It's one of the most annoying things about overseas travel - the sting that comes a few weeks after you're back and you see that access to email cost you hundreds of dollars or more and every call you made cost you plenty.
The federal and the New Zealand governments have had enough. They've - wait for it - produced a report that says it costs too much
. Let's hope too many tax dollars weren't burned on by the Department of the Bleeding Obvious.
Having traveled a bit for my job, I've found an easy way to deal with the cost of overseas calls and data. I turn off my mobile data service and use the growing number of free WiFi hotspots that are around
Secondly, I don't make or receive phone calls unless it's a real emergency. The great thing about caller ID services is that I can see who called and then call them back using Skype or some other VoIP service.
Finally, I rely on SMS a lot. Even though SMS costs more when you're overseas than locally, its still cheaper than 3G data services and phone calls.
Earlier this year, the Productivity Commissions of the trans-Tasman governments flagged the potential for a single currency but that looks like being many years away so any potential business benfits that migh deliver are miles away. But making it cheaper for Aussies to do business in New Zealand and vice-versa can only be a good thing.
A more practical thing the governments of Australia and New Zealand could do to foster business between the two countries would be to make trans-Tasman travel domestic rather than international. This will reduce costs through lower departure taxes and make the airport process easier.
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