Using your phone internationally can be expensive, but you have a number of cost-effective options to keep in touch with friends and family while traveling.
Our Tenon Tours mobile app has a chat feature that you and your travel companions can use to keep in touch while abroad!
Buying an international SIM card
If you want to use your phone like you normally do, then your best option for using your phone internationally is to buy a SIM card in whatever country you plan to be in. Most countries have SIM stores right in the airport. Here are the steps on how to buy and use an international SIM.
- Make sure your phone has a sim card slot.
- Make sure your phone is unlocked for international use.
- Once abroad, visit a SIM card store in the airport, or a wireless carrier store.
Be conscious of your data usage while traveling abroad. Your phone won’t automatically connect to pre-established WiFi locations like it does while you’re in the US meaning you’ll be using data much more often than you’re used to. Much like with calling or texting, there are a few options you have for dealing with your data. Many hotels, restaurants and attractions have WiFi available to the public.
- Buy a sim card that includes data. (500mb might seem like a large amount of data to you, but you will run through that fairly easily while abroad. Ask your cell phone provider for advice, based on your usage, how much data to purchase).
- Turn off data for the apps you aren’t planning to use.
- Turn off data completely.
- Keep your phone on “Airplane Mode” whenever possible.
You can also reach out to your cell phone provider and see what types of international travel plan they have to offer. Some will offer a “travel pass” plan for $10 USD per day.