The best international data roaming plans in Australia

Just because you’re away from home, doesn’t mean you need to be away from connectivity. Stay in touch with our round-up of the best international roaming plans.

Vodaphone
Vodafone postpaid mobile plans
Offer
$5 per day roaming
Inclusions
Access your local data & call inclusions
Jetpac logo
Jetpac Global eSIM
Offer
From $1.50 for 1GB
Inclusions
eSIM deal: Activate from anywhere. Available in 100+ countries
Amaysim
Amaysim mobile roaming plans
Offer
$20 for 365-day pack
Usage
100 minutes talk, 100 texts
Optus
Optus postpaid mobile plans
Offer
$5 per day roaming
Inclusions
5GB per day, or pay for seven days up front
Felix Mobile
felix mobile roaming pack
Offer
$20 for 365-day pack
Usage
4GB, 100 minutes talk, 100 texts
Alex Choros
Feb 08, 2024
Icon Time To Read9 min read

The best international roaming plans don't have to be that good to beat the alternative. Overseas flights may be expensive, but have you looked at the price of international roaming? If your provider only supports pay-as-you-go roaming, you could be looking at over $1,000 per gigabyte. 

While it’s possible to stay connected or reliant on public WiFi (or an eSIM) for your data needs while abroad, being able to use your local SIM can be a lot more convenient.

If you need help picking out the best international roaming plan that won't break the bank, we've got you covered with this round-up of the more affordable postpaid and prepaid options in Australia. 

Roaming with eSIM

What are your options for travelling with an eSIM.

Maybe your Australian provider isn't offering great value on international data roaming. Maybe the country your visiting doesn't either. Thankfully, there are a few solutions for smartphones compatible with eSIM that you can purchase and connect with no matter where you are in the world. 

Jetpac Global

Jetpac logo
Jetpac Global eSIM
All data packs have a 1-year expiry from the date of purchase, 4 or 30-day expiry from the moment it connects to a network overseas.
Coverage
100+ countries
Data
1 - 40GB
Expiry
4 - 30 days
Starts at (AUD)
$1.50
for 4 days

Disclaimer: This pack only offers data roaming. No calls or SMS are included in the plan price. 

Circles.Life is a well-known Optus MVNO in Australia that carved out space thanks to its frankly whacky deals on mobile data. Jetpac is the company's offshoot brand that deals specifically with global roaming eSIMs. 

Covering over 100 countries worldwide, Jetpac offers superfast and convenient eSIM connectivity no matter where you are in the world. All you've got to do is source a public WiFi connection, download the Jetpac app, and make your purchase. 

It may not cover the exact country you're travelling to, so it's always best to check the website's list of travel locations. But if it does, you'll be stretched to find a better-value eSIM for international travel. 


Telstra international roaming plans

How does Telstra roaming work?

Customers on Telstra Upfront mobile plans can access Telstra roaming under the International Day Pass system. 

This will cost you $10 for each day you are overseas, and your money will get you a 1GB international data allowance. If you're roaming in New Zealand, this drops to $5 per day.

If you go over your daily 1GB, you'll be stung with an extra $10. This will get a further 1GB, which can then be used over the following 30 days whenever you go over your initial daily allowance. 

You'll also get unlimited talk and text as part of the Telstra roaming International Day Pass, but you'll pay $0.75 for each MMS you send while overseas.  

Telstra roaming currently works in over 70 destinations. If you're outside of an eligible destination and on an Upfront, you won't be able to use your service. You'll need to get an Australian prepaid SIM.

How does Telstra roaming work for prepaid plans?

If you're a prepaid customer looking to take advantage of Telstra roaming, things are slightly different. Instead of a single add-on, you've got three travel packs to choose from.

  • $10 for 400MB of data, 15 texts and 15 minutes of calls with 3-day expiry
  • $15 for 2GB of data, 25 texts and 25 minutes of calls with 7-day expiry
  • $25 for 4GB of data 50 texts and 50 minutes of calls with 14-day expiry

Telstra prepaid international roaming is also only available in a smaller selection of 35 destinations.

Telstra roaming PAYG costs

If you rely on Telstra international roaming without paying for one of the provider's day passes or roam with Telstra in a country not covered by the day pass then you'll be subject to a Pay As You Go rate that varies from country to country but is generally a lot more expensive than the alternative.

Roaming data consumed in this way is charged at $3 per MB, which can add up quickly. The rates for calls, texts and other inclusions are less predictable but typically communicated via an SMS from Telstra upon your arrival.

For a sense of how much Telstra roaming charges might cost you, check out this  breakdown of the approximate hourly data-usage ranges of popular streaming services:

Streaming service
Minimum data usage (over 1 hour period)
Estimated Telstra roaming cost (PAYG)

Netflix

300MB

$300

Stan

570MB

$570

Binge

450MB

$450

Amazon Prime Video

700MB

$700

Disney Plus

600MB

$600

Foxtel Now

1.4GB

$1,400

YouTube

260MB

$260

ABC iView

800MB

$800

SBS On Demand

100MB

$100

10Play

585MB

$585

9Now

820MB

$820

Kayo

2.5GB

$2,500

Hayu

300MB

$300

 

  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • East Timor (Leste)
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Isle of Man
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand ($5 roaming)
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Rep.
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • UAE
  • UK
  • USA
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hony Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lank
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • UK
  • USA
  • Vanuatu

Is Telstra roaming expensive?

While the price of Telstra roaming sits somewhere in the middle of the pack with a starting price of around $10, it's got one of the highest overall costs due to the steep price of Telstra's postpaid mobile plans.

Optus international roaming plans

How does Optus roaming work?

If you're an Optus customer on a postpaid Optus Choice Plus, Optus Plus Family or Optus Plus Kids plan, you can also roam for $5 per day using Optus Roaming Pass. 

Your $5 will get you 5GB of data with a 24-hour expiry. Alternatively, you can pay $35 upfront and get 35GB. These roaming offers can be activated through the My Optus app. 

There is one catch, however. Optus' roaming add-on only works in the following Zone 1 destinations:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Marianas
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Samoa (Western)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City (Holy See)
  • Vietnam

Optus Choice postpaid plans don't offer roaming to Zone 2 countries. Select legacy postpaid plans from Optus offer expensive Pay-As-You-Go roaming rates to Zone 2 countries, but not its current suite of postpaid plans. 

Is Optus roaming expensive?

For shorter stays, Optus' new $5 roaming can be pretty good value. However, if your needs are more data-heavy or you're looking at a longer trip abroad, it might not be the best choice.


Vodafone international roaming plans

How does Vodafone roaming work?

Global roaming may not be cheap, but Vodafone postpaid mobile plans have one of the more simple and affordable offers on the market. Vodafone's International Roaming deal costs $5 per day and gives you access to your regular plan allowance while travelling overseas. 

Unlike other telcos, you don't have a separate data allowance while roaming overseas. You'll just use the data from your regular inclusions that you use in Australia. If you're on a 80GB plan, that gives you 80GB to play with when travelling. However, if you do go over your included allowance, you will be charged $5 for every extra gigabyte used. 

The $5-per-day charge will only be added to your bill on days when you use data, make a call, or send a text. 

Note that you can only use $5-per-day roaming for up to 90 days of the calendar year. If you're planning to spend more time overseas, a local SIM will probably be a better option. 

Vodafone also offers roaming for prepaid plans. $5 gets you 200MB for one day, $15 gives you 750MB for three days, and $35 gets you 2GB for seven days. While this still works out to be $5 per day and are an improvement over pay-as-you-go rates, they're still pretty poor value. 

  • Aland Islands
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia (includes Bali)
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • East Timor
  • Tonga
  • Türkiye
  • Ukraine
  • UK (England)
  • Uruguay
  • USA (America)
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands, U.S.
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales

Is Vodafone roaming expensive?

Vodafone roaming is expensive in a sense. It costs $5 and it doesn't come with any extra inclusions. However, since you get access to everything that your SIM-only plan get you when you're overseas, so there's definitely a lot of potential value there if you pair it with the right postpaid plan.

What about other international providers with prepaid roaming?

While some smaller providers offer international roaming, they tend to be bad options. The travel packs are far more expensive than the competition, or you're stuck with pay-as-you-go rates that end up costing between $500 and over $1,000 per gigabyte. 

While MVNOs are a great pick for keeping your bill down locally, this doesn't translate to overseas usage. If you're going with a small provider like ALDI, Boost, Belong, Tangerine, Woolworths Mobile, or amaysim for your Australian SIM card, use the savings to purchase a SIM overseas when you arrive at your destination instead. 

MVNOs with international roaming

Bored of the big three? These MVNO providers also offer roaming outside Australia

felix mobile international roaming plans


felix is a rare MVNO that actually has a good international roaming offer. While most smaller providers offer poor value packs, expensive pay-as-you-go rates or simply don't offer roaming, felix's roaming add-on costs just $20. 

Your $20 gets you 4GB of international data, 100 texts, and 100 minutes of talk. Better yet, it has a 365-day expiry. If you're the kind of traveller that can sniff out public WiFi where ever you are, 4GB could be enough for your entire international getaway. But if you go over your 4GB allowance, you can always buy another pack.

felix mobile's roaming offer doesn't cover as many countries as what you get on Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone: it only works in 40 destinations. You should be fine for most popular countries, however. 

felix is unique in that it only has a single mobile plan with unlimited data. You'll pay $35 per month, but your data is capped to speeds of 20Mbps - both domestically and overseas. That should still be fast enough for most online activities, even streaming video. 

felix is powered by the Vodafone network. 

Amaysim mobile international roaming


Amaysim is another MVNO that's recently made its move into the international roaming space. The provider now offers four travel packs for Amaysim customers looking to stay connected while overseas.

These are as follows:

  • $20 for 100 mins of calls and 100 texts with 365-day expiry
  • $25 for 1GB of data, 50 mins of calls and 50 texts with 365-day expiry
  • $50 for 5GB of data with 365-day expiry
  • $70 for 5GB of data, 100 calls, 100 texts and 365-day expiry

Amaysim is powered by the Optus network. 

A total of 90 different destinations are covered here, with a full list available on the Amaysim website.

Tangerine mobile international roaming


Tangerine recently gave its international roaming options an overhaul. The provider now offers a total of three travel-oriented add-ons for customers looking to keep in touch while they wander abroad, but those add-ons are now much better value than previous efforts.

These are as follows:

  • $35 for 5GB of data, 30 mins of talk, 30 texts with 7-day expiry
  • $55 for 10GB, 60 mins of talk, 60 texts with a 14-day expiry
  • $60 for 3GB, 300 mins of talk, 300 texts with 3-day expiry

Tangerine is powered by the Telstra network. 

A total of 64 different destinations are covered here, with a full list available on the Tangerine website.

More mobile international roaming


More and Tangerine are sister companies. As a result, one provider's recent update to international roaming has been matched by the other. More currently offers two add-ons for Aussie tourists.

As you can see below, these are identical to the travel add-ons offered by Tangerine.

  • $35 for 5GB of data, 30 mins of talk, 30 texts with 7-day expiry
  • $55 for 10GB, 60 mins of talk, 60 texts with a 14-day expiry

More is powered by the Telstra network. 

A total of 64 different destinations are covered here, with a full list available on the More website.

Kogan Mobile international roaming


Kogan Mobile didn't used to offer international roaming, but now it does. The budget-friendly MVNO has a trio of travel add-ons for short terms stays abroad. These are as follows:

  • $10 for 1GB of data, 50 mins of talk, 50 texts with 1-day expiry
  • $25 for 2GB of data, 100 mins of talk, 100 texts with 3-day expiry
  • $45 for 5GB of data, 150 mins of talk, 150 texts with 7-day expiry

Kogan is powered by the Vodafone network. 

A total of 30 different destinations are covered, with a full list available on the Kogan website.

Belong international roaming


Belong isn't just one of the cheapest Telstra MVNOs out there, it's also one of the few that offers international roaming. That said, those who are signed up with this particular provider aren't exactly spoiled for choice.

At the time of writing, there's only one roaming add-on available from Belong:

  • $30 for 3GB, 150 minutes of talk, unlimited SMS with 15-day expiry

In Australia, Belong is powered by the Telstra network. Abroad, it offers roaming in over 30 destinations. You can find the full list on the Belong website.

Woolworths' Everyday Mobile international roaming


Woolworths' Everyday Mobile customers has more to offer than just the ability to save on groceries. Compared to other Telstra MVNOs like Belong, the provider boasts a generous spread of international roaming options. Even if these aren't the best value roaming packs available, there are a lot of them.

At the time of writing, there are four international roaming add-ons available from Woolworths' Everyday Mobile:

  • $7 for 150MB, 30 mins of talk, 30 texts with 1-day expiry
  • $30 for 1GB, 60 mins of talk, 60 texts with 5-day expiry
  • $50 for 2GB, 150 mins of talk, 150 texts with 10-day expiry
  • $75 for 4GB, 240 mins of talk, 240 texts with 15-day expiry

In Australia, Everyday Mobile by Woolworths is powered by the Telstra network. Abroad, it offers roaming in up to 67 destinations. However, those who sign up for the $7 add-on will only get access to sa smaller selection of 30 countries instead of the full 67.

You can find the full list on the Everyday Mobile website.

Lebara international roaming


In addition to its status as one of the best-value MNVOs for those who want a cheap phone plan with international calls, Lebara also has a number of international roaming add-ons. However, these aren't necessarily going to be the optimal option when it comes to longer stays abroad.

At the time of writing, there are two international roaming add-ons available from Labara:

  • $15 for 500MB, 15 mins of talk, 50 texts with 2-day expiry
  • $50 for 2GB, 90 mins of talk, 200 texts with 5-day expiry

In Australia, Lebara is powered by the Vodafone network. Abroad, it offers roaming in up to 50 destinations. You can find the full list on the Everyday Mobile website.

What is international roaming?

International roaming refers to a service some telcos offer that lets you stay connected and use your local number while travelling overseas. It allows you to make calls, send texts, and use wireless data even when you're beyond the boundaries of your carrier's network. 

International roaming plans compared
Provider
Min. roaming cost
GB/ expiry
Expiry
Min. SIM plan cost
Min. total cost
Felix Mobile $20 4GB365-days$35/mth$55
Belong $30 3GB15-days$29/mth$59
Amaysim$25 1GB365-days$10/week$35
Tangerine$35 5GB7-days$19.90/mth$54.90
Kogan Mobile$10 1GB1-day$15/mth$25
Boost Mobile$20 1GB3-days$12/week$22
Optus prepaid$5 1GB1-day$12/week$17
Optus postpaid $5 5GB1-day$49/mth$54
Vodafone prepaid$5 200MB1-day$30/mth$35
Vodafone postpaid$5Min. 40GB1-day$45/mth$50
Telstra prepaid$10 400MB3-days$12/week$22
Telstra postpaid$10 1GB1-day$62/mth$72
Woolworths Everyday Mobile $7 150MB1-day$25/mth$32
More$35 5GB7-days$22/mth$57

International roaming plans vs local SIM

No matter what provider you go with, roaming costs add up quickly. On Optus and Vodafone, a week of using your phone overseas will cost you $35. On Telstra, you're looking at a minimum of $70 (unless you're in New Zealand). 

If you really need to keep your local number to be contactable while away, you've really got no choice but to pay the telcos their blood money. But if you're going away on a holiday and don't care about having access to your local number, a local SIM can often be the better choice than a travel-friendly phone plan.

If you're staying for over a week, local SIMs at your destination should typically cost less than what you'd pay in roaming fees. This will naturally vary from destination to destination, but it's definitely worth doing the math before you commit to spending a whole lot of money on roaming. 

International travel SIM cards


Universal travel SIM card
Here is the best seller on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

Europe travel SIM cards

These are the best sellers on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

NZ travel SIM cards
These are the best sellers on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

Asia travel SIM cards
These are the best sellers on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

USA, Canada, Mexico prepaid travel SIM cards

These are the best sellers on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

Best international roaming plans FAQs

Most phones should work overseas, but you'll need to ensure it's unlocked. If you bought your phone on a plan or outright, it will be unlocked. But if you bought it with a prepaid SIM, it may not be. Read more about unlocking your phone here.

Some prepaid plans include roaming packs, but the rates are worse than a postpaid equivalent. With very few exceptions, we'd recommend prepaid customers on providers like amaysim, Boost, and ALDI Mobile buy a local SIM at their destination.

If you're on a plan from a provider other than Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, or felix, or you're planning to be overseas for a week or longer, a local SIM card will often be the better option. 

Data roaming is not free in Australia. The cost of staying connected while overseas will depend on your provider, your plans and your destination.

The easiest way to avoid roaming charges is to make sure that you're set up with a provider that offers international roaming before you board your flight.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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