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Question about getting SIM card in advance

I have an unlocked iPhone with Verizon. I am heading to Germany for a month in late April and really do not want to pay Verizon for its horrendous international fees, so I plan on getting a European SIM card. I've thought about the possibility of buying one before I leave and having it shipped to me so I don't have to deal with it in Berlin, but wondered if that is a bad idea. Has anyone tried that? Or should I just wait and get it there?
Thanks!

Posted by
2400 posts

Yes, I have a Vodafone UK SIM card that I bought in the US before a trip a few years ago and which I have used on several trips - including in Germany - in one of my older Android phones. I keep the SIM active by sending a text every 90 - 180 days.

I buy a 30 day phone/text/data package for each trip that costs less than 2 days on my Verizon international plan. I can send a link to a post I wrote with details if interested.

Link added:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tech-tips/vodafone-uk-sim-card-for-use-in-europe

Posted by
61 posts

Be careful: since Brexit, some of the UK phone providers are no longer allowing free roaming in the EU. Best check which would still be valid

Posted by
881 posts

Thank you all so much - and thank you for the links, CWsocial! I know it's going to be hectic once I get there and would much prefer to have everything ready to go when I land.

Posted by
162 posts

I've ordered the Orange sim card from Amazon in advance of my trip twice now and it's worked very well. I take the card and instructions with me and don't insert the card and activate it until I arrive at my hotel in Europe. I like knowing I've got it before I go and it's one less thing to deal with once I arrive. With the Orange card you get a French phone number and there are a number of plans you can choose from for data/text/phone.

Posted by
1273 posts

I second CWsocial. My husband and I each have the Vodafone UK sim card purchased a few years ago at her recommendation. We have used them in several countries. When we have questions Vodafone has been helpful either by chat or phone. We put the sim in our phones while on the plane so we can contact our lodging immediately if needed. Having the sim in advance is a real convenience!

Posted by
881 posts

Plumaria54 and Carol, thanks so much! It will be so much easier to get it done. I appreciate your replies!

Posted by
1294 posts

The last time I checked, the orange SIM card plans were mostly for 2 weeks. If you have a longer trip like the OP you may need to find a longer plan or need to top up your orange SIM.

Posted by
138 posts

Thank you for the great information.

I just want to point out that they offer a free SIM to which you can add a bundle when you're ready. The link is about halfway down the Bundles page.

Posted by
2400 posts

Update: Beginning June 8, 2022, Vodafone UK SIM cards have new post-Brexit roaming zones and prices for their Zone B (49 countries in Europe) roaming. Whereas previously a Big Value Bundle included roaming usage in much of Europe, now you must also purchase their "European Roaming passes, available as £8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days."

Carol, I'll be interested in whether you'll still stick with the Vodafone UK SIM or if you'll look at other options. My initial thought is that it's still better than Verizon for shorter trips, but questionable for longer ones.