We all know Pokémon Go can be addicting. Well, it was apparently so addicting for Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura that he has already racked up a 50,000 yen (nearly $5,000) cellphone bill traveling in Rio.
Uchimura may be a gold-medal favorite at the Olympics, but he clearly has a lot to learn when it comes to tech. As savvy global travelers are aware, there are a bunch of ways to avoid big overage charges when traveling overseas.
For the novices out there, here are three recommendations: One, of course, is to swap out one’s home country SIM card for a local option. That’s the cheapest, but it involves some effort and means forgoing your traditional phone number.
Second, you can rent a hotspot from companies like Xcom Global and use your phone in airplane mode. Xcom, for example, offers unlimited 3G roaming for about $8 per day.
Third, some carriers have their own options for people traveling abroad.
For U.S. travelers, T-Mobile offers free, unlimited roaming in many countries (including Brazil) though speeds are typically capped at decidedly un-Olympic 2G speeds. Sprint has a similar approach, though it offers it in fewer countries. Verizon, meanwhile, offers high-speed international roaming for $10 per day as part of its TravelPass program (Brazil is currently listed for just $5 per day from Verizon).
Uchimura did eventually get his bill reduced by his carrier to $30 per day for flat-rate usage, according to Japanese news service Kyodo. That’s pricey, but not $5,000 pricey.
“I really lucked out,” Uchimura told Kyodo.