Skip to Content

Roaming with Vaya: What You Need to Know

Nowadays, we bring out smartphones with us when we go traveling. We use it to stay in touch with our friends, for navigation, or as a travel guide. You may have heard horror stories of people getting high bills after they went abroad and were roaming. What about roaming with Vaya? Is it expensive? Where can you roam with Vaya, and is it worth it? Let’s find out today.

Can I roam with Vaya?

Select Vaya customers can roam in 168 destinations on standard international roaming rates, which includes voice calling, video calling, texting, and data roaming.

No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!

What do I need to know about roaming with Vaya?

Roaming is available to customers who paid the $200 roaming bond before the 1st of February 2016. Those who joined Vaya afterward or did not pay the roaming bond will not be able to roam. If you paid the roaming bond before but turned roaming off, then you will not be able to roam either.

Roaming is possible 168 destinations around the world. Vaya offers no roaming bundles, meaning that you roam on Pay As You Go roaming rates. As a result, you pay per phone call, SMS, MMS, or 10 KB.

Below is an overview of Vaya’s roaming rates.

Zone 1Zone 2
Local Call$2.00 $4.00
International Call$2.00 $4.00
Incoming Call$2.00 $4.00
Local Video Call$2.00 $4.00
International Video Call$2.00 $4.00
Incoming Video Call$2.00 $4.00
SMS to Australian number$1.00 fee + standard SMS rate$2.00 fee + standard SMS rate
SMS to non-Australian number$1.00 fee + standard SMS rate$2.00 fee + standard SMS rate
MMS to Australian numberStandard MMS rate + $0.10/10KB per 10KBStandard MMS rate + $0.20/10KB
MMS to non-Australian numberStandard International MMS rate + $0.10/10KBStandard International MMS rate + $0.20/10KB
Incoming MMS$1.00/1MB$2.00/1MB
Data/10 KB$0.01$0.02

Note: Voice and video calls are charged with an initial increment of 60 seconds. Afterward, you will be charged per 30-second increments. Receiving SMS is free.

Where can I roam with Vaya?

Vaya has split up its roaming destinations into 2 zones. Zone 1 has 89 destinations, and zone 2 has 79 destinations. You can find them below.

Vaya Roaming Zone 1 destinations

Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!

Vaya Roaming Zone 2 destinations

South Africa

Can I roam on planes with Vaya?

Vaya customers can roam on planes on inflight roaming rates, which are as follows:

  • $8.00 per minute for each type of voice and video call
  • $2.00 fee + standard SMS rate for every type of SMS
  • Standard (international) MMS rate + $31.00/1MB for every type of MMS
  • $31.00/MB to receive MMS
  • $0.32 per 10 KB (or $32.77/MB)

Receiving SMS is free.

Can I roam on cruise ships with Vaya?

Vaya customers can roam on cruise ships and ferries on maritime roaming rates, which are as follows:

  • $8.00 per minute for each type of voice and video call
  • $2.00 fee + standard SMS rate for every type of SMS
  • Standard (international) MMS rate + $31.00/1MB for every type of MMS
  • $31.00/MB to receive MMS
  • $0.32 per 10 KB (or $32.77/MB)

Receiving SMS is free.

Is roaming with Vaya worth it?

Roaming with Vaya is not worth it – here is why.

First, you were required to pay a $200 roaming bond to activate your roaming service. That is a steep deposit, I would say.

Second, not everyone can roam. If you were not a Vaya customer before the 1st of February 2016, you are out of luck because Vaya discontinued its roaming service to new subscribers.

Third, I am not a fan of Pay As You Go roaming rates because they can be high and add up quickly. In the case of Vaya, roaming rates are indeed high, especially for zone 2 destinations.

Data roaming rates, $1.02 and $2.05 per MB for zone 1 and 2 destinations, respectively. Those tariffs sound fair, until you realize that watching YouTube videos for an hour straight on 720P (HD) would use about 870 MB, which translates to $887.40 or $1783.50!

You would most likely not be streaming YouTube videos while traveling abroad, but imagine accidentally forgetting to turn your WIFI on when back at your accommodation. A high phone bill would be waiting for you when back!

But even calls are quite expensive. You also have to pay for receiving calls. Let’s say you have a 15-minute phone call with a friend of yours who is Australia while you are in Norway. Regardless of whether you started the call or picked it up, you would be charged $30 for that conversation ($2.00*15 minutes), which is money you could spend on experiences in Norway instead of on a roaming bill.

In the same scenario, except for you being on a beach in Jamaica: Buying Guide”>Jamaica, you would be charged $60 instead ($4.00*15 minutes). Roaming with Vaya is not cheap at all.

Then we have roaming on planes and cruise ships. I would never recommend to maritime roam or use inflight roaming services because the prices are almost always insanely high. In most cases, airlines that offer inflight roaming offer inflight WIFI as well, which is much cheaper than inflight roaming (not but necessarily cheap – consider the price and the allowance you get).

There are a few providers (no Australian ones, unfortunately) where you to purchase an inflight roaming package for a “low price” ($5 is the lowest I have seen so far), which allow you to data roam without a cap. In that case, the roaming package is cheaper than the inflight WIFI offerings. Those are the scenarios where I would recommend off-shore roaming, but not with Vaya.

Paying $8 per minute for a call on a plane or cruise ship is almost criminal. Then again, it is a premium service, but not one you should try out.

If you do want to make calls within your destination or use data, then I would recommend checking the analysis I have done of other Australian providers (including Vaya’s parent company Amaysim, the Woolworths Prepaid Travel Sim and the Australia Post TravelSIM), another international sim, or getting a local sim, which will get you more benefits for the money you would spend on a 15-minute phone call.

Else you could connect to free WIFI hotspots and use internet-based apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, or Skype to stay in touch with your friends and family. That way, you do not have to pay standard data roaming fees.

In short, roaming with Vaya is not worth it because of the high roaming bond one had to pay, and because of the high roaming tariffs. Maritime and inflight roaming should be avoided too. I would recommend getting a local sim, an international sim, or checking out the roaming options of other Australian providers.

What is next?

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Book Your Flight

It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices for your preferred destination drops.

Book Your Accommodation

I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance

You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.

Get a Travel Debit Card

Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the currency of your destination for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.

Enjoy your trip!


Disclaimer: Information and prices are current as at the date of publication and are subject to change. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for our Content Disclaimer.