Your thoughts on Sim Cards

Travel Forums Off Topic Your thoughts on Sim Cards

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1. Posted by SCresearch (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

for our study, we are trying to find out people's thoughts about traditional sim cards and to come up with solutions for, if there are any, issues.
So, what are your ideas about sim cards? Do you experience any problems or hassles, for example when traveling abroad?
Please share with us your positive and/or negative thoughts about sim cards!

Many thanks and save travels!


2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1781 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I've had a French SIM card I've used all over Europe for years and never had a problem. It is very convenient to land and be able to start using Google Maps and my phone for reservations immediately. I'm not sure what kind of problems you would have. You buy the card, you put it in your phone and you use it. Simple enough and very convenient.

I haven't used mine any place except Europe (and once in the USA but I have my own SIM there), but it works in any country in the world and the rates are very reasonable. You can get railway schedules, restaurant menus, locations and phone numbers of nearly anything. I can also keep my number so my family knows it without my having to send a new one each time I travel. Getting and keeping a SIM is very useful for traveling and keeping in touch with those back home.

You do have to be careful to get one that lets you keep the number even if you don't travel very often. Many years ago I had one that timed out if you didn't use it every 6 months. A friend and I traded it back and forth and then she started going at the same time we did so I switched to a permanent SIM that doesn't time out. She did too.

3. Posted by SCresearch (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your response Beausoleil!

I agree, sim cards are very useful when going abroad and in general. What do you think about having to switch between sim cards when, in your case, traveling between the USA and Europe. Does it bother you or are you perfectly fine with it?

Again, thanks for your response! ;)


4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1781 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

It doesn't take a full 60 seconds to change the SIM cards. I have no problem with it. I usually change my husband's before we leave home and change mine on the plane while waiting for take-off. There's nothing else to do on the plane. It's kind of nice to have something useful to do. The cards are tiny so very easy to store,

5. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1742 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

It depends where you travel. Europe and USA isn't such a problem as generally you can get one SIM card that covers your trip or in my case I actually have a SIM card that has pretty good roaming rates around most of Europe so I don't even have to change numbers. When I travelled through parts of Latin America I tried out a global SIM but it was hit and miss if it would work, (e.g Mexico was great Guatemala not so much:().

For my trip this year around some Polynesian islands I decided not to bother with SIM cards altogether. I would have had to get three different SIM cards to cover my trip and part of my trip took me out of telecommunication range altogether. I didn't really need internet outside my accommodation and I had access to offline maps any way. And being small islands it would take an effort to get lost I figure if I have to call somewhere I will just use roaming though the rates in Polynesia are pretty atrocious. In the end I only had to make one phone call because of a rental car issue and that one phone call was cheaper than if I had bought three SIM cards and loaded them with credit;).

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1781 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I've never thought of my SIM as a global SIM card, but I can use it nearly anywhere in the world. (They do have to have cell coverage.) When you check a SIM card, the web site should give a map of where it will work and where it won't. It should also give you the rates in the different countries. As for changing phone numbers . . . the reason I have mine is that I never have to change my number. It is the same no matter where I go. The rates vary so you need to check rates where you plan to travel and if you're traveling in a place with high rates, it would probably pay to get a local SIM if you're staying long enough. Our SIM works in all the countries we travel with very low rates and is easy to top up either on the phone or online.

Checking what you're getting is probably very important. Also, if you are the SIM company, creating an easy to understand web site and having reasonable rates and good coverage are essential. I would assume if you are studying this, you have checked as many sites as possible.

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8. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1742 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

I've never thought of my SIM as a global SIM card, but I can use it nearly anywhere in the world.

A global SIM that I was referring to is a call back system that turns your outbound call into an inbound call in order to achieve cheaper rates when calling from abroad especially in comparison to roaming. The convenience is it is suppose to in theory work in every country so you don't have to get a different local SIM if you are travelling through many countries. Our local operaters in order for our SIM cards to work overseas you have to turn on roaming and the rates are generally not that great especially in regards to data. Though some of our providers have struck new deals with providers in Europe and USA that have lowered the prices on roaming. Every country has a different telecommunications systems and as result that probably means some countries have products that don't exist in other countries, perhaps this where the confusion stems from

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1781 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi Teoni. I guess what I have would be considered a global SIM card then. It works in all countries using a provider from that country. I have noticed that when in England on two different trips in different parts of the country, that as I travel around, I have different providers. The rates are set by the people I bought the SIM from though, not the local providers. So the rates stay the same no matter the provider. It is a French SIM card but the rates in England (Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.) are the same as in France for the most part. It is more expensive used in the USA so I use my own card there. They have data bundles for Europe and France priced separately but quite comparable. For me the big plus is keeping my own phone number no matter where I am. I looked at a lot of SIM providers and this was the only one (at the time) that let me keep my number forever. There is a small monthly fee less than a euro if I don't use it but to me, it's worth it. The rates have actually gone down from when I first bought the card. I didn't think rates ever went down.

I found several cheaper cards but they had a time limit and that was a deal-breaker for me. We don't plan our trips exactly every 6 months and don't even take them every 3 months which were some of the other requirements. Years ago I couldn't send texts outside of France but they fixed that a long time ago and it's no problem now. I use Google Maps on my phone for directions and keep tickets and reservations on my phone. I use it more in Europe than I do at home.

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