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Att cell service in france

We will be in france for 12 days in October. Att is our provider I Know hotels have wifi. What is the cheapest way for cell service? Appreciate any advice



Posted by
975 posts

AT&T offers a few options. One is their passport plan. The cheapest passport plan is $40 for a 1 time 30 day period. It includes unlimited texting, 200MB of data and $1 a minute calls. It worked well for me in France and Germany earlier this year. I used it mainly for texting, but I did turn on and use my data occasionally and didn't come close to going over it. For a higher fee, you can get a little more data and cheaper calls. AT&T has another option that is something like $10 a day only on days when you use your phone, and then you can use your regular plan internationally. I don't know the details about that one. I planned to at least text everyday and I was gone for almost two weeks, so the passport plan worked better for me. What works best for you depends on how you want to use your phone.

Posted by
2559 posts

I have AT&T and used Passport in the past and that worked fine but this past April I tried the $10 per day option that uses your minutes etc already on your regular plan, and that saved me about $50 compared to the Passport; I use Wi-Fi of course, but I do call my parents every couple of days so on the Passport that added up. Of the 13 days I was gone I only used it for 7. If you'll be wanting to access your data away from Wi-Fi while out and about, or making long calls, it might be right for you.

Posted by
3081 posts

If your phone is unlocked or can be unlocked, the cheapest way is to purchase a SIM card in France. Look in the "Tips and Tricks" section of this site for more info.

Posted by
32104 posts

If you're only going to be making a few calls or sending a few texts, it's hardly worth the effort to get your phone unlocked and buy a local SIM. Just use the roaming plan with your home network, but leave the "cellular data" switched off (unless your roaming plan includes data) and use WiFi in hotels.

One other caveat.... be sure to tell all your contacts NOT to phone you while you're on holidays in France or you could be getting calls in the wee hours of the morning from some moron who was told to check the time difference before calling, but didn't bother.

Posted by
118 posts

Download all your maps to the phone memory so you don't need internet to access them while you are in France. Put the phone on airplane mode on the days you don't want to use it. If you plan to use the calling feature or a substantial amount of internet I would use the $10/day plan. That's what I plan to do. I can't be bothered to get a new phone number even though I worked for AT&T for many years and I am very savvy. It wouldn't be hard to unlock my phone and get local service but the alternative being $10/day and I can use all the internet I want and call my mom a few times... there's no way it's worth the effort. I plan on uploading photos to an online journal as I go.

Posted by
5697 posts

Cheapest way is to put your phone on airplane mode and ONLY turn on Wi-Fi when you can connect to the hotel's network. And make sure you turn it back off when you're done. Don't call, email. Tell your family, friends and associates to email you (thereby avoiding middle-of-the-night calls from people who forget about time differences.) Use offline apps for GPS and translation. Take photos but don't share them until you get back to hotel Wi-Fi.
In other words, unplug and concentrate on your vacation.
But it's hard to do.

Posted by
137 posts

When my daughter was in Spain this summer we used WhatsApp so she could call us using WiFi. She used no cell data whatsoever, just found a place that had Wifi and called us. If I'm not missing something, it seemed that this was a free and easy thing to do as long as all parties involved had a smart phone.