In part one of this series, we tackled all the good a cell phone and/or a tablet can do during your next trip overseas.
In order to use that smartphone to post those amazing pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat (or whatever other social media website/app there is), you need to know how to use the data your smartphone can access without that costing you an arm and a leg. This post will let you in on the secret to actually using your phone without going broke.
Getting a SIM card
You can just use data roaming, but that would be massively dumb (i.e. expensive). You could also get an international data plan, but that would also cost you a pretty penny. I would argue that an international data plan should be a backup plan to the cheapest option at your disposal: buying a SIM card at your destination.
Buying a SIM card in the country you’re staying at can save you a boatload of cash.
Unfortunately, there’s more.
Unlocking your phone
Before you get to the airport for your trip you’ll need to make sure your phone is unlocked. My iPhone, which I bought outright at an Apple store, is already unlocked. If you bought yours at a cell phone store like Verizon or Sprint, your phone is probably not unlocked. Unlocking your phone isn’t hard. All it takes is a phone call or two to your carrier, and a little bit of your time.
Then, you’ll need to make sure your phone is GSM capable. That’s the network that most countries you’ll likely visit use. AT&T and T-Mobile both use the GSM network. Verizon and Sprint use a CDMA network. So if you use either one of the latter two as your carrier, double-check with them while unlocking your phone to see if it’s GSM compatible. The good news: most smartphones these days are.
After all of that is taken care of it’s time for the easy part! Once you land in Europe find a cell phone store, buy a prepaid SIM card and pop it into your phone to start browsing!
To be continued...
However, you don’t want to use just any credit card when buying that SIM card. You’ll want to make sure you pack the correct ones. That’ll be the focus of my next post on the Top Seven Travel Essentials for Your Next Trip Abroad.
You may also like:
-Top Seven Travel Essentials for Your Next Trip Abroad: Part One
-WATCH: 80-Year-Old Flight Attendant Still at it Nearly 60 Years Later
-Is Google's Travel Planner Worth Using?