birmingham.io

Using your mobile phone abroad

Seeing as it was so successful the last time I asked a question about traveling abroad, I figured I’d ask another one:

What’s the best thing to do regarding using your mobile abroad?

As with the last question, I’m going to Iceland for 7 nights. I’ve spoken with my telecom provider (Vodafone) who’ve informed me that for £3 per day I get to use my inclusive minutes, data, etc… (gee whiz, thanks :rolling_eyes: ). This sounds like a bit of a bad deal, as it’ll cost me £24 for the 8 days I’m there, while still eating into my allowance.

I don’t actually plan on using the phone to call or text people, but I do want data, especially as I’ll be using my Revoult card while I’m there. I’d imagine the hotel will have wifi (although I don’t know if that’s also going to cost extra), as well as various wifi hotspots dotted around the city, but the benefit of being able to use things like Google Maps while I’m out and about will be super handy.

So, does anyone know of any international sims which are going to work out better value? Or maybe Icelandic ones specifically?

My phone (the Wileyfox Spark X, which I got yesterday to replace my Moto X Play) can accept two sim cards, so I figured it would be worth taking advantage of this feature.

Cheers :iceland:

Honest advice: Don’t use a phone. Be on holiday. Don’t micro-manage your spending. Get lost. Ask for directions. Be where you are going.

You’re going to one of the most weirdly interesting and beautiful places in the world. Unplug before you get there.

+1 to @stevejalim (except for the getting lost bit; it’s iceland; you’ve seen GoT north of the wall, right? :slight_smile: ) Talk to funky Icelandic people. Go randomly (with good directions). Write in a notebook and check details when you get home.

I usually take an iPad when I travel these days and only connect it in the hotel/airport. But I often don’t use it (except for reading books). If I’m doing touristy things (or know I’ll have time for them), then I take a dead tree guidebook. Carry phone for emergencies/comfort.

And have a fabulous time!

This is a valid point, of course.

But I don’t see the harm in being prepared for the worst. I also don’t see the harm in having a budget, and only doing things which you can actually afford. Isn’t that the point of getting the Revolut card in the first place?

There is going to be plenty of exploring, and getting lost, and visits to the penis museum, and viewings of the Northen lights, and all that jazz - but I’m going with someone that’s very easily, uumm, concerned at things going wrong, that I need to have (and show) the confidence that we’re not going to end up as White Walkers, so that she can relax and enjoy herself.

TBH £3/day isn’t bad, it’s predictable and a lot lower than it was before the EU laws came in for this. You could just use your phone on WiFi only, I did this for 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and the same for Cambodia/Vietnam. You can cache google maps locally by zooming into the areas you’ll go to when you are on WiFi. Virtually every hotel, coffee shop and restaurant is likely to have WiFi anyway. I’d be careful about visiting non-HTTPS sites from those access points though.

2 Likes

A local SIM seems to be cheap.

2 Likes

My daughter went there and spent most of her time in water or mud or having water thrown at her by geysers. Hot water is free but bath with a friend anyway? Seemed to have felt safe from everything but nature.

1 Like

A local SIM card is the way to go, really. I’m on 3, so I get the “Feel at home” thing in some countries (Ireland, for example), but for places where that is not available (until recently, Germany…), a local SIM card is generally cheaper (and more reliable, in terms of having coverage, etc) for accessing the internet, etc.

FWIW, Feel at Home on 3 IS available in Iceland :slight_smile:

Ice in Iceland

source

and the Maps app now has the explicit ability to cache offline areas, and I’ll bet it could do the whole of Iceland without trouble; it’s really not that big :slight_smile:

Proudly sponsored by Bytemark