Mobile phone checks to make before you go abroad

Last updated: November 21, 2018

Get set up

If you’re planning a trip abroad and want to use your phone while you’re away, you'll need to make sure that Roaming is switched on and that your International Call Bar is turned off in Your Account. To do this:

  1. Log in to Your Account and go to Plan and Device
  2. Select the Manage Services tab
  3. From there, scroll down to Going Abroad
  4. Turn the slider to ON
  5. Whilst you're there, check that your International call barring is switched OFF.

It can take up to 24 hours for your roaming to be activated, then you’re good to go!

Access Point Name (APN) settings

You’ll need to also check the APN selected in your device is shown as Virgin Mobile, and not another network provider.

You can update the APN settings by selecting your mobile from our Virgin Mobile phone settings list, or just text 'All' to 789922 and your settings will arrive to your handset, ready to be saved. For some handsets you may also need to do this again the first time you go abroad, or if you've reset your phone.

If you have any problems with switching on roaming or with your APN settings, just text us the issue for free on 07533 016 422 ^ between 7am and 11pm Monday to Friday, 8am and 8pm Saturday to Sunday, and one of our team will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can call us on 789 from your Virgin mobile phone, or 0345 6000 789 ° from any other phone. Lines open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm Saturday, 8am-6pm Sunday.

Check your costs and coverage

If you Pay As You Go you can use your phone in over 100 countries worldwide. If you're a Pay Monthly customer, you can use your phone in over 200 countries worldwide.

Travelling in the EU

If you’re travelling to the EU, you can use your UK allowance of MinutesTexts and Data, just as you would in the UK subject to fair use limits.

If you don’t have an allowance, or your allowance has run out, you can still use your mobile wherever you are in the EU and pay no more for your MinutesTexts and Data than you would in the UK, subject to fair use limits.

Travelling outside the EU

If you’re travelling outside the EU, you won’t be able to use your UK allowances.

If you’ve switched on roaming, you’ll be charged for any calls, texts and data you use when abroad, and your data usage will be charged per Megabyte.

See our Roaming Costs for details on how much you'll be charged in each country.

Set up a password or PIN for your phone and SIM card, so if your mobile is lost or stolen abroad no one can run up a big bill.

If you’re unsure how to do this, check out Virgin Mobile phone support. Select your handset make & model from the guide, from there, click on security for step by step instructions.

If you Pay As You Go, add credit before you leave. Check out Ways to pay Virgin Mobile - Pay As You Go for all the different payment options. It’s also a good idea to register your credit or debit card online before you go. You can do this by following these simple steps:

  1. Login to
  2. Click on the Payments tab
  3. Click on the Payment card tab
  4. Click Add my payment card

Once you’ve registered your card, you can top-up While You're Away.

If you want to use voicemail while you’re away, you’ll need to make sure it’s switched on before you go. Have a look at While You're Away for more information on voicemail costs abroad.

To switch on voicemail:

  1. Log into
  2. Click on Plan and device
  3. Click on Manage services
  4. From there you can select the option to turn on voicemail

You’ll also need to set up a Voicemail Pin before you go. Find out more about Virgin Mobile Voicemail including how to set up & manage your PIN.

To set up or remove voicemail diverts, just dial your voicemail and choose Message settings then follow the instructions. To adjust the divert settings on your phone see Virgin Mobile phone support.

Find out how to pick up your voicemails While You're Away.

^The text is free for Virgin Mobile customers, or will be charged at your mobile provider’s standard rates.
°Please note standard charges apply, please check with your network operator for rates.

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