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Who has experience with buying European (specifically France) cell/data packages?

We need cell phone service--NOT my home carrier, I am Canadian. Unless, you know, I WANT to pay $80 for each 1--ONE and only ONE--gB of data. I want at least 3 or 4 gB of data for each phone. (Total of 4 phones.)

NOT "Orange" as we are there more than 14 days (but less than a month). I could extend the Orange plan I guess, but would much prefer to do the account stuff only once.

Last time we went (2017, oh, so long ago!) we bought Tesco sims for UK and Ireland, which worked fine, but with Brexit, UK-based plans worries me.

Have a couple of Bouygues cards I bought in 2020 for the trip covid cancelled, hoping they will work. But we need 2 more anyway (the kids have grown in 2 years and I'd like them to be able to be out on their own but not disconnected).

Ideally would purchase and install at a shop before leaving CDG? Is this possible? We arrive at terminal 2.

If not possible at CDG, would like something we can get delivered to us here at home, as we go straight from the CDG TGV station to Provence by train.
Your recommendations please?

Posted by
90 posts

Thanks Nick, I actually read it and noted the links. The kids' phones would support an esim (yes, they have better phones than their parents!), but I'd still remove their "home" sims to make sure no errors are made. I didn't see much in Mardee's excellent post about specific plans though. I will re read.

Posted by
2417 posts

When I looked into this recently, the Orange Carte Holiday seemed the best fit for me

Posted by
7444 posts

Unfortunately the Bouygues cards may not work. When I used to buy pay-as-you-go SIM cards, they expired (if you didn’t use/put anything on them for six months or a year . . . ).

Posted by
881 posts

JoAnne, I had posted a similar question about SIM cards (before I found out about eSIM data) and several people posted links to cards they had bought in advance. Here is a link to the post. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tech-tips/question-about-getting-sim-card-in-advance

I also found this web article about buying a SIM card at CDG Terminal 1 (it's from 2021, so fairly recent). https://www.traveltomtom.net/destinations/europe/france/buying-a-sim-card-at-paris-airport

Posted by
881 posts

Kim, several people on this board have said that in order to avoid the card expiring, they send a single text every six months. That keeps the card active until the next trip.

Posted by
90 posts

I forgot to check back for additional replies...thank you for the good information!