A welcome change of law means within the 28 countries of the European Union, there are no longer roaming charges. This change is referred to as 'Roam Like at Home'. This means wherever you are in the EU, you will be treated as though you are in your home country. The mobile phone operator simply charges you domestic rates for data, calls and texts, as they do at home, or takes your roaming consumption from the allowances in your domestic mobile tariff.

Travellers must remember though that calling a foreign phone number from a UK mobile could rack up high charges, even if you're only down the road from the hotel or restaurant you're dialling. This is because you are still calling a 'foreign number' even though they may be temporarily 'local'. The Roam Like at Home is great for calling people in the UK (assuming you have a British contract) and other people/friends you are travelling with in Europe. But remember there is no protection against being charged when using 'local' numbers.

The Roam Like at Home applies to 28 countries of the European Union. According to Brussels, the three non-EU countries in the European Economic Area — Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein will introduce Roam Like at Home “shortly after 15 June”.

Other key exclusions include Switzerland, Andorra, Serbia and Albania, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Some operators are applying the same basic European rules to those destinations, others are not. When travelling anywhere outside the EEA, you should check exactly what your operator plans to charge you, particularly if you are not travelling to any of the '28 countries of the European Union.'