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Advice on cell phones and internet

My husband and I will be traveling in Scandinavia for 4 weeks in a 2 weeks time.

I am inclined to simplify my life by not taking an ipad or a cell phone. I am hoping that I could find enough access to internet cafes and/or computers at our hotels that I would not need to bring my own electronics. I would like to be relatively unplugged for a while but also be able to make reservations and communicate if needed.

We have reservations in large cities but will still need to make reservations for places in smaller towns as well as ferry and train reservations.

Does this approach make sense? Or.........should I consider bringing my dumb phone and getting a sim card? Getting a short term phone in Sweden? Bringing my ipad? My cell and ipad service is through Verizon and I can talk to them about options but wanted some advice from someone who isn't going to benefit financially from selling me cell or internet time first.

Thanks so much for any advice you can provide.

Posted by
2081 posts

mainwestpt,

i can only speak for the cites i visited, Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen (CPH) so far. I found internet cafes in each of those cities and have in all of the other cities i have visited, so far.

As to when they are open, thats something you will have to find out and to the location.

Since youre traveling in a couple weeks, not alot of time to do much, but you will get help from the more well traveled people on here.

My opinion, is that once youre out of the larger touristy cities reservations shouldn't be an issue unless GOD is having a festival and everyone and their dog is going to be there but you werent on the list of attendees. With that said, you can find places to stay, but may not be to your exact liking in some respects. Being flexible is good in this case.

if you dont mind paying more for last minute train seats, then thats another one for last minute travels. Sometimes it pays to plan and sometimes its not an issue.

i bought an inexpensive cell phone in the UK so that i would have convenient access to a phone when "I" needed it. So far i havent.

just a comment. some lodgings will want advance notice/call if youre going to show up o-dark-early. just something to think about.

happy trails.

Posted by
23425 posts

We carry an ipad with WIFI only. Use it with the hotel wifi system and to see stored information. We don't worry about phone contact as email is enough for us.

Posted by
154 posts

You may find internet cafes but they are becoming harder and harder to find since most people do bring their own devices now. Most travelers do fine using only wifi in a hotel or café so email and websites can keep most your trip running smoother. You can also use Skype programs to make cheap calls within Europe or back home when connected to wifi. If you want your phone to have the option of making calls international plans have gotten better so it would be worth looking at Verizon's options. If you plan to make a lot of calls within Europe you will get better rates buying a sim-card in Europe but it can sometimes be complicated to get your current phone to work with that sim-card. Many of us find it easier to just buy a cheap phone to go with this sim-card in this situation. You can find more information here.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks to you all for your great advice! I just bought an e-reader that also has internet connections so I can take my books with me and also make connection by email when necessary. I am so grateful for your guidance on this issue! If anyone else wants to chime in I would love to hear from you as well.

Posted by
23425 posts

Not having can be difficult??? Why? We didn't have phones 20 years ago and got along fine. It would be hard to live without my smartphone in the US but no problem when traveling in Europe. Have yet to have a situation where a phone would have been needed or critical. However, we do fine the iPad with wifi to be very useful especially in the evening at the hotel since nearly all hotels have free wifi.