Your Guide For SIM Cards While Traveling Internationally

Your Guide For SIM Cards While Traveling Internationally

Travel is slowly but surely coming back into our lives after a two-year-long hiatus. Although travel has been around for decades, it is more popular than ever in our new push of a digital era, and everyone wants to know the best tips and tricks. 

When it comes to locating the best sim card it can be a real pain. If you are a frequent traveler like myself who has struggled to find the most reliable sim cards in trustworthy areas it can get extremely frustrating. 

The repetitive act of hopping off of the plane at your next destination and sellers trying to draw you into buying a sim card at the airport (don’t do this, they double if not triple the price). Then you slide into a taxi to your place and the sim card is still weighing on you because you have no service in this new country! You’ll wander into town until you find a local vendor that gives you a decent price. Buying a local sim can sometimes be a hassle if you don’t plan on staying in one place long term. So, what are your solutions?!

With the help of creative people and the internet, tools to help guide your trips have become a breeze. Here are a few different outlets you can choose from when traveling and a rough estimate of pricing for each!

International Phone Plans

This will be the best option for people who don’t have to travel on a budget. For people on a budget, not so much. Although it can be convenient to call up your carrier and add on international services, it can get very pricey and most of the time they only give you on average .05 – 2GB amount of data limits per day. Then you end up paying an extra charge on top of it all to get extended data. 

Here are some rough prices of international plans per carrier:

Verizon:

  •  Roaming in Mexico & Canada is included in unlimited plans. 

  • In all available countries, Verizon is available for $10 a day international roaming. 

  • An extra $100 per month for bundled text, call, and data. 

AT&T: 

  • Roaming in Mexico & Canada is included in unlimited plans. 

  • In all available countries, AT&T is available for $10 a day international roaming.

  • An extra $15 a month/per line to add free international calling, no text or data.

T-Mobile:

  • Roaming in Mexico & Canada is included in unlimited plans. 

  • The magenta plan offers international data, calls, and text in 210+ destinations for $70 a month. Includes 2G data speeds 

Local Sim Cards 

When I land in a new place local sim cards tend to be my go-to. I usually end up staying in areas for at least 4 weeks at a time so it ends up working out for me. The majority of travelers who come and go and get a new sim card every week or two isn’t always ideal. 

If you are a long-term traveler local sim cards will be your best bet! They are easy and cheap once you find reliable places in town. Depending on the country you can find them ranging anywhere between $10-$50 per month and holding about 3GB-20GB per sim. Making the service extremely reliable and taking away the annoyance of added fees along the way. 

They sometimes change your phone number, so make sure to update your loved one! 

*Never get rid of or lose your original sim card! You will lose access to your old information once you are back home* 

International Sim Cards 

Calling all travelers who love to jump around! This method is newer to the traveling experience and relieves a lot of stress in the process of moving around often. International Sim cards allow you to pay ranging fees in hundreds of countries with the ease of jumping from place to place. No more worrying about stopping at local sim card shops in every country, no more overpriced carrier services. These are perfect for digital nomads who need reliable networks to stay in touch with work and travelers who are just out to have a good time in the world. Doing your research on these is necessary for what you are exactly looking for. 

The broke backpacker breaks down a helpful visual chart here that will make your decision that much easier. 

If you want to do some research on your own, here are a few online options that you can explore:

It’s up to you now! 

The digital world is at your disposal! There are so many amazing tools and outlets that will make your journeys as smooth as possible. What a beautiful thing it is! We hope this article has set you up to make your decision that much easier to enjoy our big blue planet!


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