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Best phone options for 2 months in NIgeria and 1 in Europe

Our daughter is travelling to Nigeria for 2 months, then to Italy & Paris for 1. She currently does not have a smart phone, and we are wondering what is the best phone option for her while overseas. We are not sure what type of wi-fi access she will have and don't really want to be locked into a data plan for a smart phone once she returns. The purpose of the phone would be simply a way of communication there. We have enjoyed using viber and i-message with a friend that is currently overseas and something like that would be nice with our daughter.

Any suggestion?

Posted by
2081 posts


i havent been down there so im not sure about whats available. But i will assume she will be somewhat mobile or have access to transportation. If not she will be out in the bush but she has to land/debark from some city.

i would just look for something when she arrives. we get screwed with our plans in the USA.

I bought my first phone (slider type) in the UK and its a PAYG phone. Its also unlocked and from others have said, all/most of the phones overthere are sold a unlocked. another shaft for us.

as far as what type of phone , why a smart phone? they are usually more expensive. if it gets lost or stolen, youre out alot.

My provide is T mobile and they have a 50 buck MONTHLY plan that covers international. you may want to look at it. they have less expensive plans too, but this covers data too. whoever you go with make sure they cover where shes going.

you can try looking in your local are for used cell phone shops for used cell phones and look for one thats unlocked or if they will unlock it for you. Ebay has them too or even CL. but CL people can be flaky.

happy trails.

Posted by
31137 posts


It would help to have a bit of information on what your daughter plans to use the Cellphone for during her travels? Given the fact that you don't want to be locked into a data plan, that will probably preclude using T-Mobile as they would likely require at least a two year contract with a data plan. One other point to note is that I believe T-Mobile data service only includes 2G, and customers have to pay extra for 3G or 4G (where available).

Given the diversity in the places she will be visiting, you might consider using a plan with one of the travel phone firms such as Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Telestial, Mobal, Lebara, etc. (there are others but these are the ones that come to mind). Billing is often post-paid (calls charged to a credit card), so no need to top up. Check the respective websites for pricing and other details.

One option you could consider would be to use a basic unlocked quad-band GSM phone such as the Motorola V551 (check E-Bay or Amazon to see availability and prices). I used that model before switching to an iPhone and it always worked well. This would provide voice and text and would be a cheaper option than using a Smartphone, as data is typically quite expensive. They typically offer plans with a 30 day maximum limit, so you'd have to buy two terms for the Nigeria portion.

Especially in Nigeria, she could send you a text every day or two just to let you know all's well. For E-mail and other internet-based uses, pack along a tablet or a cheap Netbook for use in Wi-Fi areas (which will be readily available once she gets to Italy and Paris). A Netbook would be easier for handling photos, since many models have a built-in SD Card Reader. With a Tablet, a photo reader accessory usually must be purchased separately.

Regardless of which gadgets she decides to travel with, she will need to address the issue of voltage compatibility and Plug Adaptors. Will she be packing along any other electrical equipment?

Happy travels to your daughter!