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Resource for finding up to date Verizon international phone plan options?

I know this is a topic that comes up a lot, but things are always changing. We’ll be in Italy for 3 weeks later this year, and I’d like to keep my phone number available to people back home (my son, our pet sitter, anyone who needs to reach us in case of emergency regarding family) so they can call/text without needing an international plan of their own. So I’d like to fully explore my options. Does anyone know of a good up to date resource from Verizon on the choices?
Also, if you’ve used Verizon on vacation in Europe (especially Italy) recently, what plan did you choose and what was your experience? Does the monthly plan cover both phones on an account, or only one? I’d consider leaving one of the phones on airplane mode if necessary. I can use wi-fi in the evenings but I’m not sure I want to use airplane mode on both phones during the day in case someone needs to reach us. Suggestions?

Posted by
2073 posts

Have you looked at their website or called them? I haven’t looked but I’m thinking any plan you get would have to specify which phone or phones you want to be able to use. Your US callers do not need a plan to be able to call your US phone number. We abandoned Verizon and AT&T for TMoble years ago.

Posted by
2721 posts

If you go onto Verizon's website or use their app, you can find the different plans. Although not the cheapest, it is best for me to keep my phone number. I use the $10/day plan so I pay for the days I use Verizon's data plan. That's usually on my travel days. I use hotel WiFi to call home each night using Google Voice. I keep my phone in airplane mode so I don't accidently incur charges.
I haven't used Verizon's monthly plan. I've used the $10/day plan in Italy, France, England, Germany and Austria.
FYI: be aware that Verizon's 24 clock is set at New York time. So pay close attention to the texts they send or you may be charged for a day you didn't intend to use their international plan.

Posted by
7520 posts

I would call or go to your local Verizon store. Since they offer a variety of plans, any response may be accurate for the person responding, but not for you.

Posted by
2114 posts

We traveled in October for just shy of a month and signed up for the $100 for a one-month international Verizon plan PER PHONE (it is not per account). When we have traveled internationally previously, we always opted for the $10 a day access for one phone (which kicked in only if we used the phone). But, the trip we took in October was a more extensive itinerary...multiple continents and countries that also allowed excellent wifi (and phone) access via the plane other than in some remote areas in the middle of wide ocean expanses.

What we considered (and it took asking lots and lots of questions) includes the following:

Could we just transfer one mobile phone to the other, so any incoming calls on one phone just rolled to the other, thereby allowing us to save the $100 a month fee on one of the two phones? We understand (verify it yourself, though), the answer would be YES.
But, the problem with that is that my spouse uses one line specifically for business and we really wanted to be able to isolate those calls and not have personal calls answered in a business voice mail way or vice versa. And, we did not want all the spam calls on th personal line hear the business greeting (if we had rolled the line). But, if that is not an issue for your circumstance, then simply transferring one line to the other before you leave (you do that yourself on your keypad) might work for you......BUT........ We also wanted to be able to respond quickly to any serious issues that might have arisen at home (and we had a call from the kennel, then a vet re: our dog...glad my phone was able to quickly take both calls and be able to "see" from my stored contacts who was calling).....and we also had a call on our security system (but luckily our outside camera system alerted us to a visitor via text video .... a friend tending when the security system call came, we were calm, we had already seen footage of our friend arriving/entering, so we could tell the security company (we had also added our friend as an authorize person on our system, so she also called the security company to alert them it was "her," not to call police, and we were able to reach up primary back-up person on our system as well,and we able to instantly phone our friend to remind her what button to push when entering and to remind her she had access authority for our system, and to just call the company if the keypad error happened again. So those were a few calls in rapid pace for which we were grateful we both had full access on both mobile phones.. Those two situations alone merited the $100 for my phone access...your situation may vary.

We also wanted the flexibility to call one another.........even though we were on a well-guided group journey, we did want to be able to reach each other should some unforeseen circumstance arise. When my spouse went out on some day group tours (with my least I got to see the photos of what I missed) when I was ill, we were comforted we could reach each other...unexpected circumstances can happen....phones are good tools to have.

Who to call: Dial Verizon's main customer service number and ask for the International Desk (or department). They might have a separate international plan number listed on their web site.

As it turned out, we would have come out better (financially) transferring one line to the business calls came in...hubby had notified clients in advance of the travel and suggested email being best. But, one just never knows. So, you just have to ask yourself what is "worth it" in your circumstances. We did not want to be cursing our natural frugality should we have needed "both" phones.

Posted by
667 posts

Thanks, everyone!
Maggie, I really appreciate your detailed response and very recent experience. I’m leaning towards the $100 for the month plan, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I have a question about transferring both numbers to one phone. If you do that, can you still use both phones should you need to contact one another (again, like up your example of your husband going out but the 2 of you having the option to stay in contact)?
Does the international plan have a data limit and how would that be impacted if someone occasionally texted a photo to us?
I’m thinking another option might be to pay for the international plan for one phone line and keep the other in airplane mode and only use that phone if there’s an emergency. We could set up a temporary voicemail message telling callers to call the active number….although I don’t think there’s a way to do this for texts?
I’m assuming with the international plan you can also make local calls and calls to other international phone numbers? We’ll be traveling at the same time as a friend from Canada, and may need to occasionally connect to arrange logistics etc.

Posted by
2114 posts

Ruth, you ask some very good questions - but, I do not think I can accurately answer them. But, excellent questions to ask when you call the Verizon International Desk (or Department). Seems we made a list of questions...called, got answers...thought about options...then had more questions. Seems we called them three times (maybe more).

But, you are wise to be thinking about this ahead of time. Once you get some basic answers (from Verizon) to your questions, you will have time to "noddle around" mentally what will work........and likely (if you are like us), some ideas/solutions will pop into your mind at random times.....and Verizon will then be just a phone call away to confirm/clarify.

We found the toll-free number with Verizon to be much more knowledgeable about International Dialing than the local Verizon stores (which I am told can be company stores OR local franchises, some with high turnover (which can affect knowledge level).....maybe because a lot of younger people make the majority of their phone purchases on-line these day .....I am told -- do know know to be factual.)

We are Samsung users, and seems my spouse (if I remember correctly) found out the answer to the "phone forwarding" function by calling the Samsung expert at the local BestBuy.....then reconfirmed with Verizon. Apple phones may be different.....I'm clueless ;o

Posted by
312 posts

I also just keep Verizon as my carrier when travelling. On short trips - 10 days or less - I have used the TravelPass option, which is $10/day if you use it, and it uses the data plan you are already paying for (so if you have unlimited, that's what you get). On longer trips, I used the monthly international plan, which is $100 for the month for 20GB high speed, 3G after that. Note that I was charged $85 this last time, not sure why but also not gonna question it lol. If it remains $85, I will likely just use that no matter the trip length.

As noted by others, the charge is per phone. We usually activate the $10/day TravelPass for my husband's phone, so he has an international plan just in case - but mine is that main messaging and navigational phone, so we figure he would rarely need the monthly coverage.

Make sure you read the info at the link above - I was on a Verizon chat once (can't recall exact issue) and the rep was wildly incorrect about how TravelPass worked, trying to upsell me to the monthly plan. I literally had to cut-and-paste language from the Verizon site into the chat.

Posted by
87 posts

We have Verizon. For trips over 10 days, which is all of ours now, we get the Verizon Monthly plan on my phone, and we have the $10/day plan on my wife's. We leave her phone in airplane mode the entire trip but having the option to use it in case of a lost phone or emergency is great. We use my phone for google map navigation for walking and subway directions. This has worked well for us all over Europe including France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and UK. When you sign up for the $100/month international, you specify when you want it to start. We usually select a day or 2 before we leave. It expires sometime after we get back since we are only gone usually less than 3 weeks. When overseas, you do have to enable "roaming" access for data, they don't tell you that. Its all covered in the $100/month charge.

Posted by
649 posts

You might also want to consider WhatsApp for communicating back to the States - you can make calls or send/receive texts on WiFi when available. A downside is that everyone you want to reach must also have a WhatsApp account.

We found that it is also useful for communicating with vendors in Italy - specifically rental apartment hosts to coordinate arrival times, etc.

The advantage of Google Voice is that you can call any US number directly, and also works over WiFi. It can also be useful for making calls to Italy to make arrangements before the trip at very low rates - pennies per minute - you prepay a small amount [$10 ?] and it deducts the costs of each call from your balance.

Posted by
8 posts

Verizon automatically unlocks their phones 60 days after activation. If after 60 days you can purchase a local SIM for data or data and voice. Coordinate with family/friends to use WhatsApp, FaceTime or other apps to talk/text back and forth. I purchase a local SIM and use apps to converse between everyone back home. Use WiFi calling to receive text messages/voicemail for my US number. Local SIM cost is lower than the $10.00 charge from Verizon.

Posted by
4806 posts

The people in most of their stores rarely know anything other than how to sell you the most expensive thing they can. However, Verizon has a dedicated line for international questions and the people at that number have always supplied us with accurate information. Perhaps they can offer some clarification about opitional plans that will meet your needs. The number is (or was) 1-800-711-8300. If that number isn't valid, then check the web site for an updated one.

Posted by
140 posts

We had T-Mobile for years, and it worked very well when we traveled internationally. We, however, needed new phones, and because mobile providers don't reward loyalty, we switched to Verizon so we could get new phones.

When investigating the plans, we questioned the sales rep about what our options for phone service would be if we traveled internationally. He mentioned the $10 a day option discussed above, but he stated that, depending on the length of time we would be out of the country, it might be more economical to switch to the "Unlimited Ultimate" plan for just a month, after which time we could go back to our lesser price plan (Unlimited Welcome).

Here's an excerpt from Verizon re their Unlimited Ultimate plan: High-speed international data, talk & text
Unlimited talk, text and data when traveling in 210+ countries and destinations. After 10 GB/mo of high-speed data, get unlimited 2G speeds.

We are planning a 3 week trip to Europe this year, so we will be looking into this. Since we have a number of family members on the plan and receive discounts for various things, the cost per month would be much less than the $100 per line international plan mentioned above (Approximately $55/month for us?).

Posted by
1 posts

Terri, that is very helpful about the Verizon Unlimited Ultimate plan, thank you! We are going to Switzerland and Italy this year and it looks like that will be the perfect plan for us then, and maybe even sooner. We don’t plan on needing any talk time, but will need internet at times when there’s no WiFi.

Posted by
312 posts

Another idea is to use a data-only eSIM and put your Verizon phone number on Do Not Disturb status, granting exceptions for family and other critical contacts. Use the eSIM as primary, and select the Verizon SIM only for phone calls. (Texts in Europe are free on Verizon AFAIK.) We've done this several times with great success.

Even without an "international plan," European calls cost only between 2 and 7 cents per minute on Verizon. So if you can screen out junk calls, costs to have your number available to those you need to talk to are minimal.