Please sign in to post.

Is Amazon the only way to buy Orange Holiday SIM in US before your trip?

Hi,

I realize there's been a lot of conversation on the Orange Holiday SIM topic, but the thread was closed.

My question: I would prefer to buy an Orange card in the US (to use in Paris) before I leave, so I have it upon arriving in the airport. Is Amazon the only way to buy one - or eBay? Are there any phone stores in the US that sell them?

Thanks!
Laura M.

Posted by
5 posts

I just broke down and went with Amazon, though I don't like to when I can avoid it. Thing is, I'll already be late for my meeting and have zero francais, and don't want to have to sort it all out before I can get where I'm going. My plan is to pop it in once the plane lands and hope it's smooth sailing. I'll report back if it's not. Thanks for your replies, all.

Posted by
5 posts

Yes, I think so. It's a borrowed smartphone, arrived with no SIM - but I could set a new passcode so I think that means it's unlocked.

Posted by
4695 posts

No, the phone is unlocked if you insert another SIM in it from a different carrier and you are able to power up the phone. For example, if I have an AT&T phone and I put a T-Mobile SIM card in it and turn the phone on - will it ask me for an unlock code? If not, then the phone is unlocked.

A phone bought from one of the carriers is probably locked unless it has been unlocked. If the phone is paid off, the carrier will probably unlock it for free by request. Unlocking the phone simply means the carrier provides you with a lock code you need to enter one time only and then never again. You type it in the first time you insert a new SIM. You may not be able to actually unlock it until you insert the new SIM card into it. (Sometimes you can, depends on the phone.)

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for this. I don't mind if you all smile at this, but I haven't wanted to become a smartphone owner - and still don't. I just think one will be tres handy for this trip, since my prepay dumb flipfone won't do me any good over there.

So it means before I even cross international borders, the smartphone universe will be unfamiliar territory.

I have been assured by its lender (someone I trust) that the phone is unlocked. It's an iPhone6.

Though a few on these forums reported bumps with the Orange Holiday SIM ordered on Amazon that took an Orange store attendant in France to fix, for others it seemed to work right away with no problems.

So I'm hoping that I can bring with me the SIM soon to arrive in the mail, and as plane is landing in Paris, put it in the phone and voila!

I appreciate all the info!

-L M

Posted by
4695 posts

Smart phones are very useful for international travel. But if you have barely used one before, I hope you don't have to spend too much time on your trip trying to figure it out, unless you've spent some time ahead of time playing with the phone at home, installing some apps, etc. You can use a smart phone on WiFi and do almost everything with it except make calls and texts. I would certainly spend some time getting familiar with it before your trip, assuming you have WiFi at home.

They really don't cost much anymore, and you don't have to be "one of those people" who is constantly looking at their phones. You can always buy a cheap Android and just use it at home on WiFi but only buy/use a SIM for it when you travel.

Posted by
5 posts

I should've known what you say about wi fi, but somehow it slipped my mind since phone arrived without SIM. This is a very good suggestion to play around with it a little ahead of time so it isn't all foreign! I'll do that!

Thanks!
-L M

Posted by
23739 posts

Yes, I agree. There's a bit of a learning curve going from a dumb phone to a smartphone, and yet again another fairly steep learning curve into an iPhone (although they are the best and easiest once you know what you're doing.

If your friend has given you access to the App Store there are several good apps useful while traveling, not least being a couple of good Métro apps - although perhaps you know it well enough not to need an app for the Métro.

It is certainly worth playing around with the phone for a while at home, and since many functions don't require signal during use you can also play around on the plane. Maybe put a TV show or movie or so on the phone then (given earphones) watch what you want during the flight instead of what they want to show you....

Posted by
1113 posts

Won't the sim card that you order in the mail ahead of time have to be activated on arrival in Europe in a mobile phone store anyway?
I always buy them when I arrive in Europe, so I'm not sure about this.
If it is the case, then you don't save any time buying it ahead of time.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Posted by
4695 posts

Won't the sim card that you order in the mail ahead of time have to be activated on arrival in Europe in a mobile phone store anyway?

Not always - depends on what country the SIM card came from. Every country has different regulations pertaining to how SIM cards can be activated. Some European countries like the UK and the Netherlands do not require in-country activation.

In this case, we are talking about the Orange Holiday SIM which is a French SIM card. Technically, you DO need to register a French SIM card with a passport to activate it. But it seems that this one on Amazon is allowed some sort of two week waiver: it's good for two weeks without registering it, but to keep using it beyond that (top it up with credit), then yes, one would have to register it with passport, etc. But even then, it seems doing it in-person may not be required. Again, not sure how Orange gets around the registration requirement. I assume most people use it only for two weeks and that's it.

I bought my Dutch Vodafone SIM on eBay last year and have used it in Slovenia, Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal over two trips. Haven't used it in the Netherlands yet! I activated it and topped it up at home in the US, using my US credit card on Vodafone's website.