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I really DO want SIM before leaving for 21-day Belgium/Austria trip. Advice?

I have read through many of the SIM posts and still need advice. I must know my European number before leaving the US and that number needs to be valid as soon as I land, so I want to buy my SIM in advance. Traveling to Belgium and Austria. I have an unlocked GSM phone.

The other glitch is that it must be good for more than 14 days, which eliminates many of the cards I have found available to order here. (Trip length will be 21-29 days.)

Please do not suggest that I wait until I land and get a SIM and number then. That is not an option due to the circumstances of this trip.

Finally, I have looked into international calling with my carrier (Verizon) but, last time I left the country, despite their repeated assurances that I had an active International plan, I was unable to place or receive calls. (Got a text saying I should have set up an international plan before I left the US -- which I had done!)

Would greatly appreciate suggestions of who to buy from here, or another way to be assigned a number in advance. I know buying in the US can be more expensive.

Thanks, all, so much for your suggestions.

Happy Trails!

Posted by
1371 posts

Hello GypsyRover,

If you haven't already seen it, you might review my post about the Vodafone UK SIM. I ordered it while in the US, activated it, loaded it with credit and knew my (UK) phone number in advance.

Edit: I just looked at the original packaging of the SIM I bought. The UK phone number was on the SKU sticker on the back of the card in which the SIM was packaged. So I knew the phone number upon receipt of the SIM.

The other glitch is that it must be good for more than 14 days
A few days before leaving on my trip, I ordered one of their Big Value Bundles, which gives text/minutes/data good for 30 days.

The phone was ready to go when I stepped off the plane and I used it successfully in Germany, Czech Republic and Poland. I intend to keep the SIM for regular trips to Europe and so I recently added a small amount of credit and sent a text, thereby keeping the phone active for future use.

Although I bought my SIM on eBay, Vodafone UK SIMs are also available on Amazon.

Please note the comments in my post about UK vs US credit cards. I have successfully used their PayPal option to add SIM credit, using my US credit card on the back end of the PayPal.

Posted by
41 posts

CWsocial -- thanks so much! No, I had not seen your original post and have since read it. I think this looks very promising. Thanks, again!

Posted by
1371 posts

My pleasure, hope it works for you! Feel free to come back and ask questions. There are many people, smarter than me, who helped me along the way (Andrew H in particular) and who I'm sure will be able to assist.

Posted by
41 posts

Just had a thought: I wonder how the very recent Brexit will affect "EU Roaming Requirements," if at all. Ah, more research!

Posted by
1371 posts

I checked that recently and Vodafone and other networks have said they still plan to allow free roaming. I believe there is a comment in the other post with a link.

It wouldn't seem to be to their competitive advantage to do otherwise.

Posted by
21 posts

Check with Verizon before you order a SIM card. They told me that international SIMs would not work in my iPhone and I would need to use their international plan which is very expensive. I continue to research this issue and would appreciate any help.

Posted by
41 posts

Thanks, acombej1. I will not be using a Verizon phone, but an unlocked GSM phone I carry just for travel. Yes, I have heard the Verizon international plan can be expensive!