Can you use your cell phone overseas?
The answer to the question is determined by your cell carrier and phone.
Information valid as of 3.27.2017
Most carriers offer different international cell plans. If you plan to use your phone a lot then the unlimited (usually around $10 a day) will be your best bet. If you want to save your money and you have a smart phone you can still use your phone over WiFi. The right app can help you talk, text or message someone. Talk with Skype, text with WhatsApp, and message with Facebook Messenger.
Contact you carrier to let them know you will be traveling overseas and work with them on the best option
You will need a smart phone with a SIM card
Charges by carrier
If you choose the $40
T-Mobile offers unlimited data and text – check it out here
See what Sprint offers here:
Be sure to check with your carrier before using your phone overseas. Most require some sort of International package to connect to an international cell tower. If you do not purchase a plan you will pay large fees for using international talk, text, and data.
Another alternative is a wireless device. We recommend the TEP. https://www.tepwireless.com/ We purchased the device so we pay $8.00 a day for unlimited data. There can be up to 5 concurrent connections. It is a rolling 24 hours so if you start your 24 hour session at 8am – it will expire at 8am the next day. It made sense for us to purchase the device because we travel overseas at least once a year. If you do not buy the device the daily cost is higher. They normally give you a few free days when you purchase. You must confirm the purchase of the 24 hour session – it will not automatically renew.
We love the TEP because we love having WiFi everywhere we go. We can use maps on our phone as we walk or drive without concurring high data overages. Yes we could pay $10 per day per phone for unlimited data – but the $8 makes more sense for us using two devices. If you are traveling with a group – even better yet. On our last trip with a group we had several people connected to out TEP at one time and the overall performance was good. We recommend the TEP because we have used it – there are other options.
Fun Fact – Many countries call their cell phone their mobile.
If you feel comfortable with working a little harder to get a deal you can take an unlocked cell phone overseas and purchase a SIM card at your destination. The problem is that not all countries allow you to purchase SIM cards. You can also buy or rent a phone within the arrival airport. With the international plan options available today this is usually a more expensive option.
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