Gone are the days where you have to buy a pre-paid phone just for your trip, been there done that! Gone are also the days where you need to buy a separate SIM card to have service overseas. Some of you might be surprised how easy and cheap it is to use your phone abroad.
If you have Sprint:
You can use your data and text for free! Your data will run at 2G speeds. If you need faster internet you can purchase a day pass for $5/day or $25/week.
There is nothing you need to do when you arrive just turn on your phone and you will receive a welcome text.
If you would like to purchase the faster internet speeds there will be a link in that text. If not surf and text away! To make phone calls use WhatsApp or Facebook so you are not charged.
If you have T-Mobile:
The T-Mobile ONE, Simple Choice, New Classic and Select Choice plans provide unlimited text and data in 140+ countries and destinations.
If you frequently travel internationally and require a higher speed you can add T-Mobile ONE Plus™ and get up to 256kbps speeds abroad for $10/mo.
You can also up your data speed by the day as well.
And just like Sprint if you need to make a phone call use WhatsApp or Facebook to avoid getting charged.
If you have Verizon:
If you’re like me and have Verizon I am sorry but you’ll be disappointed after reading above. You’ll probably even think about switching if you travel often. Verizon’s plan only allows for free data in Canada and Mexico when you have an unlimited plan. But don’t worry I do have a solution for you!
Verizon's travel pass is $10/day so if you really need to use it a couple days it won't break the bank, but if you want to use your phone without the charges follow these steps...
-Download google maps or the app maps.me for directions. Make sure you download the maps ahead of time.
-Download google trips and download each city you are traveling to so you can access reservations, things to do (attractions, shops, parks, even selfie spots), saved places, restaurants (with reviews), info on getting around and to and from the airport, and other useful information like emergency numbers, currency, tax, and tipping.
-Download Fodor's travel phrases or google translate to use offline.
-Download Rick Steve's Audio Europe for free tours around the city.
-Save any important information to the notes app so you can view offline.
If you have AT&T:
Just like Verizon, you can talk, text, and use your data plan in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charge. They also have a day pass that is $10/day which covers a 24 hour period and you are only charged on the days you use it. You can also enroll in AT&T passport for $60 for 1GB of data, unlimited texting, and $0.35 per minute for calls. But with such little data and a big overage charge ($50/GB) you are better off download the above mentioned apps for offline use and using the day pass as needed.
Luckily for us almost every bar, restaurant, and hotel has WiFi, so with a few preparations beforehand you should be pretty much covered. I've gotten by like this in multiple countries across the world, hopefully it will help you out for your next adventure abroad! Safe travels!