O2 roaming explained for international & EU countries

O2 roaming - International roaming with O2 explained

You can roam and use O2 within most countries around the world.

You can use your regular allowance for free within 48 European countries, with a data fair usage policy of 25GB per month.

With selected O2 Refresh, O2 SIM only plans and Volt plans, you also get the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On for free, which allows you to use unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts in 27 international destinations outside the EU.

Alternatively, all O2 mobile customers can get the O2 Travel Bolt On for £6 per day, which gives you unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts in 63 international destinations outside the EU.

What's the best O2 SIM for roaming?

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You can use your allowance for free within the EU with all O2 SIMs .

You can find the cheapest O2 SIM Only deals by using our comparison tools. O2 SIMs will work with all phones, including the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 and Apple iPhone 15 .

O2 EU roaming - after Brexit

With O2 Europe Zone, you can continue to roam for free and use your allowance within the EU.

O2 Europe Zone is included with all plans at no additional cost.

O2 are one of the few networks which will not introduce charges for roaming within the EU after Brexit .

In accordance with the fair usage policy, if your regular allowance is greater than 25GB, you cannot exceed 25GB per month when roaming in the EU.

If you go over your regular allowance, or you exceed the fair usage policy of 25GB per month, you will be charged £3.50 for each additional GB you use when roaming in the EU.

You must also be considered a permanent UK resident. You cannot roam within qualifying European countries for excessive or consecutive periods at a time.

You can use your allowance for free within 48 European destinations:

  • Canary Islands
  • Czech Republic
  • French Guiana
  • Isle of Man
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

With the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, you will get unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts within 27 international countries.

The O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On is included at no additional cost with selected O2 Refresh, O2 SIM only plans and Volt plans. It is not included with any 30 day SIM only plans or pay as you go plans.

If your plan doesn't include the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On for free, you can choose it as your O2 Extra with the following plans:

There is no fair usage policy on the amount of data you can use - you get unlimited data. However, excessive usage may see your data speeds temporarily restricted.

The following 27 international countries are covered by the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On:

  • El Salvador
  • New Zealand
  • United States

If you’re not eligible for the free O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, you cannot pay for it. However, you can purchase the similar O2 Travel Bolt On, which covers 63 international destinations for £6 per day. See below for more information.

The O2 Travel Bolt On is available for £6 per day, and covers 63 international destinations.

Similar to the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, you get unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. However, there is a 2Mbps speed limit in place.

You can get the O2 Travel Bolt On by texting TRAVEL to 23336 or by enabling it via your O2 account.

The £6 daily fee will automatically be charged when you use mobile data, make a call or send a text message. Using Wi-Fi or receiving calls and texts will not trigger the charge.

The moment the charge is triggered, you'll have access for 24 hours, until the trigger resets. There are no limits on the amount of consecutive days you can trigger the Bolt On.

It is important to note you must enable the O2 Travel Bolt On before you use data, make a call or send a text. If you don't enable the Bolt On, you won't be charged the £6 daily fee - instead, you will be charged at a standard roaming rate, which can be expensive.

There is no fair usage policy on the amount of data you can use - you get unlimited data. However, there is a 2Mbps speed limit in place.

The O2 Travel Bolt On works in the following 63 destinations:

  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominican Republic
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos
  • United Arab Emirates

What’s the difference between the O2 Travel Bolt On and O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On?

The O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On is free with selected O2 Refresh, O2 SIM only plans and Volt plans. It works in 27 international countries. You cannot buy the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On if you are not eligible for free, however you can choose it as an O2 Extra with select tariffs.

On the other hand, the O2 Travel Bolt On is available to all pay monthly customers for £6 per day and works in 63 international destinations.

Both Bolt Ons give you unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. However, the O2 Travel Bolt On comes with a 2Mbps speed limit.

If you’re using your allowance for free within O2’s Europe Zone, you cannot exceed 25GB data per month if your regular allowance is greater than this amount. If you go over this limit, you will be charged £3.50 per GB until your allowance resets during the next month.

In addition, you cannot roam within the O2 Europe Zone for more than 63 days within a 4 month period - the offer is not intended for extended holidays. If O2 thinks you are abusing the free EU roaming policy, you will be given a 2 week notice, before a surcharge is applied:

The surcharge will be dropped when you return and stay in the UK for a reasonable time.

For the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, there is no fair usage policy on the amount of data you can use, however O2 states they may implement a temporary speed limit if your usage is deemed excessive. The O2 Travel Bolt On does not have a fair usage policy, however there is a permanent 2Mbps speed limit in place at all times.

Will I be charged if I exceed my allowance when roaming with O2?

If you exceed your data allowance or go over the 25GB limit when roaming for free in the Europe Zone, you will be charged £3.50 per GB, until your plan resets during the next month.

If you don't have an roaming Bolt On when travelling outside of Europe, or you're not in an eligible country, you will charged at a standard out of plan rate.

The out of plan rate is typically expensive, and varies between countries. For full charges, see O2 roaming rates

The following shows the O2 out of plan rates within a few international destinations.

No, 5G is only available within the UK with O2 . The maximum signal you can get when roaming with O2 is 4G.

Yes, all O2 customers can use their regular allowance for free with O2 Europe Zone, covering 48 European destinations.

Before roaming with O2 , you must enable roaming in your phone’s settings.

For Android users:

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Connections -> Mobile networks -> Roaming
  • Enable Data roaming

For iPhone users:

  • Go to Mobile data -> Mobile Data Options
  • Enable Data Roaming

If you're roaming in the EU and go over your data allowance or the 25GB limit, you will be charged £3.50 per GB until your plan resets at the next month.

Yes, you can tether to as many devices as you like when roaming with O2 . Any regular data limitations that apply when roaming will also apply when tethering while roaming.

The O2 Travel Bolt On is available with all pay monthly plans for £6 per day. You can get the O2 Travel Bolt On by texting TRAVEL to 23336 . Alternatively, you can purchase the Bolt On through your O2 account.

The O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On is available for free on selected O2 Refresh, O2 SIM only contracts and Volt plans. You may also choose it for free as an O2 Extra, with eligible plans.

Both Bolt Ons come with unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. However, they each cover different destinations.

To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

  • Mobile networks

O2 roaming charges explained: Everything you need to know before your trip to Europe

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Avoid hefty roaming costs by learning all about the changes O2 has made to its Europe Zone package

Roaming charges in Europe are back, with several mobile networks announcing big changes – many of which are already active, including at O2. Since the UK left the European Union in January 2021, UK phone operators have been allowed to reintroduce roaming charges as the Brexit trade deal did not explicitly rule them out. Previously, the EU’s ‘Roam Like at Home’ initiative had banned mobile networks from charging users extra in fellow member states.

No one wants to see a massive phone bill following a dreamy trip abroad, so it’s best to be clued up on all the intricacies of these changes before you jet off. Below we’ve set out everything that has changed in O2’s roaming policy, so you can enjoy your holiday and use your data, minutes and text allowance with confidence.

READ NEXT: All about roaming data and the best network providers for you

O2 roaming charges: What is changing?

Thankfully for O2 customers, going on holiday in Europe should not cost much extra – if anything at all – as the phone provider has kept its ‘Europe Zone’ package live following Brexit.

The only catch is that since 2 August 2021, customers who have a monthly data allowance of over 25GB will now have a limit of 25GB when in Europe. You can still use your data above the 25GB mark, but there will be an additional charge of £3.50 per GB extra that is used within the ‘Europe Zone’. Previously, there were no additional costs.

If you are nearing the 25GB limit, O2 has stated that you will receive a text message to let you know, as well as another once you reach it.

This all means that your data (up to 25GB), minutes and text allowances will work just like they do in the UK. You can receive and make calls and texts at no extra cost. For those travelling abroad on a Pay As You Go deal, charges and allowances under O2 will also work as if you are in the UK.

Browse O2 phone contracts

O2 roaming charges: What countries does this apply to?

The O2 Europe Zone includes the following destinations: Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

READ NEXT: Best pay as you go SIM deals

O2 roaming charges: What is not included?

While you can make calls and send texts to any country in the Europe Zone (including the UK) as normal when travelling abroad, if you are still in the UK and want to call or text someone outside the UK there will be an additional cost. The price will depend on the country but for most European nations calls will be around £0.19 per minute on both monthly contracts and Pay As You Go deals. Standard SMS texts to European regions are £0.06 per text. For other international regions, calls could increase in price to as much as £3.00 per minute, so it is best to read up on your specific destination on the O2 website .

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O2 international roaming FAQ

archie burkinshaw author image

Staying connected while travelling abroad can be tricky and often costly. However, O2 has one of the most extensive international roaming policies of the UK's major networks – helping them to make the most of their mobile services while overseas.

EU roaming without charges

One of the standout features of O2's international roaming policy is its commitment to providing EU roaming without additional charges. Currently, O2 is the only major network operator that has continued to offer EU roaming without fees for data, calls, and texts up to 25GB. This means customers can use their mobile phones just like they would in the UK when travelling to any of the 48 destinations within O2's Europe Zone.

Those 48 destinations are:

Canary Islands

Czech Republic

French Guiana

Isle of Man

Liechtenstein

Netherlands

Saint Barthelemy

Saint Martin

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Vatican City

O2 Fair Usage Limit

To ensure international roaming remains fair for all users, O2 has implemented a Fair Usage Limit (FUP). This limit is designed to prevent continuous and excessive use of services outside the UK in its Europe Zone. 

Customers can use O2's services for periodic travel, such as holidays or short breaks. However, if you use O2’s services outside the UK in the Europe Zone for 63 or more days within any four-month period – and cannot demonstrate significant use or presence in the UK – charges may apply after two weeks. The charges for Pay Monthly customers include £3.50/GB for data, 3.3p/minute for calls, and 1p/text.

Roaming limits for O2 tariffs

The roaming limits differ based on the customer's monthly data allowance:

Tariffs with more than 25GB of monthly data: Customers with a UK monthly data allowance exceeding 25GB will have a roaming limit of 25GB within the Europe Zone. Once the limit is reached, customers can still use data, but they will be charged £3.50 per additional gigabyte until they return to the UK, use up their UK data allowance, or reach their next bill cycle.

Tariffs with 25GB or less of monthly data: These tariffs are not subject to the 25GB roaming limit within the Europe Zone. However, customers who exhaust their UK data allowance while roaming abroad will need to purchase a data Bolt On to continue using data. 

What's included and not included

O2's international roaming policy includes making calls and sending texts within the Europe Zone (excluding the UK), receiving calls and texts in the Europe Zone, and using your monthly data allowance while in the Europe Zone. 

However, it does not include making calls or sending texts from the UK to countries outside of the UK, making calls or sending texts to premium rate numbers, directory service numbers, and some non-geographic numbers. 

Additionally, mobile broadband tariffs are only valid for use within the UK, and mobile data usage while on a cruise ship is subject to separate charges.

O2 Travel Inclusive Zone and O2 Travel Bolt On

For travellers seeking even more extensive coverage and flexibility, O2 offers a couple of options:

1. O2 Travel Inclusive Zone

If you have a O2 Travel Inclusive Zone included in your tariff, you're in luck. This feature provides you with unlimited minutes, texts, and data roaming privileges in 27 destinations worldwide. Among the covered locations are popular destinations like the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, ensuring that you stay connected without worry during your international adventures. The full list of destinations included in the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone can be found here.  

2. O2 Travel Bolt On

If O2 Travel Inclusive Zone isn't part of your current plan you can still enjoy communication while abroad by adding the O2 Travel Bolt On to your account. For £6 per day Bolt On grants you unlimited minutes, texts, and data roaming access in 63 destinations worldwide. To explore the full list of destinations covered by the O2 Travel Bolt On, follow this link .

3. Virgin Media O2’s Volt

If you have a Virgin Media broadband connection and an O2 mobile contract, you can access the Inclusive Zone at no extra cost in all Plus Plans and Volt bundles which allows you unlimited data, texts and calls in 27 international destinations as well as in Europe. 

In the event that you're not eligible for O2 Travel Inclusive Zone and haven't opted for the O2 Travel Bolt On, or you find yourself roaming in a destination not encompassed by these services, O2's standard roaming rates will apply.

Read more...

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O2 Travel International Roaming Review: Countries, Speeds & Fair Usage

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On O2, you can use your mobile phone abroad at no extra cost in up to 75 destinations, depending on your price plan.

02 travel europe zone

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 Pay Monthly plans, and to 75 destinations on Pay Monthly Plus (and on regular Pay Monthly plans if you’re living in a Virgin Media household ).

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.

  • 1.1 O2 Europe Zone Countries
  • 1.2 O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Countries
  • 1.3 O2 Travel Countries
  • 2 Roaming Speeds
  • 3.1 Within Europe
  • 3.2 Outside Europe
  • 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
  • 5 More Information

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:

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

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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†
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Switzerland†
  • Vatican City

† If you’re an O2 Pay As You Go customer, inclusive roaming is not available in 5 European destinations (Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland). Instead, you’ll need to pay £1.99/day for up to 100MB of data in these countries.

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 £3.50/GB).

You’ll be able to use up to 25GB data per month when abroad (or less if your normal UK data allowance is less than 25GB).

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

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Within O2’s Travel Inclusive Zone countries, you’ll get unlimited minutes, texts and data when abroad in the following destinations:

  • El Salvador
  • New Zealand
  • United States

There’s traffic management applied when you’re abroad, so your download speeds could be slowed down, depending on your usage.

O2 Travel Countries

02 travel europe zone

You can use the £6 per day O2 Travel offer in all of the following destinations:

  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Costa Rica*
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador*
  • Madagascar*
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand*
  • Saint Lucia
  • South Africa
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos islands
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States*

* This country is also part of the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone offer. If your tariff includes this offer, you won’t need to pay the £4.99/day charge.

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 £6 per day O2 Travel offer isn’t available to customers on O2 Pay As You Go .

Roaming Speeds

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According to their terms and conditions , there’s now a download speed limit of 2Mbps when you’re travelling abroad in other countries. This has applied from June 2022.

The 2Mbps speed limit should be enough for most day-to-day use such as browsing the web, sending messages and using social media. It’s also enough for things like maps and for listening to music. If you’re streaming online video, it should be possible to stream in standard-definition. However, it won’t be possible to stream in HD quality.

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.

Within Europe

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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.

Outside Europe

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  • 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.

Keeping Your Phone Number

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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:

Select your current mobile network:

Your current mobile network... BT Mobile EE giffgaff O2 Sky Mobile Three Virgin Mobile Vodafone 1pMobile ASDA Mobile Honest Mobile iD Mobile Lebara Mobile Lycamobile Orange Plusnet Mobile Smarty Superdrug Mobile Talk Home Talkmobile TalkTalk Mobile Tesco Mobile T-Mobile Vectone Mobile VOXI

   More Options

More Information

For more information about O2 Travel, please see O2’s official website .

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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

Where is the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone? Phone provider’s data policy explained

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Young man at beach bar looking at phone

We’ve all been there – the plane lands, you whip out your phone and then feel a moment of panic over whether to turn on data roaming.

Let alone agonising over how much it will cost to call home.

Depending on your contract, and your network, using your phone on holiday can be just the same as at home – or very pricey.

It’s all got so much more complicated since Brexit , as some companies reintroduced roaming charges .

The trick is to get clued up and sorted before you go, so there are no unexpected surprises.

Because when you’re hitting the beach for some much-needed R&R , fretting about your phone bill will just pile on the stress.

So if you’re on the O2 network, what’s included – and what isn’t?

Here’s what you need to know.

Is O2 free in Europe?

Woman using smartphone against Eiffel Tower in Paris on a sunny day

In its Europe Zone, O2 contracts work as they do in the UK – so you’ll get the same number of minutes, texts and the same data allowance (up to a limit of 25GB). You can use this for up to 63 days in any four-month period – more than this will trigger a ‘fair usage’ text and after that you could be charged £3.50 per GB for data, 3.3p per minute for calls and 1p per text.

If your data allowance is more than 25GB in the UK, it will be capped at that level in Europe – you can use more, but you’ll have to pay for it.

The Europe Zone also applies to pay-as-you-go – data will come out of your allowance or be charged as it would in the UK.

Note that a handful of Europe Zone destinations on pay-as-you-go are slightly different: in Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco or Switzerland, you can buy a travel bolt-on £1.99 for 100MB of data, texts are 1p and calls within these countries or back to the UK for 4p a minute.

Countries in the O2 Europe roaming zone are:

  • Canary Islands
  • Cyprus* (excluding Northern Cyprus)
  • Czech Republic
  • French Guiana
  • Isle of Man
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City  

What’s the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone?

The ‘Travel Inclusive Zone’ is a list of 27 countries outside of the Europe Zone.

Tamarindo Beach and Estuary, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Countries in the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone are:

  • El Salvador
  • New Zealand
  • United States

Who can get the Travel Inclusive zone?

It’s offered as a bolt-on on certain O2 Selected Plus Plans (including pay monthly and 12 and 24-month sim-only) to cover unlimited minutes, texts and data roaming in these areas (with no cap on the data).

It’s not available on 30-day sim-only tariffs or on pay-as-you-go.

What about outside the Travel Inclusive zone?

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If you’re travelling outside of the Europe Zone and do not have the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, then if you’re on pay monthly you can buy the the O2 Travel Bolt On for £6 a day which gives unlimited minutes, texts and data in selected destinations.

O2 has a dedicated page where you can check to see if the country you’re visiting is covered. You can add the bolt-on by texting TRAVELON to 21300.

For pay as you go, it’s not offered, so you’ll be charged international roaming rates outside of the Europe Zone.

Your Daily Horoscope

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Daily horoscope today: July 16, 2024 astrological predictions for your star sign

You can check international roaming rates on O2’s dedicated page – in the US, for example, data is a whopping £7.20 per MB on pay-as-you-go, and calls cost £2 a minute to make and receive.

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How does roaming work on O2?

Jim Martin

Before you jump on a plane or a ferry, it pays to know exactly what the score is when you use your O2 (or Virgin Mobile) SIM in a country other than the UK. Do calls, text and data come out of your allowances or will you be slapped with a hefty bill just for checking Facebook?

We’ve got all the answers you need.

Can I roam on my O2 SIM?

Yes. But whether or not you’ll be charged depends upon where you’re going, how you pay and also which tariff you’re on.

O2 Travel is what you need to use your calls, text and data abroad, and you can log into your O2 account to see whether you have it as part of your package. Alternatively, dial 202 on your phone and just ask the customer service team.

To opt into O2 Travel, sign in to My O2 and then add the O2 Travel Bolt On. It doesn’t cost anything to do this: you will only be charged if you trigger the Bolt On by making a call, sending a text or using data in a country that’s outside of the Europe Zone .

Despite having removed them in 2017, following Brexit, three of the big four UK carriers reintroduced roaming charges across the EU. However, on 10 January 2022, Virgin Media O2 ‘s Chief Commercial Officer for Mobile, Gareth Turpin, confirmed that “we [Virgin Media O2] will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.”

This means O2 (and Virgin Mobile) customers are in the best position, in terms of European roaming charges are concerned, as they don’t have really worry about them.

Note: Don’t forget to enable data roaming in your phone’s settings, otherwise, your apps and browsers will tell you there’s no internet connection.

Roaming in Europe

If you’re heading to Europe, great news. You don’t need to worry as your phone will work just like it does in the UK. Any calls or texts you make will come out of your normal allowance, and the same goes for data from your bundle.

Just check O2’s Europe Zone to make sure your destination country is included.

If you’re on a pay-as-you-go bundle, check out the included countries here (the list is different to the Pay Monthly list). Note that Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland are excluded for PAYG customers. You can get 100MB of data for these destinations for £1.99 per day.

Also, note that using mobile data on a cruise ship isn’t covered, but you should be able to use the ship’s own Wi-Fi. Making and receiving calls on a ship costs £2 a minute, and sending each text costs 50p.

Roaming outside Europe

If you have a tariff that gives you free O2 Travel in the Inclusive Zone, the following countries are included and you won’t be charged for calls, texts or data as long as you don’t go over your usual allowance:

  • El Salvador
  • New Zealand
  • United States

If you don’t have free O2 Travel on your tariff, then you’ll need to opt into O2 Travel (you can also do this by texting O2TRAVEL to 23336) before you head abroad.

You’ll be charged £4.99 per day, but only on the days that you ‘trigger’ the Bolt On. That means the first call you make, text you send or data you use will start O2 Travel for that day, which runs from midnight to midnight based on the capital city of the country you’re in.

How does roaming work on O2?

What does O2 Travel include?

For your £4.99 per day, which you’ll be billed if you’re not eligible for the ‘Inclusive Zone’ or Europe, you get 120 minutes, 120 text and unlimited data.

O2 says there’s no cap on data at all, but that “speeds may vary” which, reading between the lines, means you’ll see a slow-down in your connection speed if you’re using more than the amount in O2’s fair use policy.

Is O2 good value for roaming?

Considering EE, Three and Vodafone have all reintroduced roaming charges – even within Europe – since Brexit went into effect, Virgin Media O2’s decision to abstain from reintroducing them is a huge win for customers; especially those who like to travel and are likely to find themselves hopping around Europe.

If you’re off to a destination where you can’t use your allowances, you might be able to get a better deal than the £4.99 per day charge for O2 Travel.

Pop into a phone shop – or pre-book online – and pick up a local pre-pay SIM when you arrive at your destination. This is often a way to use your phone – especially mobile data – for a much-reduced cost. Some operators even sell ‘tourist SIMs’ for exactly this reason. Do your research before you go and you could save a lot.

There are disadvantages of doing this, including the fact that people won’t be able to call you on your normal number while you’re using a different SIM. Of course, if you have a dual-SIM phone, then that’s not an issue, but do watch out if you intend to keep your O2 SIM in a phone, so people can contact you, as you might be charged for receiving calls and texts if you’re outside of the inclusive zones.

If you have SIMs with other operators, check out our other guides:

  • What you need to know about roaming on EE
  • What you need to know about roaming on Vodafone
  • What you need to know about roaming on Three

Author: Jim Martin , Executive Editor, Tech Advisor

02 travel europe zone

Jim has been testing and reviewing products for over 20 years. His main beats include VPN services and antivirus. He also covers smart home tech, mesh Wi-Fi and electric bikes.

Recent stories by Jim Martin:

  • Lab-tested: These Android antivirus apps will protect your phone from malware
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O2 takes on Three ‘Feel at Home’ with cheap roaming in 27 more countries

Stepping up its fight with Three, O2 has announced that it’s adding 27 more countries to its list of destinations you’ll be able to use your phone without receiving any additional charges. 

The additions bring the total number of countries you can roam to to 75, including the 48 countries O2 originally offered access to as part of its ‘O2 Europe Zone’.

This 75 total is four more than what’s offered in Three’s competing ‘Feel at Home’ package, which currently covers 71 international destinations.

However, while Three’s service gives you exactly the same allowances as your regular pay monthly plan (which is especially good for those lucky enough to still have unlimited data), O2’s service limits you to 120 minutes and 120 texts a day. O2 has confirmed to us that there’s no upper limit on the amount of data you can use.

You can gain access to the roaming allowance by ensuring that your plan includes the ‘O2 Travel’ bolt-on, which is included with certain O2 Refresh tariffs and can otherwise be added separately.

Related: Best smartphone 2018

A more flexible tariff

In addition to the increase in roaming destinations, O2 is also introducing a range of flexible tariffs, which will allow you to change your allowances on a month-to-month basis.

So the next time a Pokémon Go-style craze sweeps the nation, the small amount of data included in your regular plan shouldn’t prevent you from taking part in all the mayhem.

At a minimum you’ll have to stick on each tariff for a month, but that’s still a large increase in flexibility compared to what O2 previously offered.

Between these developments and Three’s roaming plans, it’s great to see competition between mobile operators leading to some really useful services. We’ll be interested to see how Vodafone and EE respond to the offers.

How important is international roaming to you? Let us know @TrustedReviews

Jon Porter

After a stint specialising in TVs and audio gear, Jon moved to Trusted Reviews to broaden his horizons and start covering everything that the world of technology has to offer. So while he still has al…

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What to know about Schengen zone, Europe’s ‘border-free’ travel system

Schengen countries allow international travelers to move freely across borders without additional passport checks

02 travel europe zone

Europe’s “border-free” Schengen zone has added travel protections for two more countries, making it easier for more people to explore the southeastern region of the continent.

Romania and Bulgaria partially joined the Schengen area on Sunday, which means visitors who arrive by air or sea from other countries in the zone can cross their borders without an ID check. Land borders will remain subject to ID checks because of opposition led by Austria, which has long cited irregular migration as a concern when it comes to welcoming the two Eastern European states into the Schengen agreement. The move comes more than a decade after Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union.

The European Commission had previously recommended that Bulgaria and Romania be admitted to join the Schengen zone, starting in 2011 and most recently in 2023. A combination of internal problems in the two countries and opposition from other countries citing irregular migration concerns — especially after the so-called “migrant crisis” of 2015 — meant they were caught in “Schengen purgatory” until now, according to Leon Züllig, a researcher and Schengen expert at Germany’s Justus Liebig University Giessen.

Where to go

Our favorite destinations: Take our destination quiz to choose your own adventure. Then read about 12 dream destinations at the top of our wish list — without the crowds.

Travel like a local: Residents share their favorite places in our top city guides: New Orleans , Rome , Tokyo and Mexico City .

National parks: Explore tips from locals for visiting Yosemite , Glacier and Everglades .

Tales from the road: Trace a route along the southern coast of Puerto Rico . See how jamón gets made in the heartland of Spanish pork .

02 travel europe zone

Europe’s Most Beautiful Secret Beaches, How Hackers Steal Airline Miles And More Travel News

Plus: A sea change for cruise ships, Japan’s first Blue Zones resort and a first look at the new Delta One lounge.

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The 15 Most Beautiful Secret Beaches In Europe

The problem with many of the world’s most beautiful beaches isn’t that the sand isn’t powdery enough or that the water isn’t the right shade of turquoise—it’s that they’re too damn crowded. For those who seek more privacy, European Best Destinations recently released its list of the best beaches in Europe that the locals like to keep secret . The new ranking includes six beaches in Greece, four in Spain and three in Portugal (including one that was once named the most beautiful beach in Europe). Pasjaca beach in Croatia was named Europe’s best secret beach for 2024.

Why Cruise Fares Are About to Get More ‘Honest’

On July 1, the world’s largest cruise operators—Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean—began disclosing taxes, port fees and other mandatory charges on all cruises, no matter where they originate. This is a sea change for the cruise industry . Transparent pricing—which reveals all of the so-called “junk fees”—will soon become the norm across the entire industry. While overall fares will remain the same, cruise enthusiasts will now be able to see the entire cost of a voyage before booking.

This is the published version of Forbes’ Passport newsletter, which offers a first-class guide to luxury travel. Click here to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Inside japan’s first ‘blue zones’ resort.

Thanks to a combination of a plant-based diet and the Japanese philosophy known as Ikagi (which loosely translates to a purpose-driven lifestyle), Okinawa has long been credited with having one of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world. This fall, the Halekulani Okinawa will partner with the longevity and wellness research company Blue Zones to host Japan’s first Blue Zones Retreat . Over the course of the six-night, seven-day package, guests will experience a variety of Blue Zones workshops, from cooking classes to mindfulness exercises.

Because most travelers don’t check the balance of their hotel or airline points very often, hackers are now using bots to clean out accounts that hold millions of dollars’ worth of travel rewards. Here’s what you need to know to keep your loyalty accounts safe .

First Delta One Lounge Opens At New York’s JFK Airport

Delta’s Sky Club got a major upgrade at New York’s JFK airport with the opening of the first Delta One lounge . The nearly 40,000-square-foot lounge is divided into distinct, sleekly designed areas and with spa and dining room that will encourage passengers to get to the airport early. The glamorous bar takes its cues from Radio City Music Hall and there’s even a terrace with a retractable roof. And beginning this fall, passengers who use the Delta One lounge will have access to a dedicated security line.

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COMMENTS

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    Going outside of Europe? Good news - with our O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, available with Volt and Plus Plans, you get inclusive roaming in 27 destinations outside Europe.

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  8. O2 Travel International Roaming Review: Countries, Speeds & Fair Usage

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  9. O2 Contract with O2 Travel Inclusive (75 Free Coun...

    Now with the new O2 Travel Inclusive Tariff from O2, The list of Countries got much bigger where you can use your phone for free. There are 48 EU/EEA Country and 27 O2 Travel Inclusive Countries making it a total of 75 Countries.

  10. Europe Roaming and O2 Travel mini Guide

    After many threads being posted, either wanting more information or issues caused by not knowing the correct information before travelling, and ending up with huge bills, I though this little guide may be useful. O2 Travel Countries included Austria Belgium, Bulgaria Croatia, Cyprus (excluding No...

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  12. How Does Roaming Work on Virgin Media O2?

    To opt into O2 Travel, sign in to My O2 and then add the O2 Travel Bolt On. It doesn't cost anything to do this: you will only be charged if you trigger the Bolt On by making a call, sending a text or using data in a country that's outside of the Europe Zone.

  13. O2 takes on Three 'Feel at Home' with cheap roaming in 27 more countries

    The additions bring the total number of countries you can roam to to 75, including the 48 countries O2 originally offered access to as part of its 'O2 Europe Zone'.

  14. O2 customers face new roaming charges when travelling in the EU

    European Union, Mobile phones, Brexit. O2 customers will face new roaming charges when travelling to the EU, the network has said. British travellers will be charged £3.50 for each gigabyte of ...

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    Some reports have suggested that this is the first step towards the end of tariff-free roaming but, in reality, this move by O2 should not have you worried and will not affect most customers. However, EE has announced the return of roaming charges from January 2022, so it's possible that others could follow suit in due course.

  16. Solved: O2 Travel Inclusive Zone -- which countries can be...

    The O2 Travel Inclusive Zone is described as "a daily allowance of unlimited texts, minutes, and data roaming in 27 of our international O2 Travel destinations". What can the daily allowance of unlimited texts and minutes be used to make calls/send texts to? Just within the country I'm in? The cou...

  17. What to know about Schengen zone, Europe's 'border-free' travel system

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  18. Europe's Most Beautiful Secret Beaches, How Hackers Steal ...

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  20. O2 Roaming

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  21. EURO 2024 Final Screening

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  23. Business Roaming In Europe

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    The Israeli military issued new evacuation orders on Monday for areas in southern Gaza including eastern Khan Younis and Rafah, forcing residents - many of whom were already displaced - to ...

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