We are doing a driving trip from Venice through Slovenia and Croatia. We'd like to use our iPhone or iPad for navigation. Verizon has a plan that covers Italy and Croatia but not Slovenia. We will be traveling around the coast to Dubrovnik then up to Lake Bled. Are there sim cards available in the Venice area that would cover all areas? Thank you.
I used Google Maps on my iPhone last year for navigation while driving in Italy and Austria. It worked great. My carrier is TMobile and I get unlimited data in Europe. When I had a dumb phone I got an Italian SIM card when I arrived in Rome. After a few weeks I went to Germany. That Italian SIM card didn't work once I left Italy. You might need to just get a SIM card in Slovenia for your time there.
You don't need a data connection to use Google Maps for driving directions. It works offline with voice commands and turn-by-turn directions. If you take a wrong turn while you are offline, it will recalibrate and send you in the right direction. Rick has a video seminar that explains how to do this, see https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/travel-talks/mobile-device.
Also, here are the basics from Google.
I generally use Here WeGo when travelling, it's free and supports full offline navigation, you just have to download the country maps onto your device beforehand. If you opt for a local SIM card, note that if you're visiting after 15 June 2017, roaming will be free within the EU, so it won't matter where you buy it. Do be careful to use a carrier that offers online top-up though, or you may find it impossible to add credit to the account outside of the country of origin.
iTunes App Store has a navigation app called 'Sygic' that turns your iPhone / iPad into a SatNav that is as good as any dedicated SatNav I've used. Plus it covers the about 95% of the civilized world (anywhere you're likely to travel/drive), and it doesn't require an internet connection or use any data, once you have downloaded the country map you require . You can use it in Europe the UK, the US, Australia, Asia etc etc. All you need to do is buy the app, then download the map of the country/s you are intending to visit before you leave home, or at your hotel over wifi. Map upgrades are free for life, and all the other info that comes with normal SatNavs is there too (service/gas stations / hotels / food outlets / attractions etc) head-up display, speed cameras, speed limits, red light cameras etc. The maps can take up a bit of storage space, depending on the size of the country, from memory the UK was about 250mb, but with the capacity of today's phones, that's not much. In any case you can easily delete them after the trip, and then download them again if you need to.
Thank you everyone!
If you're going to use your phone as a GPS, be sure you have software that allows it to be used off-line, especially in Croatia. While the iPhone GPS doesn't need a cellular network for operation, network connection is required for downloading maps.
On my last visit to Croatia and using a UK-based SIM, I found the cellular coverage very erratic. It operated in some places but more often "No Signal" was indicated and I had no cellular coverage at all. That was not a problem in Italy or Slovenia.