Need some tips on keeping my cell phone costs down while in Budapest and Prague. Last time I did the "Travel Pass" option at $10 a day and even if I didn't use my phone a text would come in causing me to be charged. We always used our phones at hotels and places with internet service but once outside of those areas is when we would get charged (phones must not have been totally off.) Thinking there might be a better option? We both have iPhones and our service is with Verizon. Thank You!
Verizon is who I use to be with until I attended a Rick Steves lecture and learned that T-Mobile was the provider to use. Not only that, my monthly bill dropped by more than $20 a month. I can now download Google maps and get to where I am going and not pay extra when traveling abroad. I also carry a charger to keep my phone charged.
My T-Mobile Magenta 55+ plan provides unlimited data and SMS in about 200 countries. In Canada and Mexico it also provides unlimited voice calling. Elsewhere voice calls are 25 cents a minute, or $5 a day unlimited. It's worked for me in Europe, Canada and Mexico. Data speed is slower outside the US but perfectly fine for me. Monthly cost is $50 for one line, $70 for two.
Unsolicited plug -- I have no relationship with T-Mobile except customer. (Also interested to discover that my keyboard no longer has a character for "cents.")
The problem is, you are really limited to your provider, or get a SIM card for data and a local number.
The previous poster mentioned, T-Mobile, that may be an option. Another is Google Fi. After ATT, we went with Google Fi and never looked back. We land, turn our phone on, and we have the same service we have at home at no extra cost. Yes, International calls do have a charge, but data is the same cost, people can call or text us at no additional cost. You can also choose to maximize Wi-Fi or calling apps to reduce your cost further. But really, the seamless use is the biggest benefit.
As for cost, we do use more data when traveling, and we have at least a few international calls, but at most, $30-40 more for a month, mostly in data. If you use a lot of data, they have unlimited plans, but we have a cheaper "pay by the Gig" ($10/Gig) plan.
Thank you everyone, all this information is very helpful. I will check out switching over to T-Mobile.
All you had to do to avoid those unnecessary $10/day charges was to leave your phone on airplane mode, but turn the wifi on (yes can be done). That way no incoming messages or calls to trigger the charge, but access to wifi when needed.
Stan, I learned that later as Verizon tech had said to make sure to turn off cell data ( which we did) and didn’t mention airplane mode. Thank you
If your phone is unlocked, you can consider buying an eSim to have data ( but not phone calls) available.
OP: Thanks for posting this question. After reading the comments concerning T-Mobile, we are going to look into switching from AT&T to T-Mobile in the next couple of days. We have used and paid for AT&T's International Plan for all our trips..for us it was worth "peace of mind." So, knowing that T-Mobile's plan includes other countries is a huge bonus.
Just asked our son who his carrier is....and the answer is T-Mobile! He and his wife usually do a thorough research before making purchases.
Also, I looked up Consumer Report's ratings of different phone carriers....and that also convinced us to look into another carrier.