I've had good luck with my Verizon $10 24 hour "daypass" as well. Rarely need it, but it's a lifesaver when we do, and same data speed and minutes we have at home for 24 hours. The only problem is remembering when you turned it on. I use the heck out of it once I do activate it, but if it's on after 24 hrs and 1 second, then there's another $10 gone.
Thanks all. I have gotten some great advice here. I am in Kudos Jail or I would click the kudos buttons...
We typically get a local SIM card for the area that we are in. It's usually pretty cheap and we don't have to worry about any surprises from Verizon when we get back.
Just like Liketraveling, my partner and I use T-Mobile. I've used it for so long when traveling that honestly I've gotten lazy and I don't even research data or service before traveling anymore. I was surprised last month when we landed in Cook Islands and had no service, since I've assumed we would just always have data and texting internationally. Turns out the Cook Islands are one of the few places where it doesn't work.
In terms of quality, it's not always the best, but it does exactly what you described -- able to send a message that we landed, use GPS when needed, send an email or two when needed. It varies in quality, but we did use it as our GPS when we drove around Easter Island, without any problem. I also relied on it heavily as GPS in Iceland. It can be sluggish, but I pay nothing extra for it, and I don't need anything more anyway. I just have the basic Simple Choice plan. I also make calls on it when needed. I'm in Fiji right now and made a call to Chase customer service yesterday, and the call was crystal clear. I rarely make calls, but it's helpful in a pinch.
I am also in kudos jail or would be giving kudos too! Good luck on your international data search, BelfryBat!
For the past several years, I rented a pocket WiFi once (~$8/day) for a family travel in Europe but other than that I have been using T-Mobile basic plan without any extra cost. The countries I traveled with no extra cost T Mobile are many countries including Iceland, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Czech, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil among others. It is basically 2G but unlimited. I download offline map on my phone before travel and there is no issue of using GPS with 2G speed. Whatsapp is perfect means of communication when traveling in foreign countries. AirBnB, Bookin.com and hotel apps are working well with 2G speed. Checking emails are also no issue at all. For those attached files in emails can be checked when you are in WiFi zone.
, emails are
If you're not a big data user, Google Fi could be a solid option. I just switched last month and have seen no impact on my service/coverage, yet the price is great: $20/month for unlimited calls and texts, with data charged by use: $10/GB up to 6 GB (Google Fi "covers" usage beyond 6 GB). I have about $7 in taxes and fees added on to my bill, but since I barely use any data on the go, it still comes out to ~$30/month.
I haven't had a chance to use it internationally, but data is charged at the same rate and SMS text messages are free. (There's a small charge for non-wifi voice calls.) I really only envision using maps, HappyCow, and the occasional Google search overseas, so I can't imagine going beyond 1 GB ($10).
I don't *love* the fact that I'm further enmeshing myself in the Google ecosystem, but I also don't love paying ridiculous amounts of money to other cell service providers. For now, it seems like a great option for my needs.
I just switched over to T-Mobile specifically to use their data when overseas. It is just the 2G but I don't use a lot, problem is it didn't work. Trying to get one website to load would not even work. Is there anything you need to do in advance?
That is strange, dyrd1955. I am a T-Mobile user and it worked wherever I have traveled so far exept Nepal which is not included in the list of countries T-Mobile covers. To me, as it is advertised, there is no extra step to take and you automatically get a text message saying "Welcome to country A. ...."
Yet another vote for T-Mobile, as everyone else described. I've used it in around 10 countries, always works well. Trying to do a streaming video call once did not go well, but happy otherwise. It's best to download Google Maps in advance on wifi, but it works fine to pull up real time transit data, search for hours/locations, and text/email.
Botticelli, I did get the "wecome" message each time. Texting worked just fine. But getting a website to load was a different story. Maybe it is my phone? I have a smart phone bu it is not a fancy one! :-)