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Cell Phone in St. Andrews/Edinburgh

I am going on a golf vacation to Scotland and will be there for 10 days, six in St. Andrews, two in Carnoustie and two in Edinburgh. We leave on May 5th, a trip that was pushed back a year twice because of COVID. I have a new iPhone 13 and my carrier is Verizon. I haven't been to Europe in eight years and was wondering about the best way to set up phone usage while there. Verizon through their chat line has two rather expensive plans and a pay as you go plan and I'm hoping for something better. We were in France for two weeks in 2013 and I seem to recall a $25 monthly plan, but its no longer available. I would appreciate any thoughts or advice you may have. Thank you.


Posted by
381 posts

We leave in three days for the UK (5 weeks trip, also delayed two years). Also have Verizon service. These are the steps I took;

  1. If your phone is unlocked (usually has to be paid off), go to a Verizon store and tell them you want to transfer your phone number to the esim. I’ve had this done on two iphones this week.
  2. Download the giffgaff app, setup an account, and order a free SIM card. You should receive by mail in 10-24 days from the UK. (Alternatively you can wait and purchase a SIM card after you arrive in Scotland.)
  3. The day before you leave, put the giffgaff sim card into your phone and activate it through the app.
  4. You will be prompted to pick a goody bag package of data/talk/text. I got 20gb data plus unlimited talk and text WITHIN the UK for £12.
  5. You will pay extra if you want to be able to call back to the US. I downloaded Google voice for that purpose. It’s free. Or you can use WhatsApp as long as the person you are calling also has WhatsApp on his/her phone.

Enjoy your trip! My husband has dreamed of playing both St. Andrews and Carnoustie.

Posted by
1475 posts

I recently used my iphone in Switzerland and paid for the Verizon $100 monthly plan. Easy to sign up on-line. For me, it was the easiest option. I tend to favor convenience over saving money. The phone worked just like it does in the US.