Traveling to Europe can be one of the most exciting and amazing experiences of your life. Visiting famous places like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, or the Cathedral of St. Basil is just some of the many activities you can do in Europe. Traveling to a foreign country can be exciting yet difficult. New language, new people, new roads; you need the help of Google in such a case. Though most places have wifi, sometimes you need internet access, so it’s really important to find the best option for that. Buying a SIM card can be very expensive, and you’ll want to save money for a few other things as well, so buying the correct SIM card is important.
Here are some questions you should know before purchasing a SIM Card:
1. What is an International SIM Card?
2. How does an international SIM card work?
3. The benefits of buying an international SIM card?
4. How to install the SIM card?
5. How to buy SIM cards in Europe?
What is an International SIM Card?
An International SIM card is a SIM card that can be used worldwide. It allows you to switch your current mobile number, so the people you’re communicating with don’t have to pay an extra amount to call or text you, regardless of where they are and what country you are in.
How does an international SIM card work?
International SIM cards are not programmed for certain networks. It is programmed to work on several networks in different geographic locations – especially networks that use the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) framework.
Therefore, to use your phone internationally with a travel SIM card, we recommend a SIM card that is:
- Compatible with GSM (many phones).
- Unlocked, that is, it is not tied to the provider.
The benefits of buying an international SIM card?
People who lead a digital nomadic lifestyle can also benefit from a travel SIM card. While a local SIM card is much better equipped for an extended stay in a country, sometimes the options or services are expensive and sometimes you spend a long time in transit, which is the perfect time to take a few hours off. Apart from that, no rule says you can’t have two SIM cards.
People who run/own businesses or people who frequently travel short distances benefit from a SIM card designed for traveling. Most SIM cards for overseas use are usually valid for one year for the credit purchased. Therefore, it is very important to park the SIM card after one trip and reinsert it for the next.
How to install the SIM card?
While the installation process is different for each device, the process is easy.
- Turn off the phone
- Find the SIM slot
- Open it, remove the current card, and inserting a new SIM card
- When you turn on the device, you usually need to dial the activation number (included with the card), and it’s ready to go.
Important note: It is very important to keep your old and Current SIM card in a safe place so that you don’t lose it. If you are using dual phone SIM cards then you don’t have to worry about losing any of your SIMs.
Buying SIM cards in Europe
Although the rules and regulations for buying and selling SIM cards vary from country to country, in most European countries you can easily buy a SIM card from cell phone shops, newspaper stands, and even vending machines in just a few minutes. In other countries, you may need to register with a passport or other form of identification.
You can buy SIM cards easily at:
Newspaper stands and unaffiliated cellphone stores: For example, in France, most newspaper stands at train stations and airports sell a variety of SIM card products including cards, credits, and packages. These shops sell SIM cards offered by Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, cheap Lycamobile, and other carriers to you.
Specialty Shops: Don’t be afraid to drop into mobile carriers’ stores. However be aware, that they’ll be limited to selling only their particular SIM cards and credits. They won’t be able to offer the objective advice you’re likely to find from a newspaper stand or unaffiliated phone shop.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Use offline services
- Get a local number to connect with local friends
- Avoid roaming charges
- Unlimited calling, text, and data packages are offered at affordable prices
- Call in an emergency
- Provide a call forwarding number from your VOIP
- Provides a data plan for use with the above mobile apps
- It may be cheaper than a subscription, especially if you combine cell phone use with a free VOIP option
- It can be canceled at any time
- You can’t call or send SMS if you run out of credit
- This can be expensive if you don’t have an unlimited plan but it uses a lot of data and minutes
- Requires unlocked, unless contract, compatible with GSM phones or rental phones
- In the United States, the options are limited.
To make your traveling easy here is the list of a few SIM cards.