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Using cell phones abroad
Lucky, I’m planning to take my first overseas trips since before cell phones existed (yes, it’s been that long). I was wondering how you go about staying connected by phone abroad. Does one need to buy a different SIM card in each country one visits? If so, are there places in general where you would recommend going to purchase one (or places you would avoid going to buy one)? Or, can you buy something in the US which will work abroad in most places. Perhaps dealing with this question would make for a good column discussion. Thanks for the great daily reads.
Try reading this and see if it answer you questions, plus has links to older post about the same subject.
Optionally just tray and google “Using cell phones abroad onemileatatime” for the many article about the subject Ben and company has written over the years.
I’d also consider what you’d like to have access to while abroad. For instance, I have T-Mobile service here in the US. My plan offers me free international texting and data. That’s more than enough for me to stay in touch back home, pull up Google Maps, etc. T-Mobile then charges a very high rate per minute to call, but I never really have the need for that.
I’m also rarely abroad for more than a week at a time, so between texts, data and wi-fi calling, there really isn’t a need for actual phone calls.
With that, I literally just turn my phone on abroad and it connects to the new service.
If you think you can get by with that, I’d look at options offered by your current cell phone provider. I know Sprint has similar options. If you feel the need to be able to make calls, that’s when a SIM card might make more sense.
Depending on your TMobile plan, you may already get free texts and data abroad. That’s what I do and is more than enough. With Google Hangouts and a Google Voice number, I can make free calls to US numbers while connected to WiFi.
Alternatively you could look into Google’s Project Fi since their overseas data is faster than TMobile’s
And it all depends on how long you’ll be overseas and how connected you want to be. If you’re just going for a week you might find you can get away with just using wi-fi