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Why Buying One Simcard is Better Than Buying Different Local Simcards in Europe

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor June 6th, 2016 Posted in Travel App Reviews, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 36 Comments

If you are traveling to Europe and you wish to save on mobile phone costs, then get a local SIM card. This isn’t a new tip for us travelers, but when you are in Europe and there are a number of countries you would like to visit, some might think that getting local SIM cards in each country is more advisable. However, in my experience and personal opinion, there is no need to do such.

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local SimcardsYou just have to get one and that should keep you going around the continent. I bet you still need a little bit more convincing so let me weigh the pros and cons of getting one SIM card. Hopefully, this will help you understand why I recommend it for your Europe adventure.

Why Buying One Simcard is Better Than Buying Different Local Simcards in EuropePros

  • You don’t have to remind everyone about your new number each time you switch countries.

Really? Are you willing to do this? Are you going to send different messages to your friends after a couple of days just because you got a new number? You might as well get one, and enjoy what Europe has to offer than spend several minutes drafting your message and sending it.

  • You don’t have to remember multiple mobile numbers.

Because we have so much to think already, right? Why do you have to stress yourself remembering your new mobile number? And can you really imagine doing this every time you leave a country?

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards

Some SIM cards by mroach / CC BY-SA 2.0

  • You won’t miss a message regardless of which region you currently are.

You can’t expect everyone to take note of your new mobile number. Can you? What if they mistakenly sent an important message to your number in France while you’re in Portugal? There’s a chance you won’t be able to receive it. What a waste!

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards
London October 31 2014 027 Text Message by VID HOLT / CC BY 2.0
  • You can avoid the hassle of changing SIM cards which can sometimes damage your device

For me, this is the worst thing that can happen. Opening your device and changing SIM cards might look like an easy task. However, I’ve heard horror stories about damaging their phone because of this. I wouldn’t want you to experience that.

Ok, I don’t want to be too bias about my opinion so I tried looking for cons as well and I have found one.

Why Buying One Simcard is Better Than Buying Different Local Simcards in EuropeCon/s

  • Anyone who calls from a different region will be charged with a long – distance fee. However, EU rates are capped so it won’t make so much of a difference if you have one SIM card to use for making calls and sending SMS all around Europe.

Of course, it is up to you if you want to stress yourself of changing SIM cards every time you cross a border. But for me, having one is more efficient and the minimal cost for regional messages and calls is not that big for me to change numbers every so often.

The next question is, where do you get your new SIM card? While you can easily buy one once you reach Europe, I would personally urge you to get it online. Why? Because by doing so, you will be able to know your number before your scheduled trip and it would be easier to share it with your families, friends and colleagues. Now, there is no way they can’t reach you via calls or SMS.

For our Europe trip, I am using a SIM card which I got from Travel Mobile’s website, and you might want to consider getting from it too. Here’s a little something about it.
If you purchase via Travel Mobile, your SIM card can be shipped to the following countries: Philippines, Singapore, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal and United States.

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards
In my experience, it was very convenient to get your SIM card from Travel Mobile’s website. Let me give you a quick rundown of what you need to do:

1) Sign up for a new account

2) Click the continent where you are headed to (in my case, Europe) and you will be provided with a number of SIM card options.

3) Choose your operator and SIM card size

4) Indicate your shipping address and the preferred method

5) Finalize the transaction by paying with your credit card

6) Wait for your new SIM card to arrive

I must say that Travel Mobile’s website is user – friendly. With just few clicks, you can already see which plan suits your travel needs as the call, text and data information are already summarized. I suggest that you carefully check the available plans for each operator.

And when you already received your SIM card, here’s how you can activate it.

1) Sign in to your account

2) Look for the ‘Add a SIM Card Section’ and input the 20 digit code at the back of your SIM card

3) Choose your plan and set the activation date

4) Add other options, if necessary

5) On the activation date, expect to receive an email together with your mobile number

6) Finalize the transaction by paying with your credit card

You can also check out their FAQ Page to answer your questions.

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards

Why Buying One Simcard is Better That Buying Different Local Simcards

Important Note!

Before you jump into getting a new SIM card, remember to unlock your phone. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it in your device. You can check with your provider on how you can do this. Or, you can buy an ‘unlocked’ secondary phone where you can install your new SIM card. The latter is a good idea too because at least you can have your primary phone on standby just in case you are waiting for an important message from people who might not get your advise about your new number in Europe.

Finally, let me give you some general tips once you are about to change into a European SIM card.

  • Credits will expire after being inactive for 3 to 12 months. If you have tons of credits left, might as well use it or give it to another traveler.
  • Ensure that you saved all your contacts to your phone or you will lose them once you change your SIM card.
  • Add the plus (+) sign and country code to all of your contacts so you can easily reach out to them while you enjoy all the scenic view from Europe.

Have you decided which SIM card are you going to use? Don’t forget to check Travel Mobile’s website and get yours before you catch your plane.

Note: Our European Simcard is sponsored by Travelmobile.biz although all opinions expressed are my own.

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36 thoughts on “Why Buying One Simcard is Better Than Buying Different Local Simcards in Europe

  1. Saving on data plans during travel or even when at home is significant in a sense as well, mainly because it becomes easy to waste money on unlimited plans and incur additional charges due to roaming.

  2. This is a mental note for me to keep in mind.
    I haven’t been to Europe yet but I do have Asian travels from the experience I have learned my lesson the hard way.
    I should have instead bought a local sim in that country other than using my PH sim. Ohh it cost me a lot in my post paid. Anyway, again I will keep this in mind!

  3. Wow. That’s really convenient especially for those who will explore Europe for a while. I do hope that it could be used as well in Asian countries. 😀

  4. It’s good to know that there’s a SIM card that can be conveniently used in Europe.I’m taking note in case one of my friends needs one. Madz of https:// traveldelish.blogspot.com

  5. Phew! What a awesome travel! Looove this! I hope I will also be able to visit Europe soon! Whenever I travel, I make it possible for me to go offline and enjoy the moment. For safety purposes, I opt to have my data with me all the time. These are amazing tips by the way, thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. What a great travel hack!
    I personally found there wasn’t a need much for a sim, as I do prefer to be offline when traveling. However sometimes you do have frustrating moments where you couldn’t find your travel companions or they’re late on your meetup point or time. If there’s such simcard that will work throughout EU, this will be great.

  7. This is great! Thanks for the tips. This can be useful even if you are not traveling to Europe, you can use this whenever you go out of the country

  8. Well Europe is such a big country and if you’re planning to go to Europe, might as well use the time to visit as many places as possible. This is such a good tip and will definitely help you enjoy your tour more:)

  9. This is such a convenience in Europe. I have been traveling across SEA since March and I already have three additional SIM cards

  10. This is an informative post and an important one for those who needs to take calls and messages abroad. I prefer, however, not to buy a sim card. This is because whenever I go abroad, I go there for vacation. Aside from that, most accommodations have Wi-Fi so that is a more convenient and cheaper way to contact family and friends in one’s country.

  11. I’m from Europe so my situation may not be the same – but i never change my SIM card. Changing SIM card every time you go to different place is way too much work for me haha. When i need to talk or message someone, i use WiFi. It’s cheaper and easier 🙂

    1. Definitely, Dunja! Buying One Simcard would be perfect for those who are traveling in Europe. 🙂

  12. This is a great tip! I would have never thought to only get one Sim card but it makes so much sense.

    1. It does, Carrie! It would certainly be less hassle if you decided to Buy One Simcard in Europe. 🙂

  13. Thank you for sharing this information. I agree that if one travels in different parts of Europe, it`ll be difficult to keep track of incoming messages from friends of different places. Having one SIM card seems like a great option.

    1. Indeed Graceful Mist! Have you been to Europe? If you’re planning to, consider buying One Simcard then. 🙂

  14. I always buy one sim card when im travelling in Europe, and I dont use it most of the time as i usually skype people instead in coffee shops and where there is free wifi. x

    1. Still depending on your needs, Anna. Of course, free wifi will always be part of the best solution to stay in contact. Buying One Simcard is however, not too bad to consider as you travel around Europe. 🙂

  15. I travel a lot in Europe and for the past 2 years I never changed my sim card anymore. It was so much trouble and such a hassle to buy another sim card, sometimes it did not even fit good in my phone, I always had to look for a micro sim card and that was difficult to find and like you said I was always confusing not only my friends and family but also myself. Just like the rest of the people here I am so happy that the roaming costs in EU will be eliminated !

    1. Glad you find Buying One Simcard in Europe great, Elena! Could imagine the different sizes of simcards is so much hassle.

  16. I have never though pf this before but its so true!!! It takes so long to switch over everything, this just leaves you with less worry

    1. Precisely, Bella! Buying One Simcard in Europe could make you and your phone relax as you travel. 🙂

  17. I can’t argue with this because it makes total sense. If you can bring just one sim card that would be so convenient and let’s face it, who wants to do that anyway? It’s such a bummer, and a hassle as well. It’s good to have one with you that you can bring as you go along your trip.

    1. Well said, Elizabeth. You’re in a trip after all, so better make it less stressful in terms of communication by Buying One Simcard.

  18. I haven’t yet traveled abroad, but this is a great recommendation! Thank you so much for sharing these tips! XO

    1. Thank you, Anna! 🙂 When you go travel around Europe, Buying One Simcard would definitely be a great help. 🙂

  19. I never considered this but it makes a lot of sense. I wouldn’t want to worry about switching everything over.

    1. Totally, Liz! Who wants it anyway? If you’re in a trip, to enjoy is the main goal, so make it happen by Buying One Simcard and not worrying how you can keep in touch.

  20. Roaming costs haseforever been a pain in the butt but I hear they are eliminating remainig costs which is giod news

    1. It is, Ana! It’s one of the perks in traveling in Europe. And to make your trip more worry-free, Buying One Simcard should be considered. 😉

  21. That’s a great idea! Fortunately, the roaming in Europe will be eliminated very soon and no matter what sim card you have, you will be able to call and text for the same price in every country. Of course, if it’s European. 🙂

    1. Yes, Martina! Buying One Simcard as you travel in Europe is highly recommended for travelers, especially for non-europeans, and just having certain days to travel around the continent.

  22. Yes, this something that really bugs everyone in Europe, especially roaming costs between countries even within EU. They’ve been promising to give up on roaming for years, but then it never happens, though the fees are becoming lower.

    1. Hope it will happen soon, Marta. Buying One Simcard in Europe will still be helpful, no matter what.

  23. Would have been nice if the Caribbean was in that list, but that’s cool..love that it can be used in Canada, USA, and Colombia.

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]