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Using our T Mobile Phone for GPS in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosinia this summer

We have T-Mobile as our phone service in the states and have found that they are wonderful when traveling just about anywhere in the world. We will be renting a car late this summer for a 3 week trip beginning in Zagreb and ending in Dubrovnik. In addition, we will be traveling through Slovenia, in to Montenegro, to Mostar and Sarajevo and then back down to Split and Dubrovnik. Our question is, will our phone GPS work for us. Or should we plan to spring for the extra charge of the rental car GPS add-on?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Posted by
2063 posts

I have used TMobile in Croatia and found it worked as well as in other countries (i.e., great!). I was traveling across Cres and Losinj so sometimes service was spotty, but you will be on main roads in populated areas so I would not worry about GPS.
Be sure you rental contract allows for all those counties and ferry travel, and in Slovenia you buy a pass of some sort ("vignette").

Posted by
8945 posts

GPS with T-Mobile will work fine. All you need to do is make sure Google Maps is installed and you're good to go.

Posted by
8226 posts

I haven't used it in those countries, but it worked very well for me on trips to Italy, Austria and Germany. I use google maps. Be sure to map your destination while you have cell service. It will continue to work if you hit an area without service.

Posted by
1536 posts

Be sure to download maps on WiFi before you leave home if using google maps.

Posted by
4700 posts

T-Mobile's international roaming data works fine, but note that data speeds are supposed to be capped at slow "2G" speeds. (Some people report faster rates than that.) That should be fast enough for using Google Maps. It wouldn't hurt to download the maps for Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia ahead of time "offline" as suggested above, if your phone has enough storage space. Then, if there is some issue with mobile data, you can keep using the phone as a GPS, even with no data connection.

Be sure to bring a car charger to plug into the "cigarette lighter" power port, as using the phone for GPS/maps can eat the battery quickly.

Also, unrelated to the phone: be sure to remember to buy a vignette driving sticker at the Slovenian border to be able to drive on Slovenian highways or you risk a steep fine if caught without one!

And, you are technically supposed to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Slovenia (maybe Croatia, maybe not) in addition to your US driver's license. The rental car people may not ask for it, but the cops might if you ever stopped. $20 USD at AAA before you leave - a wise idea to have it.