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Cell phone use in multiple countries

We will be travelling in 13 countries July and August in the Baltics, Central Europe and Scandinavia. Looking for what my best option would be to be able to make calls while in these countries both to people there and back home to US and have US people able to call me without costing them long distance prices. I will also need data, but texting is not necessarily important. I will use Skype when we have wifi access, but need phone and data when wifi is not available.

I do have an unlocked Verizon iPhone 4S which has worked with purchasing a local sim card in both Vietnam and Thailand. I do not want to be purchasing sim cards in all of these countries, would like to have one that would work in them all. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I have looked into the OneSimCard.com and it seems like it could be what would work for me. Has anyone used this and have any comments about it.

Posted by
2 posts

I guess I should have mentioned that the first country we will be in is Russia; are local shops as readily available there as in countries in Europe? I really don't want to have to get a different sim in each country, even if I got one in the countries where we would be staying for longer periods.

Reading through the many different forums, it seems that as we travel into each country I would have higher per minute rates in each country if I used a sim from another country. Am I reading that correctly?

Posted by
31471 posts

love,

In addition to using a plan from OneSimCard, you might have a look at plans offered by Roam Simple. They offer a World SIM ($29) that should operate in all the countries you'll be visiting. The call charges will be somewhat consistent, but will be highest in countries such as the Russian Federation (Zone 4). They also offer data service but this will add considerably to the cost, so if you "need phone and data when wifi is not available", you'll need to allow for that in your budget.

If it's important that family and friends back in the U.S. are able to contact you during your travels, they also offer a Direct Connect option, which provides a local number in your home area for people to call. The number is "mapped" to your travel number, and so calls will automatically be forwarded to your phone wherever you are. This is an extra-cost option so again you'll need to allow for that in your budget. Be sure to tell your contacts at home to check the time difference before calling, as it's really annoying to be awakened in the middle of the night by some moron that forgot to check the time (especially since YOU will be paying for each incoming call)!

One other point to mention is that the Roam Simple service usually has a maximum of 30 days, so if travelling for longer than that you'll have to renew your plan at extra cost. Check their website or contact them for all the details.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1994 posts

Have you checked the Verizon international plan? I find it works really well for me… Because of certain responsibilities, it's important that people at home be able to contact me as easily as possible. The Verizon plan allows them to dial my number, and they simply pay for a local call. It was not particularly expensive for me, and I relied on Skype and Wi-Fi when it was available. I also purchased an international data plan on my last trip, and $50 worth of data covered me for 1 month in Europe.

My one suggestion, if you go this route, is to insist that you speak to the people in the international group when setting this plan up. The first-line Verizon operators seem to be under pressure to take care of this themselves and not transfer customers to international. Twice I've arrived in Europe with phones that were not set up properly, and it was a pain to find a phone where I could work through the problems. After those experiences, I now push until I actually get to a person in the international group.

Posted by
1994 posts

Unless Verizon has changed things in the last 6 months, it is not correct that their plan is for an entire billing cycle. You can start or stop it at any point in the billing cycle. Last time I used it, it was cheaper for me to keep it through the end of the billing cycle… and the Verizon rep advised me of that when I called up to inactivate it. So I have found to be a very flexible plan, and I find it to be much easier than dealing with foreign-language SIM cards. But I think each person finds what works best for them. I bought a European phone a few years ago, and I only used one trip… It was way more of a headache than I wanted to deal with while on vacation.