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Phones in Finland/EU

We will be traveling mostly in Finland (will have local address) but also throughout EU/Schengen for 6 months. We have two unlocked phones and need two more for our group.

We need to be able to use data not just wifi. We are not currently on T Mobile but know it may be a good option.

Calling back to the states at a non exorbitant rate would be a huge bonus.

Any recommendations? Do we just sign up and get prepaid plans/phones there?

Thanks in advance!!

Posted by
1149 posts

To call back to the US at reasonable rates consider using Skype or Google Voice. Both let you call phone numbers in the US over a data connection for pennies a minute.

If your phone lets you do wifi calling and your US phone company supports it, you can use wifi to call a phone number back home without incurring the fee for making an international call.

If the person or persons in the US have something like WhatsApp on their phones, you may use wifi or a data connection to communicate that way.

You will get advice to just use wifi on your home number after setting your phone to airplane mode, or to get a prepaid foreign SIM, or to use a lower cost US account such as T-Mobile or Google Fi.

Posted by
301 posts

This was the year before Covid but I bought a SIM card in the way north at a convenience store (had entered Finland from the Hurtigruten ship at the Russian border- all of this seems unreal now!). It was preloaded with a certain amount of data with the option to reload online. I used it in Denmark, too, but was only gone for 3 weeks so never used it up. I used WhatsApp for communication with family when needed, but again, wasn't gone anywhere near as long as you. Maybe for the 2 in your party in need of phones you can wait to get those till you are there- or just the cheapest unlocked versions to take with you.

Posted by
15 posts

We used Google Fi and were pleased. It is $20 per month plus $10 per GB for data. We have pixel phones that take esims so we just added the GFi account to the phones and did not turn off our usual numbers (Tracfone) From Europe you also pay 20 cents a minute for voice calls to the US

Posted by
99 posts

mm, so I am on T-Mobile. I am on the Magenta Max plan. T-Mo just announced that those on the Magenta Max plan get 5GB free Internationally every month. I used it on my last trip and was lucky that my trip was at the end of June and beginning of July. It was seamless and I didn't notice any difference. I was only in Germany though.

Also, another option is if you have a phone that had dual sims and is unlocked, you can buy an eSim and add it. See Mardee's post for more info.