DH and I will be traveling for 10 days in Italy. We have 2 college age students. I know the International phone plans run around $45 for a month. I am thinking to go ahead and get one on both phones, just in case something happens to one of the phones. Do you all get a plan for each of your phones? Not sure if that's overkill. We'll also have our IPADS to be able to communicate via email that way, too. Do we need some sort of plan for that?
You didn't say which cell network you're with, but the travel roaming plans can typically save some money. However one point to note is that the data will be limited, so don't expect to have the same cheap access to unlimited data as at home. For keeping in touch with family members who decide to tour on their own, texting is about the cheapest method.
Regarging your iPads, are they Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular? Note that if you're communicating via E-mail to a cell phone, that will use data on the phone.
I use the ATT passport plus plan so if I need to use my phone in Europe it doesn't run up significant charges, but most of the time I leave it in airplane mode with the WiFi turned on. This extra plan runs $60 for 30days over your normal fee and since I rarely am in Europe for more than 3 weeks it works for me.
If you have Tmobile you get free data and it was no additional cost.
If you're taking your regular smart phones, you may be able to just buy a SIM chip in Italy. I was told by my phone carrier that my iPhone SIM can be removed and I can use a euro carrier.
We have Verizon, and both of us have Samsung Galaxies. The kids are not coming with us, that is why I want to make sure we all can get ahold of each other and worry about just having one phone.. I really don't plan on communicating with them other than a few times. Our iPads are just wireless. I don't anticipate being separated from DH, but it would be nice to text each other if we need to.
Get a local SIM card and prepaid plan from TIM or one of the other providers. Much better value.
We ditch the phones. Rely totally on email and free internet sites. Never had a problem. You can get a text feature on Verizon phones for a couple of bucks.
We both have Samsung Galaxies through Verizon and added the $40 international travel plan to both phones. Gives you 100 min. of talk, 100 outgoing texts no charge for incoming texts, and I think 100 mb of data, which isn't so much. I have an elderly mother, a young adult son, a sister and a friend I will keep in touch with. I plan to turn the data off and use wifi for email and internet. We will be in Europe for 3 weeks, so I think the plan will pay for itself.
Thank you all for your suggestions. Nancy, it sounds like your situation parallels mine with your phone situation, thanks for the detail.
I know this is going to sound really dumb, I'm embarrassed to ask. How do I turn off data?
You can sign up with T-Mobile for as little as a month. Their cheapest simple choice plan with unlimited (but slow) international data is $50 per month plus taxes for a total of $58 or so. So you pretty definitely don't want to end up spending more than that for prepaid SIMs in the various countries you visit. Typically a SIM is 10 or 20 euros, right? regardless of how much preloaded credit is on it, that's what you spend. For a couple of weeks in Ireland, using the phone to call for restaurant reservations, texting back home and pretty heavy use of google Maps my total cost above my T-Mobile plan was under $4 for calls made at 20 cents per minute.
"I know this is going to sound really dumb, I'm embarrassed to ask. How do I turn off data?"
It would help to know what type of phones you're using? The method to switch off data will vary slightly between different brands.
Samsung Galaxy 3. I'm thinking I must just go to settings and okay around, ok, after I do that...then the phone only works wirelessly? I've never done that yet. Probablt should adk my kid, LOL. So, when you do that, and you are not anyplace that has wifi, then all you can do is make phone calls?
I am not very tech savvy, but here goes. Go to your phone's home page.Go into your settings. This is on the pull down screen that has several choices such as wi fi, location, sound, etc. across the top of your home screen. On my Samsung 6 it is the round, white sunburst shaped icon in the upper right. Go into data, or data usage. Turn it off. That way you will not incur crazy data charges for email and internet or at least be able to control it by turning it on or off. From there you will need to find a wifi spot to email or use the internet. I am not savvy enough to hassle with changing sim cards, although it sounds like it's easy. One less thing to worry about.
Nancy, I found it. Under data usage. I'm have 2 options: mobile data, which I have checked, and Limit mobile data usage. In the last month I have only used .06GB, FB being half of that.
I also have airplane mode, which if turned on it says 'turn off calling, messaging and data network features. Seems one of us could have this turned on most of the time, but not both of us...in case someone needs to call us, correct? As you can see I'm a tech dinosaur.