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smartphone rental for European trip? Want to have it set up & ready to go before the trip starts

Hello,

I'm trying to find the best/most reliable place to use when renting a smartphone for a trip to England/Ireland later this year. I want to get it beforehand so I have it all set up and ready to go before the trip but my mind is spinning from all of the options that I've found on the web. Has anyone had success with a rental? I'm mainly looking to use it for texting. I do not wish to go through setting up international capabilities through my current phone.

Thanks so much

Posted by
375 posts

We switched to Tmobile so we could have unlimited data. Bonus! We also got unlimited data in Europe! Worked great. Never had to use cafe or hotel wifi. So, if Tmobile is a good choice for you wherever you live, you could make the change and be all set.

Posted by
4955 posts

You can buy a decent Android one for about $100, probably less. Why rent one?

I bought a Moto E4 fully unlocked for $105 over the holidays - retail price is $129. Really nice phone too. Works on all carriers so you can use it for any phone service you already have as well. The Amazon version for prime members (some have ads) is about $100. I'm sure there are other phones that are even less.

Posted by
5750 posts

You (probably) don't need a new phone. Just a new SIM for the country/countries you're going to.

Posted by
4955 posts

We switched to Tmobile so we could have unlimited data. Bonus! We also got unlimited data in Europe! Worked great. Never had to use cafe or hotel wifi. So, if Tmobile is a good choice for you wherever you live, you could make the change and be all set.

Sprint has the same roaming plan. I just switched to Sprint - right now if you have an eligible device and switch to them, they'll give you a year of free service - unlimited talk, text, and data. The Moto E4 I just bought qualified. I will use this in Europe on my next trip, but I also have a Dutch Vodafone SIM I'll likely use instead, because both T-Mobile and Sprint throttle their data speed significantly (to "2G" speeds), even though for most things that speed is good enough.

Posted by
21300 posts

I don't text, even at home, but I use Wi-Fi a lot in Europe. It's generally available in hotels, and often in places like cafés. Just emailing works for my needs, but I understand that it's not as immediate as texting.

It is my understanding that there are some apps you can use when you are connected to Wi-Fi that mimic texting. I think What's App is one of them. That, I'm afraid, is the extent of my knowledge on this subject; I hope I'm not leading you astray.

I imagine buying a used phone would be cheaper than renting a phone. And what happens if you drop that rented phone?

Posted by
5697 posts

Wi-Fi and WhatsApp can let you text for free to anyone who also has WhatsApp installed. We carry our regular phones but only use Wi-Fi email and Wi-Fi WhatsApp to keep in touch with the kids.

Posted by
934 posts

I spoke to a company over here that rents phones and it's ludicrous ly expensive, 2 days hire about equal to a mid ranged android

Posted by
3457 posts

Wi-Fi and WhatsApp meets our needs. We have found that more companies in Europe are using WhatsApp. Last September we could communicate with our Santorini tour representative on WhatsApp.