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Should I Buy a SIM Card Overseas?

A constantly changing yet very overcomplicated ordeal...

Flowers, fountain, swing, sunglasses, Istanbul, Turkey, Galata
Ana in Istanbul on the way to Galata Tower, crusing through coffee shops.

In our experience, some cell phone providers have international plans overseas that work amazing! T-mobile has an amazing international cell phone plan that you can add to your current plan if you use them as a cell phone provider. Bain is with them so that worked out great in his favor. However, I (Ana) am with Verizon and their international cell phone plan anywhere outside of the US, Mexico, and Canada is not ideal financially. You can pay $10/day. However, when backpacking for 5 months, that adds up to approximately $1,500 USD or $300/month (INSANE).

With that being said, I purchased a SIM card in each country I visited besides a few that included data roaming throughout Europe. All SIM card plans vary; however, I use Vodafone and pay between $15-$35 USD for a SIM card that has 35 GB of data. One thing I wasn't aware of that YOU SHOULD KNOW is that although that amount of data seems like it could last forever, all of these SIM cards only last a month, meaning if I haven't reached my limit of 35 GB in a month, I will still need to repurchase data for the following month. Due to working remotely, I chose the highest GB so I could take calls and deal with meetings away from WIFI if necessary, but you can choose what works best for you.

I highly recommend going to a mobile provider rather than the small stands or airports that sell SIM cards because they tend to overcharge for SIM cards and you never know what kind of SIM card they could be giving you.

Inconculsion, take these steps when traveling abroad:

  1. Check with your cell phone provider to see if they have any international plans that are feasable for you.

  2. If there's none, search the internet for popular cell phone providers in the country you intend on visiting.

  3. Find a location near you and figure out what different packages they have for SIM cards so you can figure out which one tends to your needs best.

  4. If you don't speak the lanugage and there's no one able to assist you, have your google translate up and ready through wifi connection.

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