It's extremely comforting to have GPS with you when you're travelling in strange foreign lands, but unfortunately any incoming call could charge you fees. Reader Aaron shows us how to avoid these fees while keeping your GPS turned on.
Photo by Johan Larsson.
I've been researching online how to travel to Europe with my iPhone, and think I just came up with an original idea. I haven't seen this suggested anywhere else online.
I'm biking up the Mosel River, so I want to use my GPS map app to track my route and distances. This doesn't require data or cellular connection, only GPS. However, the GPS receiver doesn't work in aeroplane mode. But if aeroplane mode is off and I receive a call, I'll get an international call fee (even if I don't answer it).
My solution is to use call forwarding. Turn on call forwarding to my office phone (I don't have a home phone anymore). Any calls received will be directed to the other number and not to my phone in Europe. Then I turn off data roaming as well. So no calls and no data (except via Wi-Fi), but the GPS still works! I called AT&T and verified that the call isn't routed to Europe and back to my office, so it's safe.
Turn on call forwarding through: Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding > On/Off.
It's also easy to toggle on and off, in case you really need to be able to receive a call. This also doesn't affect your ability to make outgoing calls in any way.
This would of course also work for anyone who sets up an international roaming data plan through AT&T, but doesn't want to accidentally receive any calls. I ran this entire scenario by the AT&T rep I spoke to and she agreed that it would work the way I intended.
While we don't have a foreign country nearby to test this theory out, the logic is sound. One thing to keep an eye on: You might incur charges for call forwarding, which would offset some of the advantages of not paying for roaming charges.