Phone options when traveling out of country?

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ChinchillaWhiplash
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Location: Colorado

Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:41 pm

Have Verizon phones. Are they usually locked? Also, do you pay roaming charges with a flip phone? If you buy a prepaid phone can you get your contacts off your regular phone without using data? Do you have to download an app when using airplane mode to access talk and text with wifi for free?

fogalog
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by fogalog » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:32 pm

Any modern iPhone will work abroad - as will many other smart phones - and Verizon has plans to accommodate, depending on trip duration and where you're going (e.g. Mexico and Canada are treated differently than Europe). Verizon is not as simple as other carriers if you have an older phone (not clear from your message), but they have a tool to help you work out your options:

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support ... ripPlanner

Good luck!

gtd98765
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:57 pm

There are many threads on this in last year. search in the box above and you will find them.

Topic Author
ChinchillaWhiplash
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Location: Colorado

Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:59 pm

Thanks for the link! Looks like we will have 4G coverage in most of the area we will be. Charge is $10 day on days it is used. How do we make sure the phone isn't used when we don't want to use it? Apple XR. Do you just put it to airplane mode or something else?

bluebolt
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by bluebolt » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:31 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:59 pm
Thanks for the link! Looks like we will have 4G coverage in most of the area we will be. Charge is $10 day on days it is used. How do we make sure the phone isn't used when we don't want to use it? Apple XR. Do you just put it to airplane mode or something else?
You can put your phone in airplane mode (and turn on wifi) in order to avoid charges for phone/text/data.

MJS
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by MJS » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:02 am

If you will be relying on WiFi to do financial or private transactions, consider adding a paid-for virtual private network (VPN) to protect communications. I use NordVPN.

banhbao
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by banhbao » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:17 am

FYI, there are a few different options for Verizon wireless:
https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutio ... al-travel/

Make sure you are set up for travelpass, because pay as you go will be very expensive ($2.05/MB!)...

I think with travelpass you'll get 500MB per day and then afterward your speed will be limited.

One piece of advice, some apps use a lot of data, particularily google maps. (I think it is constantly looking at traffic and thinking about shorter routes.) You can avoid this problem by downloading the map in advance, and then turning off mobile data when you are driving.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:39 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:59 pm
Thanks for the link! Looks like we will have 4G coverage in most of the area we will be. Charge is $10 day on days it is used. How do we make sure the phone isn't used when we don't want to use it? Apple XR. Do you just put it to airplane mode or something else?
That is quite a lot. $10 day for usage, any usage that day. I am headed for Spain and will be buying an Orange Sim prepaid card with 3GB data and 400 minutes talk text. $15 for 30 days. Compare that to your $10 day.
Your $10 day usage is akin to paying an FA 1% on AUM.

banhbao
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by banhbao » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:48 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:39 am
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:59 pm
Thanks for the link! Looks like we will have 4G coverage in most of the area we will be. Charge is $10 day on days it is used. How do we make sure the phone isn't used when we don't want to use it? Apple XR. Do you just put it to airplane mode or something else?
That is quite a lot. $10 day for usage, any usage that day. I am headed for Spain and will be buying an Orange Sim prepaid card with 3GB data and 400 minutes talk text. $15 for 30 days. Compare that to your $10 day.
Your $10 day usage is akin to paying an FA 1% on AUM.
You are correct that it is a bit expensive but some people may not be able to use a prepaid sim-card, because it means having a temporary number. (for example, if your job requires you to be available during your travel)

It is true that you can just put the phone in airplane mode and use wifi only during your trip, and only in an emergency change out of airplane mode to make a call or to use data.

Other options could be employed as well, for example you can get a google voice number to make calls over wifi. But again, this will mean having a different number, which may or may not be a problem.

neilpilot
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:06 am

banhbao wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:48 am

Other options could be employed as well, for example you can get a google voice number to make calls over wifi. But again, this will mean having a different number, which may or may not be a problem.
IIRC a few trips ago I decided to use Google Voice, and before I departed the USA I forwarded my mobile phone # to my Google Voice #. Then , when in Spain, I could check my email via wifi and would receive a text of who had called, as well as a text of any voice mail they had left. It actually worked surprisingly well.

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Bogle7
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T-Mobile

Post by Bogle7 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:24 am

T-Mobile service for us.
Works worldwide.
Just step off the plane and you are good to go.

criticalmass
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:41 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:41 pm
Have Verizon phones. Are they usually locked? Also, do you pay roaming charges with a flip phone? If you buy a prepaid phone can you get your contacts off your regular phone without using data? Do you have to download an app when using airplane mode to access talk and text with wifi for free?
There are tons of information about international travel and phone plans right here on this forum. Did you search the information available?

If you want to use an existing phone it needs to 1.) Be compatible with the local phone carrier system and frequencies, and 2.) Unlocked to accept any carrier.

Most modern smart phones already meet #1, and many already meet #2. If it isn't unlocked, you may be able to get it unlocked at no charge, provided it is paid for and/or your account is in good standing. Ask your carrier for the procedure, or find it via online search. Otherwise, just get a modern phone that meets #1 and #2.

Next, you can decide if you want to use a local phone number or your USA based number via international roaming. You can probably get a local SIM with a local phone number at much less cost than international roaming, especially if you use much data or minutes. (Incoming calls/SMS are generally free in many countries, especially Europe). There are even USA based companies (e.g. rebelfone) that will lend/rent you a local SIM postpaid card for the country(ies) you are visiting so you already have it before departure, or (usually cheaper) get a prepaid SIM when you arrive. You will need to share your local number with anyone wishing to contact you.

Note that USA T-Mobile (postpaid) gives you free international data in almost every country (2-3G speed) and has fairly reasonable minute plans available. Google Fi may also be a good option for the frequent traveler.

Personally, I just use a local SIM card and/or free WiFi with Google Voice/Skype/Hangouts. I'm not interested in expensive USA based international roaming, although free T-Mobile data is great.

Topic Author
ChinchillaWhiplash
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:15 pm

Did some more searching and found a lot of useful info to add to all the info posted here. Do have another question though. I read in one place that in Portugal you can use a SIM card from anywhere in the EU with no roaming. Anyone know if this is indeed true? That would make things a lot easier since we will be in the U.K. too.

neilpilot
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:35 pm

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:15 pm
Did some more searching and found a lot of useful info to add to all the info posted here. Do have another question though. I read in one place that in Portugal you can use a SIM card from anywhere in the EU with no roaming. Anyone know if this is indeed true? That would make things a lot easier since we will be in the U.K. too.
I think this is true throughout the EU. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-mar ... rs-roaming

Assuming when your in the UK it's still in the EU :)

bluebolt
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by bluebolt » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:20 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:15 pm
Did some more searching and found a lot of useful info to add to all the info posted here. Do have another question though. I read in one place that in Portugal you can use a SIM card from anywhere in the EU with no roaming. Anyone know if this is indeed true? That would make things a lot easier since we will be in the U.K. too.
Yes, that's correct. I used a SIM from 3 UK on my last trip to Europe and it worked great. Was even able to activate here in the US before my trip to confirm it worked. Less than $20 for 5GB of data and unlimited talk/text (within Europe). Here's the Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/UK-destinations- ... B0753DK9JP

jpdion
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by jpdion » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:43 am

Just returned from 18 days in France/Italy. We have Verizon iPhones and iPads. We opted for pay as you go, turning off data roaming, but keeping voice roaming on. We used data on free wifi at our hotels. Total extra costs were about $25 due to a couple text messages and one phone call. Travelpass would have cost us $360 extra if we signed up for it and used it every day. If you have WiFi access you can avoid a lot of cost.

Ron
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Re: T-Mobile

Post by Ron » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:31 am

Bogle7 wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:24 am
T-Mobile service for us.
Works worldwide.
Just step off the plane and you are good to go.
:thumbsup Exactly; we've used our T-M handsets in North/South America and Europe with no data charges. Additionally, phone call charges (when not using VOIP) are quite reasonable.

- Ron

mptfan
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by mptfan » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 am

Switch to Google Fi.

neilpilot
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:57 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 am
Switch to Google Fi.
That would cost us an additional $480/yr for our 2 lines. Way more than the $15-20 surcharge we now spend on phone service during our annual 2-3 weeks in Europe.

28fe6
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by 28fe6 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:56 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 am
Switch to Google Fi.
Definitely do NOT! I switched my primary service to google fi a couple years ago when I was traveling a lot and it was a nightmare, actually I am still fighting with them trying to port a number back out. Do not let Google anywhere near your primary phone service. Just switch to T-Mobile or something. When I was on Google fi I was connected to TMobile 99% of the time anyway, except the service was flawed and terrible unlike proper TMobile. Google Fi is a crappy VOIP service that forwards to your cell phone, in theory, when it works. I really think the FCC should slap them down for false claims about their service.

Google fi does maybe make a good international data service, maybe, with a separate number, but I would NOT recommend switching your primary service, and I would also recommend exhausting other options such as Tmobile or international SIMs first, which are probably cheaper.

Flyer24
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by Flyer24 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:29 am

Both Verizon and AT&T have free Wifi calling. I just connect to the hotel Wifi and make calls/text for free. I travel international every month and never pay extra for the phone service.

THY4373
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by THY4373 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:37 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 am
Switch to Google Fi.
I love Google Fi. My son and I have used it as our primary/only phone service for about three years. It has been rock solid for me. We aren't huge data users since I have wireless at home and work and he has it at school (and when he is at my and ex's houses). I have used in 30 countries where the performance has been rock solid. I carry a Verizon iPhone phone for work and the only place I see any significant coverage differences in rural areas where Verizon is indeed somewhat better.

The only complaint I have with Google Fi is you need certain hardware to fully take advantage of some of its services and historically that hardware has had issues. My son's Nexus 5x had the bootloop issue though LG fixed for free outside of warranty to their credit and I now use it as my backup phone when traveling using Fi's free data only SIMs. Both my son's and my Nexus 6P suffered from the early battery failure issue. I fixed these myself after Google and Huawei told me to pound sound. Now it looks like the class action for that will collect me $150 per phone. The newer hardware does seem better so far so I'll like replace my 6P with the Pixel 4 when it comes out.

hdcd
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by hdcd » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:46 pm

t-mobile.. just works.. right off the plane. No additional charge on our plan.

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willthrill81
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:27 pm

We recently spent two weeks in Canada. Our cell servicer is Verizon, and the best deal they had for us was $5/day/phone and everything else in place with our normal plan still applied. I didn't need nor want to make or receive any calls or text messages, and we had WiFi everywhere we stopped, so just my wife got the plan for her phone. It was well worth it and very easy to use.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

flyingaway
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by flyingaway » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:20 pm

T-Mobile works for a lot of countries. You automatically have connections when you land. However, it does not work in Vietnam, Morocco, and some small European countries.
In China, it does not work as fast as the local numbers, but your phone is not censored, I.e., you can use Facebook, Google with your T-Mobile phone, but not any local phone or on WiFi.

SRenaeP
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Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Post by SRenaeP » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:32 am

THY4373 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:37 am
mptfan wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 am
Switch to Google Fi.
I love Google Fi. My son and I have used it as our primary/only phone service for about three years. It has been rock solid for me. We aren't huge data users since I have wireless at home and work and he has it at school (and when he is at my and ex's houses). I have used in 30 countries where the performance has been rock solid. I carry a Verizon iPhone phone for work and the only place I see any significant coverage differences in rural areas where Verizon is indeed somewhat better.

The only complaint I have with Google Fi is you need certain hardware to fully take advantage of some of its services and historically that hardware has had issues. My son's Nexus 5x had the bootloop issue though LG fixed for free outside of warranty to their credit and I now use it as my backup phone when traveling using Fi's free data only SIMs. Both my son's and my Nexus 6P suffered from the early battery failure issue. I fixed these myself after Google and Huawei told me to pound sound. Now it looks like the class action for that will collect me $150 per phone. The newer hardware does seem better so far so I'll like replace my 6P with the Pixel 4 when it comes out.
How were you notified of the class action suit? This is the first I've heard even though I had a 5x with the bootloop issue. Google told me too bad since the phone was about a week out of warranty. :annoyed

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