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Tips

Catherine Hamm; a travel writer for the Los Angeles Times, says forget all other options and just purchase a local prepaid phone from a local carrier, once at your destination.

OR; purchase an unlocked Google phone (Pixel 3 or a discounted Pixel 2 XL like I have), and sign up for Google’s Fi mobile service.
I did this for 5 weeks in SE Asia and used my phone as if I was home with no concerns.
Like changing SIM cards, and data roaming charges.
Once in a new country; my phone would tell me if there was Fi coverage (Vietnam was the only one without), and that I would be connected automatically.
And the best part; my bill will always be $60 or under for unlimited data!
Yes, you heard that right.
Now the real test is when I use it in the Rocky Mountain states; where Verizon once was the only option for consistent service.

Gear

Mobile

Satellite Phones

Batteries

Existing Provider

Check with yours for a bundled package (with some international support) for calls, texting and data. It’s still expensive, but cheaper than just letting your phone roam free.

Unlocked Phone

Buy; or make your phone unlocked. Or buy or rent one from Cellular Abroad, OneSimCard, or Telestial.

If using your unlocked phone; then buy a SIM card.
iRoam; for European travel, offers a rate of 39c per minute (or per 1MB of data).
A talk/text/data package comes preloaded with $10 worth of airtime for $29.95; while a data-only SIM is $14.95.

OneSimCard; covers many countries in the world.
Each SIM card ($29.95) includes both a European and U.S. number; with an option to add additional ones in other countries.
Incoming calls and text messages are free.

Telestial; offers international SIM cards for only $19, including a pre-loaded $10 credit.
The straight data package for $29 gets you 200MB in more than 100 countries.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi

Use free ones as much as possible; NEVER use when logging in to sensitive data!

Cloud WiFi Finder; is great in Europe. It offers detailed information on public Wi-Fi zones, as well as a map to help you locate them.

WiFi Finder; allows users to search for public hotspots worldwide by looking at a map or using a scanner that tells you when a particular signal is getting stronger; then save your favorites.

WiFiMapper; offers up to 500 million WiFi hotspots around the globe.

Messaging Services

Use free ones; like Skype, WeChat and WhatsApp.

Journeys with Joe Travel Communications

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