e.g., +44777 123 456.
For a non-UK number, drop the initial 0, then add '+' and then add the country code.
So you’ve got them handy, here are some of the popular dialling codes for countries you might need while travelling in the EU:
- UK +44
- Spain +34
- France +33
- Italy +39
- Germany +49
- Ireland +353
- Greece +30
- Netherlands +31
- Portugal +351
- Belgium +32
- Switzerland +41
NOTE: If you're using app’s such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to call or message, these will continue to work as normal without any changes required.
What you pay for:
- Inside the EU Roam Like Home Zone, you will be able to make calls and send texts to any UK number covered in our Roam Like Home countries
- Inside the EU Roam Like Home Zone, If you make a call or send a text to a country outside our Roam Like Home zone, it will be charged at the standard rate
- Outside the EU Roam Like Home Zone, you will be charged to make & receive calls and text messages
- Friends & Family calling you while you’re abroad will not pay for making the call. However, if you are outside of our EU Roam Like Home Zone, you will be charged for receiving the call.
See Roaming Costs to see all how much your calls and usage will be.
If someone leaves you a voicemail, you can listen to it like normal. Receiving voicemail messages is free of charge. In the EU listening to voicemail will cost the same as it would at home. Outside of the EU you’ll be charged listening to voicemail at the call rate for the region you’re in.
To pick up your messages, access your voicemail, press the # key, and enter your voicemail PIN (which you’ll need to have set up before travelling).
For details on how to set up voicemail and voicemail PIN, see Using Virgin Mobile Abroad.
Mobile data Mobile data
Whether you want to check the weather, Instagram a picture of the view or update your Twitter or Facebook to make everyone green with envy, it’s easy to stay connected. However, if you don’t need to stay on top of your emails or social media feeds while you’re away, it makes sense to switch off data roaming and mobile data.
Travelling in the EU
Remember, if you're in the EU, you can use your data allowance just as you would in the UK with Roam Like Home. Also, you’ll still be able to benefit from data free messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter. Please be aware that some country’s networks may block messaging apps. See Data-free messaging on Virgin Mobile for more details of what is (and isn’t) covered.
If you’ve not used all of your previous month’s allowances, Data Rollover will continue to work whilst travelling in the EU – giving you more to use the following month!
Need more data while you’re away? Load up the My Virgin Media app and get Virgin Mobile Pay Monthly Data Add-Ons. These are added immediately, and you can use them while you’re in the EU.
Heading to a Roam Like Home country near the EU border? Sometimes your phone can connect to a network from outside the EU instead, which means you may get charged extra for roaming. To avoid these extra charges, we recommend turning roaming off while you’re there. Please also check any welcome SMS messages you get when you arrive in these areas and the relevant roaming prices stated.
Travelling outside the EU
If you’re travelling outside the EU, you won’t be able to use your UK allowances.
If roaming is switched on, you’ll be charged for any calls, texts and data you use when abroad, and your data use will be charged per Megabyte. To find out how to control your roaming settings, see Using Virgin Mobile Abroad.
See our Roaming Hub for full details on how much you'll be charged in each country.
Data spend cap limits
Post-trip blues are bad enough without nasty surprises lurking in your mobile bill! To help you stay in control of your chargeable data use while roaming, we’ve set up a £52.02 per month data spend cap (unless you tell us otherwise). We’ll also text you when you’ve hit 80% of your chargeable roaming usage, and another when you’ve hit the limit. You can text YES to 23457 to turn the data cap off. Or, to switch your roaming data cap on, just text NO to 23457.
See our tariff guide for the data cap values.
The roaming data cap will reset monthly on the 1st.
Your phone won't get any network coverage on planes or cruise ships. It'll connect to a network once you're near land - just make sure roaming is set up and ready to go.
If you don't want to use your data while you're away, head into your phone’s settings and make sure data roaming is turned off.
Helpful tips for travelling
If you want to avoid being slapped with a massive mobile bill when you come back from holiday its best to get roaming ready. Here are some things to watch out for.