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Thread: Best Prepaid with Data for EU travel (1-2 weeks)

  1. #16
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    I apologize for piggybacking this post. I'm in Europe for the month of August. I'll visit the Netherlands first, but plan to also spend time in Belgium, France, Ireland and Scotland. I plan to purchase a sim for my G4 Play to use for my travels. I'll text and use data.

    Could someone provide a good, low cost prepaid option? Lycamobile seems to be a reasonable option. Or maybe KPN?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcqmaddog View Post
    I apologize for piggybacking this post. I'm in Europe for the month of August. I'll visit the Netherlands first, but plan to also spend time in Belgium, France, Ireland and Scotland. I plan to purchase a sim for my G4 Play to use for my travels. I'll text and use data.

    Could someone provide a good, low cost prepaid option? Lycamobile seems to be a reasonable option. Or maybe KPN?
    I suggest Three.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcqmaddog View Post
    I apologize for piggybacking this post. I'm in Europe for the month of August. I'll visit the Netherlands first, but plan to also spend time in Belgium, France, Ireland and Scotland. I plan to purchase a sim for my G4 Play to use for my travels. I'll text and use data.

    Could someone provide a good, low cost prepaid option? Lycamobile seems to be a reasonable option. Or maybe KPN?
    A Three SIM, as Boz1 suggested, is always a good option for travels in Europe (and elsewhere) - and easy to get in advance through eBay or Amazon.

    If you want to wait until you arrive in the Netherlands, looking at the Netherlands prepaid data wiki I'd suggest Vodafone with one of these packages:

    1 GB 10 mins unlimited SMS € 10
    2 GB 20 mins unlimited SMS € 15
    3 GB 30 mins unlimited SMS € 20

    All can be used in the rest of the EU (and Switzerland). You'll also get LTE in the Netherlands (if your phone supports the LTE bands 3 and 30), which I don't think you'll get with the Three SIM (since it's UK-based).

  4. #19
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    Checkout TMobile. They offer unlimited internet 4G for €2.95 per day. This can be used in EU but has a limit of 650mb per day.

    Vodafone is good as it doesn’t limit usage while roaming within EU it also offer 4G. You can also top up online with a foreign credit card.

    Unfortunately compared to the rest of EU prepaid tariffs in NL are on the expensive side.

  5. #20
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    I travel in Europe a few times every year (mostly Spain and Italy, but also UK, Germany and Romania). I have bought a pre-paid Vodafone SIM card in one of the EU countries and activated the international roaming on it (it's an option). I can re-charge the said SIM even before I leave US with my CC (made an online account with them, but it's not absolutely needed).
    It gives me 4-5GB of LTE data everywhere in EEA for less than $25, for a whole month. I don't use at all the local number, I am using my Google Voice number for US calls and WhatsApp to conversation with anyone else in Europe (it's very popular there).

    Belgium and France don't have native Vodafone network (Orange is their best) but you will get roaming in there too - on SFR, only 3G.
    Here is a list of LTE networks in Europe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...orks_in_Europe
    Last edited by SoNic67; 06-30-2018 at 06:16 PM.

  6. #21
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    FWIW, in spite of my previous postings I decided I didn't want to wait until I get there. I ordered a couple Three UK SIMs on Amazon (12GB with minutes for my phone, 1GB for my iPad). The phone one doesn't allow me to call back or text to the states, but I can work around that by either use of iMessage, FaceTime audio, or facebook messenger.

    I've activated the cards online, and will insert the SIMs into my devices sometime during the flight over next Wednesday.

    My sister has T-Mobile, so she gets "free", slow data. My brother in law gets Wi-Fi calling on his phone, so he can use it at hotel and other places with free WiFi.

    With this combination, we should be able to get by. Mine best for looking up directions.

    And if something doesn't work out, I can still stop someplace in Glasgow.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Trying to simplify to 2 prepaid lines, one on the Verizon network and a limited minute plan on ATT to improve coverage area. 12 month plans to help me fight the urge to switch. The good old days of contracts where you had to pay a hefty ETF to leave

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    I ordered a couple Three UK SIMs on Amazon (12GB with minutes for my phone, 1GB for my iPad). The phone one doesn't allow me to call back or text to the states,
    Are you sure about the no call back to the USA?

    The last two months I have received SMS from 3 saying:
    "Great News! You can now call your friends and family direct in the USA for only 3p/min. Go on, make their day!
    More info http://bit.ly/payginb "

    Direct calls from UK

    Perhaps you are on some different plan??

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
    Are you sure about the no call back to the USA?

    The last two months I have received SMS from 3 saying:
    "Great News! You can now call your friends and family direct in the USA for only 3p/min. Go on, make their day!
    More info http://bit.ly/payginb "

    Direct calls from UK

    Perhaps you are on some different plan??
    That is what it said on my paperwork for the plan. But I didn't buy directly from Three UK.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
    Are you sure about the no call back to the USA?

    The last two months I have received SMS from 3 saying:
    "Great News! You can now call your friends and family direct in the USA for only 3p/min. Go on, make their day!
    More info http://bit.ly/payginb "

    Direct calls from UK

    Perhaps you are on some different plan??
    My Three SIM is currently on Paygo.

    http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Roami...Roaming_Abroad also seems to indicate that calls FROM the UK, and also FROM several other European countries I checked, TO the USA, are 3p/min, like you said. So, hopefully it will be the same for kevink1.

    As an aside, it looks like data is 1p/MB, which is currently about $0.01/MB, in the US and many European countries. That's a pretty good rate for paygo! Unfortunately, in other places, including Ukraine, Russia, Canada, and Mexico, data would cost £6/MB!

  10. #25
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    When you buy the All-in-One SIM (from Three or presumably from a vendor), it has just the face value on it, all of which goes towards buying the All-in-One add-on which lasts 30 days:
    • All-in-One £15 for 5GB / 3000 mins / 3000 texts
    • All-in-One £20 for 12GB / 3000 mins / 3000 texts


    So if calls to the USA cost any amount of money, you won't be able to make them without buying a top-up and applying it to your line.

    If you don't buy the add-on, then I think you default to the 3/2/1 plan, and that could be where the 3p/min to the USA comes in (but again, you need a balance on the account, and an All-in-One add-on will use up all your balance).

    I base the above on previous actual purchases from Three stores in the UK, this time I have an Amazon-purchased SIM because it only cost ~$5 more than buying one myself, and I don't have to stress about finding a store while severely jet-lagged; so it *may* be incorrect or out of date.

    We've done various combinations of phone service over the years. What we seem to be settling on is a belt-and-braces approach:
    • Wife uses AT&T International Day Pass (and is told to think very carefully about whether she wants to incur the $10 +tax/fees/tips/surcharges that it will cost for the day once she sends a single text).
    • I use a Three SIM with All-in-One add-on for the data-heavy stuff (no-one calls my US number anyway)

  11. #26
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    That's good info for kevink1, sar840t2.

    kevink1, how much cellular data do you expect to use during your trip? This would exclude any WiFi data usage, assuming WiFi is available to you for free.

    Not to open up a whole new can of worms, but in order to avoid Three funding issues if you decide to go with a Three plan vs 3/2/1paygo, another option is to use a GV # + Hangouts over cellular or WiFi data only. That way, you can have a US # if you want people to be able to call or message you without possibly being charged extra if you only have a UK # while you're there.

    I have done this this in the US and internationally since March, 2017. I've had no real cellular phone # since then, using GV + Hangouts with a data only SIM or WiFI, and it has worked amazingly well for me. My cellular data usage is pretty low, even with using Hangouts for voice/messaging, set up with two GV #s. My low cellular data usage is why I personally chose to use Three with their 3/2/1 paygo, and since I use data only, I would never use the 3/2 talk/text part, unless there was some emergency.

  12. #27
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    I probably won't use anywhere near 12GB, but options were limited. I think there were "answers" on Amazon that indicated that if I did some top-off I could make calls to the states.

    This is a vacation, and my closest relative is along for the trip, so I don't think I'll need to call the US. If some emergency came up, I could use my sister's phone.

  13. #28
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    There’s plenty of places at the airport that sell SIM cards. Personally I wouldn’t touch Three with a barge pole as their service is 💩.

    If your wanting decent coverage/speed then pick

    1) EE or Vodafone
    2) 02
    3) Three UK.

    Three UK are the only network that doesn’t allow 4G/LTE roaming.

    And at least you don’t need to register the SIM card with Passport like in many European Countries.

    In a nut shell. If you pay peanuts for a service don’t be surprised to get “monkeys” in return.

  14. #29
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    As for overseas calling, unless you contacting a business who uses cellular minutes? With WhatsApp, Hangouts, FaceTime Etc there’s plenty of alternatives.

    Also American Cellular providers don’t switch off WiFi Calling when your abroad.

    Using prepaid plans on MetroPCS, Verizon, TMobile I’ve made calls back to the US which were within my plan and didn’t cost me extra whilst using WiFi Calling.

    When using UK Cellular Providers as soon as your phone connects to a foreign IP network address WiFi Calling is automatically deactivated.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aclondon View Post
    With WhatsApp, Hangouts, FaceTime Etc there’s plenty of alternatives.
    ^ That. I use Hangouts with the US number from GoogleVoice to call US and WhatsApp to talk to anyone else.

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