If you are planning a trip abroad, you are probably focusing first on things like accommodation, plane tickets, tolls, or some other cheaper form of transportation. But nowadays, constant online connectivity is not a negligible item on your travel list, since most of the time you’ll be seeking Internet access. It’s safe to conclude that the internet has spoiled us all, at least a bit.
Sometimes you are not even aware of how dependent you are on the internet until you lose access. Probably your Facebook wall is also filled with photos of your friends from their travels already during the trip. Gone are the days of developing photos after you’ve returned from a holiday, now we are posting photos right from the scene. And in order to be able to continue it carefree on the trip, it would be good to do a little research on the conditions at the destination.
If you are traveling for example within the European Union, the good news is that roaming prices have dropped so much that the cost of calls, and especially text messages, is really no longer a nightmare. But that doesn’t apply to the price of the internet. You can still be shocked by a fat bill when you return if you accidentally left data roaming turned on and you didn’t cover yourself in time with some internet overseas package.
This is why it is certainly a good idea to get acquainted with the offers of your providing company for internet abroad, before traveling. But sometimes these packages are too expensive for small amounts of data. 150 or 250 MB packages are too small to be used for more than a few days. Especially if you plan to post photos or watch videos online.
But, what if we tell you there’s an alternative? Because there is. There are special types of SIM cards, called international SIM cards, that you can have great use of while traveling. And these are by far the best option. Let’s explain a bit more about them.
International SIM Cards
Basically, these cards are developed in a way to serve the purpose regardless of the location you’re traveling to. Meaning that you can still order a pizza to be delivered at your doorstep, on a rainy day, while you feel lazy to gout out of your guest house. It’s just like a regular one, only it works wherever you are. Well, almost, wherever.
It’s important to know that not every provider offers the same number of countries they cover. For example, the ones you buy at simcorner.com can be used on every continent, but some also have a limited number of countries they function in. So, make sure you read this list before buying, and see if it’s convenient for your travel.
How do they function?
By now you must mean this sounds too good to be true, and that there must be some kind of a catch behind the idea. But, no.
The way they function is quite simple. As opposed to the cards we are used to using, these are made to work with different networks. So, when you go somewhere, it can function with the local network, without any problems. The only catch behind this is to keep your phone unlocked for different networks because some are not. If you aren’t sure whether yours is unlocked or not, check before you leave for your destination.
Aside from using international SIM cards, there’s always an option of buying local ones, when you arrive at your destination.
This way you are closest to the situation of using a smartphone as if you were in your own country. You can often buy cards for as little as a couple of dollars. But it depends a lot on your destination. Also, some operators offer simpler possibilities of use, and for some, it can turn out to be quite complicated.
Therefore, you should be careful not to buy cards in a hurry, but carefully examine the conditions so as not to end up with a subscription or service that you cannot use. Or simply do some research about the best services in the country you’re traveling to, to know ahead which one you should buy upon your arrival.
However, just as is the case with the international ones, make sure your phone is unlocked and ready to receive cards from other operators several weeks before the trip. Unlocking is free today and operators are required to fulfill your request, but technical completion may take several days. In doing so, you will receive an unlock key (long number) that you will need abroad.
These are the two best options for using your phone while traveling. However, we have decided to give you a couple of more useful pieces of advice when it comes to phones and traveling. Read below.
1. Install the anti-theft app
It is best to always be prepared for anything, even the fact that someone can steal your phone. It is a good idea to back up your data before the trip so that you do not run out of important documents, contacts, photos, and other materials stored on your mobile phone or SD card, case this happens. These apps come in handy in detecting your phone, in case of theft.
2. Multiple chat options
Although you already may have your favorite one, some chat options may not work in the country you’re traveling to. Therefore, make sure you install a variety.
3. Transportation apps
Local transportation is important when you travel, and most places have apps developed for easier navigation for both tourists and locals. See if the place you’re traveling to has one, otherwise use some of the general ones.
Applying these three pieces of advice we gave you will help you make the most use of your phone while traveling, and not just use it for photos and texting. Thanks to the technology of today, all you need is a smartphone, and every question you may have will be answered in a matter of seconds.