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.
You 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.
- 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?
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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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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