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Traveling w/ 2 I-phones: any extra charges?

If my husband and I both bring our I-phones, can we call/text each other while overseas without any additional charges?

Would we require the monthly Verizon international plan for both phones to do this? Or could we just get the plan for one phone but still be able to communicate easily without extra charges.

(Upcoming trips include Paris, Italy, Croatia, etc.)

Thanks!

Posted by
124 posts

If you both are on WIFI, you could imessage eachother without using Data. Also for calling, you could use skype, whatsapp, etc.

If you want to make phone calls/texts while on cellular data and not WIFI, you would need to get with Verizon to see what coverage you have.

I recently switched to T-Mobile for the unlimited texting/data in 140+ countries, because i was tired of ATT making us get a separate plan or pay a bunch.

If you aren't too tech savy, your best bet would be to go into a Verizon store to see what your options are.

Posted by
1330 posts

I am not familiar with I-phones. Verizon uses the CDMA format. Do your phones also have GSM capability? If not, you will not be able to use them in Europe.

Posted by
920 posts

With Verizon, you just need to set up an international plan before leaving the US, not necessarily the monthly plan. Before you get on the plane, put your phone in airplane mode. When you get to Europe, turn the phone back on and enable wifi so you can use that for free. When you go your separate ways, turn the phone back on (out of airplane mode) so you can communicate. Each line is charged a $10 fee for a 24 hour period. You use your plan minutes, texts and data. You have 24 hours to turn it back to airplane mode before you get charged for another day.

EDIT: You may want to check with Verizon for a plan for your specific needs. if you are going on a long trip, it may not make sense to do the $10 fee thing.

Posted by
169 posts

Honestly, if I were you I would get a SIM card with data only on it from the first country you hit and use Skype or WhatsApp or Facebook messenger to communicate. You will both need the plan as far as I am aware. If one phone sends a message that one will get a charge as well as the phone receiving the message. If you are there for 10 days that is $200!!! Whereas a sim card with 5 gb of data, which if you are just using social media/messenger apps and occasional GPS navigation should be enough for about a month is around $40 per phone for a total of $80. I purchased a sim card in Venice that I used mainly in England for 35 Euros for 30 gb of data, and like 100 minutes, but I am a very heavy data user. I think I only used 1/2 of that. But that was 30 gb for only 30 days.

You will also have the advantage of being able to call a cab or your hotel from a local number if you need to without it costing an arm and a leg.

Posted by
1330 posts

My wife and I are going to England in late spring and each of us plans to get a SIM card for our phones so that we can call cabs, make reservations and, if necessary, call each other. I will have my computer along so I will not need much data as I will get my email, etc. on it. (I need it to store 200-300 gb of photographs that I will take. No, you can not load that much to the cloud in a reasonable amount of time especially on the weak WiFi you normally encounter in hotels) . She will probably get a SIM card with more data.

Posted by
7991 posts

We always get Verizon’s $40 per month plan as we stay abroad 3-4 weeks. I would guess that you’d need to get that plan or the $10 a day plan from Verizon for it to be cost effective. We have iPhone 6 and 6s. Extra costs can run up big bills quickly. Call Verizon to discuss your situation.

Posted by
1106 posts

I also always get Verizon's $40/month plan when traveling in Europe. That covers my needs when I'm out on the streets or in a train station, etc. And yes, I do believe that you would both need that plan if you plan to call each other. (You might check with Verizon to be sure; I've found that on Verizon's website I am able to get questions answered fairly quickly in real time via their website "chat with a representative.") Also evan.dunning's advice about using WhatsApp and other wifi-texting programs is great advice. My experience in Italy over the last several years is that just about every restaurant, cafe and bar has wifi; just ask your server for the password and code, and thus using WhatsApp (free in app store) is a fine way to connect in a wifi area without using data minutes. You'll also find that lots of Europeans use WhatsApp extensively, so if you are wanting to communicate with a B&B owner, a day-tour operator, etc., they will quite possibly expect to communicate with you through that app.

Posted by
4956 posts

Any newer smart phone, even a Verizon CDMA phone, should be able to roam on GSM, at least on the slowest data networks. If you can use Verizon's international roaming plans, you need to roam on GSM anyway (with a Verizon partner).

The $40/month plan has almost no data and, in my view, really cripples the phone if you want to use it for walking/public transit directions (the #1 most beneficial use of my phone, personally). Their $10/day plan makes more sense but of course costs more.

Use the Google Hangouts app to make free calls to the US, even to landlines, or a few cents a minute to call non-US numbers. Like Skype, two people connected on Hangouts can communicate with each other without a phone number.

Posted by
7991 posts

With Verizon intl plans, texting is much cheaper than calling.

Posted by
31521 posts

Your best bet is to contact Verizon customer service and ask about their international roaming plans. If you don't have a plan, there almost certainly will be extra charges. All current iPhones typically have the capability to operate on both CDMA and GSM / LTE wireless systems. You'll have to check with Verizon on whether the particular models you're using will work in Europe. You may find this helpful -- https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/international-travel/

You can communicate using Wi-Fi only with cellular data switched "off" if using an app such as Viber. However that will be very limiting as Wi-Fi may not be readily available.

You will need Plug Adaptors in order to connect your phone chargers to the outlets in Europe.

Posted by
1220 posts

The $40/month plan has almost no data and, in my view, really cripples the phone if you want to use it for walking/public transit directions (the #1 most beneficial use of my phone, personally). Their $10/day plan makes more sense but of course costs more.

With the AT&T version of that plan, we're able to split it and do one $10 a day plan for the phone we anticipate using most heavily and the $40/month option for the back-up phone only really used for exchanging messages with the cat sitter, doing airline check-in via app and such.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks everyone! Appreciate all the feedback. We'll see if we're bold enough to try some of the apps.

Posted by
350 posts

If you have newer phones with Verizon you can enable them for WiFi calling. No additional app needed. You can make calls to the US, receive calls, send and receive texts at no additional cost as long as you are on WiFi. WiFi is very available in Europe. Along with the $40 international plan for calling European numbers and the occasional directions when no WiFi is available I was set for a month of travel.

Posted by
350 posts

If you have newer phones with Verizon you can enable them for WiFi calling. No additional app needed. You can make calls to the US, receive calls, send and receive texts at no additional cost as long as you are on WiFi. WiFi is very available in Europe. Along with the $40 international plan for calling European numbers and the occasional directions when no WiFi is available I was set for a month of travel.