Your International Phone and Data Options When Traveling Abroad

Your International Phone and Data Options When Traveling Abroad

   We live in a connected society. Even when you travel, you might want to find ways to stay connected. These are some generalized phone and data options when you travel abroad: 

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1. Local Prepaid SIM (Subscriber Identity Card):

    Swapping out a phone's SIM card used to be the practical way to save when traveling abroad, since local SIMs are often cheap and cover local calls and data. The key is having an unlocked phone. Even if your phone is under contract, most U.S phone carriers have policies that allow you to unlock your phone for international use. That said, with more international options available due to marketplace competition, swapping out SIM card is becoming more out of date. 

2. International SIM Card:

             International SIM Card

   I used to carry an international SIM card from a provider called GO-SIM for my trips abroad, primarily for calls. The premise is simple: You buy a SIM card and you can top up your account when your balance runs low. The calling rates are less favorable than local SIMs, but the tradeoff is clear: You only have to deal with one SIM card (or one phone number, often an Estonia based-number). Be aware that international SIM services often use a dial-back service. You call thenumber and
then hang up when instructed. The service then dials you back to “connect” your call. This is not always intuitive, so make sure you know how to use the service before your trip.

 3. T-Mobile/Sprint Free International Data Roaming:

  For a long time, I avoided using my cell phone carrier when traveling internationally due to the horror stories of folks who racked up thousands of dollars in data roaming charges. When T-Mobile USA offered their industry-changing free unlimited text and 2G data roaming at over 140 countries, with calls at $.20 USD/minute, it was a major game-changer for those who travel abroad. I switched to T-Mobile and I haven't looked back since. (Sprint also has a similar international roaming offering for their customers). roaming offering for their customers). The international data roaming and calls worked just as advertised. In my experience, the data speed I got in most places generally tend to be better than the advertised (slow) 2G data speed. You have the option to purchase upgrade passes if you need faster data speed.

4. SIM or MIFI Rental Services:

 I rented SIMs from a company called Keepgo. The service worked as promised, and there was no weird dial-back or overage fees. You are, however, paying for the convenience in the rental cost. If you are on a budget, check to see if your destination offers cheap SIM cards first.

5. Google’s Project Fi:

Google’s Project FI made a splash when it first came out. You pay for the amount of data you use, and the data allotment can be applied to international usage. Since I have international coverage through T-Mobile, there isn't an incentive for me to switch. If you are not tied down by a contract and willing to invest in a Project Fi compatible phone, it's another good option to explore.

Not Enough Space on Your Phone for Your Photos?

https://www.thegoodparenting.com/ I take a lot of pictures when I travel, so I never seemed to have enough space on my iPhone. While I own a digital camera, the phone camera has become my go-to camera (one less thing to carry). T dd th t d (if d 't t t Not Enough Space on Your Phone for Your Photos? I take a lot of pictures when I travel, so I never seemed to have enough space on my iPhone. While I own a digital camera, the phone camera has become my go-to camera (one less thing to carry). To address the storage need (if you don't want to store your photos on the cloud), I invested in a 32GB Sandisk iXpand flash drive for the iPhone. You use the flash drive with the iXpand Drive app. Once you plug the flash drive to your phone, the app asks for access to your files and starts the automatic backup.
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