Europe sim cards – let’s begin.
First, let me tell you that when we travel outside of North America we get a local sim card. It’s far less expensive than paying the $12.00 fee per day that your local Canadian company will charge you. You do, however, need an unlocked phone and a paperclip.
A few years ago the EU banned roaming between EU countries. Meaning, if you buy a sim card in London, it’ll work in France, Germany, or even Latvia.
Second, do you research before you travel abroad. Not all sim cards are equal and not all sim cards are sold at the same places. So, do your research since it all depends on your point of entry.
Third, know what you want – a lot of data, a lot of time, both?
For me, I wanted a lot of data. This was especially important since I made my own Google Maps of where we’d be travelling to and from with extensive notes. So, I didn’t want to skimp on the data and not be able to use my phone. Secondly, I knew we’d be taking the tube in London quite a bit, and there is only one company which offers service in the stations.
- Local sim cards save you money.
- Research – it depends on your entry. This site is very helpful!
- Know what you’re looking for – data, minutes, sms?
Another point – we were entering Europe at London Gatwick, so we stopped at WHSmith. The perfect place to get the card before we even left the North Terminal. Easily accessible as soon as you go through the computer automated customs.
Don’t leave right for the train station/shuttle. Everyone will be walking that way, so it’s instinct to follow the crowd. I’m happy we got the card first, since we were able to see the Thameslink schedule on my phone (thank you new sim card) and know about the delays.
I remember back when we were in Hong Kong, their sim cards are free, by the way. You get 100mb of data and all you need to do is watch an ad or two. After you do, it ‘fills you up’ – so perfect for 2 days in Hong Kong.
So, after all the researching and knowing what I wanted, the winner is EE.
I got 13 GB for 38$ Canadian which we used over 10 days. That’s a savings of $82 dollars, and an added 9 GB to our regular Canadian package.
One thing to note, however, when you’re swapping out sim cards you might not get all of your messages from your home country’s sim card upon your return.
New Sim = New Number
Back in 2016 when we visited Southeast Asia we were gone for 23 days and I only got messages from the last 24 hours. Bummer, yes (but better than the potential $500 added Bell bill); yet just let your close family and friends know where you’re going! They’ll easily communicate through any social media app or email, or wait for you to message from your new number abroad!
Oh, and don’t forget to keep your home county’s sim card in a safe place for reinstall when you’re departing.
In the end, I hope you find out which Europe sim cards are right for you – or any sim card in any country, for that matter. Happy travelling!