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updated 6/21/2011 3:19:49 PM ET 2011-06-21T19:19:49

You've come to rely on your iPhone for everything, but when traveling abroad, it's important to remember that your digital best friend could become your own worst enemy. International data roaming can get expensive quickly and before you know it, you're racking up hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars in no time.

For example, consider this: opening an email with a 5-megapixel picture in it, or downloading a 3-minute video on YouTube, each takes about 2 MB of data. The cost would be almost $40 with AT&T, based on pay-per-use international data rates of $0.0195/KB.

To minimize international data charges, turn data roaming to "off" or go into flight mode. However, this limits you from sending or receiving texts, calls or emails.

To have more control over accessibility, turn off data roaming all together by accessing the "Settings' button, followed by "General" and "Network." This will allow iPhone owners to make calls as needed, but not be subject to pricy international data charges.

Meanwhile, you can also manually disable the "Fetch" feature in your email to avoid automatically downloading email. This can also be accessed by going to "Settings," followed by "Mail, Contact, Calendars" and "Fetch New Data."

To avoid grabbing your iPhone in a moment of panic to pull up train schedules or local maps, take screenshots of these pages before you leave the United States and reference them in your photo library when needed.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at smurphy@techmedianetwork.com. Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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