There are three options that are available for establishing cellular communication and mobile Internet during the trip — roaming from your home operator, an international SIM card for travel, and SIM cards from local companies.
The first two are suitable for those who travel abroad for a relatively short period or constantly move between countries. For the duration of a long stay in one state, you will have to issue a local tariff.
Low-cost offers are usually focused on one goal — to provide you with more Internet traffic or to provide calls at a bargain price. In addition, you can use eSIM Plus, which will connect you to the world from anywhere.
In large cities, do not forget about public Wi‑Fi points. But not all of these networks support high data transfer rates. In addition, with such a connection, it is better not to use banking applications and sites where important personal information is involved. These networks are not protected from the actions of scammers.
Before traveling abroad, disable background mobile internet usage and data roaming. Automatic system updates are best downloaded via Wi‑Fi.
#1 Use roaming
The roaming of mobile operators is the most expensive communication option on a trip. But at the same time, the phone number will remain the same, you will not have to deal with the local peculiarities of paying tariffs and changing the SIM card.
It is enough to configure the number of minutes, a package of SMS messages, and gigabytes of Internet traffic, as well as to connect additional services if they are needed.
During a long trip, not everyone will pull an expensive daily subscription fee. It is important to set up the tariff in advance so as not to receive a bill for a large amount from your operator. In roaming, you will have to pay for both outgoing and incoming calls. The cost of one day of use can be comparable to paying for a month on a home network.
At the same time, in the mobile application of your operator, you can connect not the whole tariff, but only certain options. It is worth looking for some useful chips like a free-roaming period. This will help, for example, to have time to find and buy a local SIM card abroad without unnecessary overpayments.
Roaming may have to be used in countries with restrictions on the purchase of local SIM cards or with very expensive communication tariffs. But in this case, it is better to switch to a travel card.
#2 Buy a tourist SIM card
Travel cards are designed specifically for travel — payment terms are more suitable for long trips. Such cards are supported in hundreds of countries, and tariffs include fixed prices for calls and mobile Internet. You will not have to give money for incoming calls.
Tourist SIM cards are not linked to a specific mobile operator — the network is selected automatically in a new country. But you will have to register or transfer accounts in messengers and social networks to a new international number.
Some companies offer redirection from your number for free or for an additional amount. With this service, relatives will be able to call your usual number. Travel cards are sold on official websites or in communication salons. Some of the most popular options are Drimsim, Simtravel, and Globalsim.
#3 Install a local SIM card
To use a local SIM card abroad, you need to understand the nuances of tariffs, come to the communication salon with a passport and purchase a new number by signing a contract in the local language. Then relatives, friends, and colleagues need to tell your number and reconfigure accounts in messengers or create new ones.
Not the easiest process, but it will save money. Of course, calls home will be expensive, but you can easily use Internet communication via messengers.
Please note that not all countries will be able to buy a local SIM card on their own. Somewhere, local numbers are sold only to citizens or are offered exclusively bundled with a phone. In such situations, you should ask for the help of familiar locals or purchase a prepaid tourist SIM card for several months.
In some regions, operators work for several states at once. For example, you can issue a number with a tariff that is valid throughout the European Union.
#4 Choose an international SIM card for travel — eSIM virtual card
An electronic SIM card, or eSIM, is a chip that is built into a smartphone. With such a module, mobile communication is installed without the usual piece of plastic. In addition, you can use a SIM at the same time as a physical card of another operator.
Be sure to check if your device has such a SIM chip. If it is available, you can easily download the settings of telecom operators. The process of acquiring a new number is noticeably simplified in this case.
For the duration of the trip, for example, you can disable the SIM card of the home operator and use eSIM for calls. Or divide the Internet connection and calls between the cards.
There are eSIM tariffs for traveling abroad. International operators offer eSIM, which operates in dozens of countries. The most popular companies are eSIM Plus, Dreamteam, Telwel, and Airalo.