One of the greatest advances for business travellers over the past year wasn't a new type of business class seat, a new airport lounge or travel app, or even an actual “enhancement” to a frequent flyer scheme.
It was the long-overdue reduction in global roaming fees charged by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
This time last year, using your smartphone overseas would see you slugged an average of $15 per megabyte – at the time, about 300 times the cost of a domestic data plan.
A single day of use – with some local calls and SMS messages, emails, web browsing, Google Maps, social networking plus using apps to find a restaurant venue and such – could have cost you an outrageous - if not rapacious - $500.
Today it's likely to cost no more than $30 and even as low as $5 in most countries, depending which carrier you're with.
There are still times when it's better to grab a local pre-paid SIM card in whatever country you're visiting.
The longer you spend in any given country and the more often you'll be returning there, the more sense it makes to invest in a prepaid SIM card and top it up for each trip.
This approach is especially useful if your prepaid SIM works on a fast 4G network and has a generous data allowance, because it lets you skirt those additional in-room Internet fees charged by many hotels.
But there are practical advantages for business travellers to using your Aussie SIM card overseas, as long as you can keep those roaming costs are contained.
For starters, colleagues and clients can still call or text you on your regular mobile number.
You also avoid spending time hunting down and setting up a local prepaid SIM card.
On very short overseas trips, such as an overnighter or a two-day stay I find this is simply not worth the trouble.
Of course, this can depend on what roaming costs you'd face, or even if you can stomach the simplest option, which is disabling your smartphone's data roaming for the duration of your trip.
So how do the new globetrotter-friendly – or at least, less globetrotter-vicious – roaming plans of Australia's mobile phone companies stack up in 2014?
Vodafone: roam like home for $5 per day
Vodafone is the new champ of global roaming.
The third-place carrier hasn't fully shaken off the #Vodafail horror story of a few years back, but that was all about domestic coverage and service. And in my experience, both have undergone dramatic improvements, especially the enhanced 3G+ and 4G networks.
If you're headed overseas, there is simply no besting Vodafone's Red roaming plans.
These are local plans that range from $50 per month for 1.5GB to $85 per month for 5GB on a SIM-only basis using your current smartphone (for a new phone, add $15 per month).
However, for an extra $5 per day you can use your Red plan's data, text and call allowance in New Zealand, the US, the UK, most countries in Europe as well as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand.
This includes access to local 3G or 4G networks with unlimited standard calls back to Australia as well as within the country you're currently in, plus free text messaging.
(Australian telephone support is also part of the Red recipe, with all support calls answered by a support centre based in Hobart rather than being flung off to India or the Philippines.)
Optus: $10 per day travel packs
Optus slides into second place in the roaming race. Its latest travel packs offer unlimited standard and international calls and text, plus 50MB of data, for a flat $10 per day in New Zealand, Europe, the UK, the US, Canada and Asia.
You can buy several days' worth of usage and accumulate the total data – for example, $50 will cover five days and give you 250MB which can be used any time over the five-day period.
However, once your Travel Pack runs out you'll be charged $1 per minute for calls, 50c per SMS and 50c/MB for data.
One advantage of Optus over Vodafone, however, is that the Optus travel packs can be added to any post-paid plan, while Vodafone's $5/day roaming is restricted to subscribers on its premium Red plans.
Telstra: great Aussie coverage, poor overseas pricing
Telstra's answer to the global roaming gauntlet thrown down by its competitors is a new range of cut-price Casual Traveller Data Packs.
These start from $29 for 100MB, with mid-range options of $85 for 300MB and $160 for 600MB, before topping out at $350 for 1.5GB.
Each pack runs for 30 days from activation, and can be used in some 50 countries throughout Asia and Europe along with New Zealand, the UK and the US.
Naturally, choosing a telco on the basis of its roaming plan needs to be balanced against its suitability to your needs in Australia.
While Optus and Vodafone have both invested in their 3G and 4G networks Telstra still enjoys the greatest coverage and the least number of black holes, even around the suburbs as well as regional Australia.
That makes Telstra the safest choice for most business travellers in Australia, although frequent flyers heading overseas will still have to take a hit on roaming rates or grab a local prepaid SIM card.
My roaming choices
What's my personal choice as a very frequent flyer? I switched to a Vodafone Red roaming plan late last year (and before you ask, I pay for it just like everybody else).
The experience of using my phone overseas exactly as I would in Australia but without fear of running up a huge bill is surprisingly powerful. It's almost one of those jaw-dropping Keanu Reeves “woah!” moments.
However, I've still got prepaid SIM cards for the countries I visit the most often.
In Singapore I use the M1 network, which is a 4G prepaid service at $SGD18 ($16) for the SIM card and 1GB of data. For return visits $SGD7 gets me another 1GB to use within seven days.
For Hong Kong I use SmarTone, another 4G service which delivers blazing speeds but with a maximum $HKD24 (just $3.50!) per day for 5GB per month, plus $HKD48 for the SIM itself.
In the US I've opted for T-Mobile, which starts at $US10 ($11.50) for the SIM card and then $USD3 per day for unlimited local talk and text plus 200MB at 4G, after which it drops to 3G.
To make it easier to hit the ground running, on each trip to those countries I buy a recharge card so that I can top-up and reactivate my account as soon as I land.
If I forget, or if it will be some time before my next visit, then ahead of my next trip I email my hotel and have the concierge buy a recharge card and add the cost to my bill. When I arrive at the hotel the card is waiting for me.
Which roaming plans and prepaid SIM cards do you use in each country you visit?