I'm sure there are a million posts about this. I can't seem to find the right one. I have an ATT Iphone 5 and I'm going to Scotland in a few days. I've been told that purchasing a UK sim card with prepaid minutes is the best way to go. Will the ATT iPhone 5 work in Scotland on a UK sim card? That will take care of communicating in the UK with people in the UK. Any other tips for communicating FROM the UK to people back in the US.
I use a local SIM when traveling overseas, but I'm with the earlier posts. You don't need to do anything different if, and only if, you won't make many calls and your calls will be short in duration. This is especially true if your trip is only for a week or so. Use wifi or text messages (not too many, though) to keep in touch with those back home. I keep my U.S. phone active when in Europe, but I also carry a phone with the local SIM. I do so primarily for data, which is cheaper when bought locally. I subscribe to a reduced international calling plan with my U.S. carrier, which helps a little. I have made long calls, but they are for work, and it is worth it to me to pay the extra cost. Should you go with a U.K. SIM, be sure your iPhone is unlocked. Otherwise, it won't work.
We use an iPod Touch to send and access our emails. It works wherever there is a WiFi connection. Emails tend to stick to business whereas telephone calls tend to cause unnecessary jabbering. WiFi is usually free.
Do you really want to go through all of that mess? How long is it going to take? What if you loose your permanent sim? You know you'll have a new phone number and you'll have to call everybody in the world to let them know what it is, right? Give AT&T thirty bucks. It cobs the calls down to a buck a minute. Give them nothing and the cost doubles. Figure out which is best. Do the math about changing sims, include the cost of your time. Don't yap. Use wifi.
I'm with Ed on this one. I've taken my iphone to the UK several times--part of the reason I got it was so that I didn't have to keep dealing with other phones and could use the same number. Do turn off the data feed. That is what will drive your costs up. But I found that wifi was just fine for emails etc. There are lovely apps that work offline as well. AT&T was very helpful in making sure that I knew how to turn off the data feed. And as Ed says, don't yap. If you plan on using it to check on reservations or to make reservations this is a perfect solution. It works well for the quick call home. Turn off at night. Get people to text you. Put a message on your cell phone voice mail telling them to text you. If you need lengthy calls home, use Skype. Pam
On my spring 2012 trip, I paid the $25 to ATT for using my iPhone4 to the UK. Also paid Skype $10 so I could call my home phone landline for just $.05/min when using the WiFi at the B&Bs. I packed along earphones with a mic to use Skype (also to listen to music on the plane :-)
on the AT&T .. checking my statement from last spring, the bill was $5.99 for AT&T World Traveler and $24.99 for "50MB_INTL _ALLDEVS." Each month on the first day of the billing cycle I reset the usage statistics so I can track my data usage easily. That was last year. Looking at http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international.html, it looks like there are different options to consider, including an app for international calls!