As some of you know I have been a big advocate of Project Fi over the years, I think it is by far the simplest and best option for Americans that also travel abroad. Google has recently renamed the service Google Fi and made some big changes, namely allowing you to bring and use many popular phones (including iPhones) on their plan. Previously you had to choose from one of about a half dozen compatible phones, which seemed to be an impediment for some.
I've spent many months abroad using Fi. When you can use your phone abroad the way you do in the US, it changes and enriches the way you travel - even just having an always working map is huge. Using uber or the local taxi app, many tourist sites have their own apps and online guides that only work on smart phones, there are podcasts and walking tours available. It really brings the spontaneity back in to traveling.
On multi-month trips I don't turn data off, I text whenever needed, browse the web constantly (Fi has high speed data in 140+ countries for the same price as the US), call people whenever I want and my typical bill is probably $45 and my largest was $60 for a month.
- No contract. To me this is huge
- $20 unlimited calling in the US. Uses Tmobile, US Cellular and Sprint towers in the US.
- Unlimited texts anywhere in the world
- Automatic use of VPN on wifi
- High speed internet is $10 per GB anywhere in the world (yes, it's high speed internationally as well). This has worked literally everywhere for me. I recently drove 4 hours across the desert in Oman streaming Omar Souleyman remixes on Spotify with no loss of signal.
- Data charges are capped at $60 - basically an unlimited plan even internationally
- 20c/ min international calls. Which you barely use with Skype, Viber, Whatsapp etc.
- The very newest and most secure version on Android (at least on Google's phones)
No need to turn off data when abroad. No need to call the phone overlords and ask to turn on the special rip off plan so you don't get the really, really rip off rates applied. No need to worry that you are roaming on an unsupported network. It just works.