You’ve planned your trip and you’re all set to go, now the only thing left to figure out is how to use your phone while abroad. No worries, you’ll still be able to use your phone while abroad so you can keep into contact with family and friends. You have a few options and I’ll discuss a couple of options.
First thing to keep in mind is that pretty much every airport has WIFI so while your phone is on airplane mode you can connect to the wifi and still use your phone. Also in most public places such as restaurants, cafes, etc. have wifi and you just have to ask for the password to connect.
Global Plan: The first time I travelled to Europe solo after college, I purchased the global plan since I would be traveling for a month and would be visiting different countries. I’m not one-hundred percent sure about pricing of global plans with using data and making calls and receiving calls. It could run you anywhere from $30 and up for the global plan depending on your phone carrier. This is a feasible option you just have to keep in mind the extra charges that you may incur.
SIM Card: This is the option that I used most of the time when I was traveling. It’s extremely easy and extremely cheap to buy a SIM card for the duration of your trip. You can purchase these in train stations, airports, and little electronic stores. You simply ask for a SIM card and you’ll have a few options of carriers (Movistar, Orange, Vodaphone) and then you can choose how many GB of data you would like and how many minutes you would like to have. This will run you from 10-20 euros. When you purchase the SIM card, you simply take your current SIM out and put the new one in, the vendor will set up the phone for you and then you’re on your way!
Recently things have changed in Europe and now no matter what phone carrier you have, your phone will work in all countries of the EU with no extra roaming fees. So if you do purchase a SIM card and are traveling throughout the EU it’s unnecessary to purchase a SIM card each time you enter a different country.
Getting your phone up and working isn’t too difficult when traveling. If you do decide to go with a global plan, make sure you clarify what is included in the plan, what isn’t included and the rates for calls both incoming and outgoing as well as text messages and then of course data fees.