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Cell phone coverage in Europe

I have Verizon for my cell phone coverage in the US and they want to charge an additional $$per month for coverage in Europe. Is there a cell phone company that offers coverage as part of their normal plan?

Posted by
17773 posts

T-Mobile and Google Fi are often mentioned here as less expensive options. Fi is the cheapest as long as you aren't a heavy consumer of cellular data, which is billed separately. Fi is limited to certain (mostly more recent) models of cell phones. My Samsung purchased in 2015 doesn't qualify for Fi.

If it's not important to you for people to reach you at your US telephone number while you're traveling--and if your phone is unlocked--you can buy a SIM in Europe and install it for the duration of your trip.

There has been considerable discussion of cell phone options in the Technology Tips forum here:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tech-tips

Posted by
6092 posts

We have Verizon and get their International plan for one phone for a month and buy a SIM for the other phone. The Verizon plan has been
a godsend for us when we had medical emergencies abroad with many calls back to the US. It give you free or very cheap texts.

Posted by
596 posts

We switched from Verizon to T-Mobile 2 years ago and no regrets. We use one of the over 55 plans. Saved a lot on our monthly bill, got 2 for 1 new phones, and we can use data or text free in Europe. Calls cost 25 cents a minute. Had been paying $60 a month for 2 lines though that plan is now $70. We'll be using our phones in Switzerland later this year.

Posted by
844 posts

I have used Google Fi for both a 3 week trip to England/Wales and a 3 week trip to Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Prague and it worked great. My sister and I drove around the back roads of Wales using electronic maps on my phone and no problems. Not to mention driving from Bath out to Glastonbury and Wells, Bath to Neolithic sites around Stonehenge and Avebury, Bath to Tintern and then Conwy, around Wales, Conwy to Keswick, Keswick to York. We used walking maps for Prague. We really only used the internet for posting pictures in online scrapbooks we had for our family to look at as we were going along and to receive and make texts when we were at our hotel with Wi-Fi.

Posted by
452 posts

We have Verizon and we are only charged IF we use the phone on any given day.

So if we don't use the phone for the day, no charge.

If we do use the phone, there is a daily charge.

Posted by
602 posts

If you want to stick to you current phone, one can always buy a "Handy" small cell phone at any airport in Europe (or at most retailers) for 20 euros or so, with monthly add ons for extra data. Then use the hotel wifi for data downloads on your Verizon phone. We upgraded to dual-SIM capable phones for US and European usage on the same phone with different voice/data plans. Haven't used them for that yet for obvious reasons.