Road trip in Europe : Which company/plan is the best?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members.

I'm asking to all of you travellers that have unlocked their phone in order to travel in Europe (more than 1 country)

I was just curious, what do you guys suggest? I don't feel like looking at all the plans they offer in each country * number of company in this country = too much to handle in the short time I have (end of session).

I plan using mostly data, some texts, almost no talking. Therefore, what is best considering I will travel from Paris (4 days), to Geneva (2 days), to London (4 days) and Amsterdam (3 days)?

PS: I have an unlocked iPhone
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 103,784 Points 100k badge 2x thumb

Posted 5 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Ivan

Ivan, Mobile Master

  • 96,382 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I prefer Vodafone, where available. Last time I was in London, I grabbed their 10 GBP top-up (SIM card is free) and it gave me something like 200 minutes and texts and 500 MB data, plus the 10 pounds stayed as my balance for overage charges. Plus, they set me up so that calling to Canada was cheaper than texting (2p/minute vs 5p/sms).

In France, I know that Virgin offers unlimited local talk + sms and 1 GB data for 10 EUR.

As for Switzerland, I'd recommend Orange. Their data addons start at 10 CHF (for 300 MB).

Have a safe trip!
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,958 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
But what about taking 1 SIM card and travel in different countries. Isn't there a solution like that?
Photo of Erwin

Erwin

  • 23,546 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Hi Robert,

Unfortunately the EU does not have a continental carrier. But no worries, the of the head of EU is focused on trying to get a continental brand that will work in any country. But not today and it seems like Philosoraptor ihas the best solution.
Photo of Sonia Ritchie

Sonia Ritchie

  • 60 Points

hello

going two weeks in germany then 2 months in italy what would be the best set up

Photo of LairdC

LairdC

  • 5,164 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Unlock your phone on the koodo self serve site first. there is $35 fee. If you have an iphone you will have to call. Once all that is done buy a SIM card in Germany. You'll be able to use your phone across Europe and will be cheaper that roaming. But you will have a different number there.
Photo of MatB

MatB

  • 32,458 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Little Google search will probably help you to find out european wireless providers plans and offers if you will be using foreign SIM on your unlocked phone in the countries you're heading to. nice trip
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,672 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Yeah, I know. But as stated in the first message, it would be A LOT of research to see what each company is offering in each country. This is why I cam here for help. I'm doin some research though and found those PREPAID GLOBAL SIM CARDS that offer some interesting things. For exemple MAXRoam offers 200MB of data everywhere for 55EUR. But it's nothing compared to what Philosoraptor mentionned
Photo of Ivan

Ivan, Mobile Master

  • 96,280 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Vodafone UK will charge you 2 GBP/day for 25 MB (69p/MB overage) or 8 GBP for 100 MB with their Vodafone Passport and Data Traveller program. It's best to get local SIMs. You'll have the SIM from your previous country with you so that'll be available to you for emergencies, until you pick up a local SIM.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,672 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
What about the expiry date of those? Should I keep them for a future trip too? Or they get desactivated after a X ammount of time unused?
Photo of Ivan

Ivan, Mobile Master

  • 96,280 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I can't remember, but most Euro prepaid expires from 30 to 90 days if not topped up.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,672 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Too bad you can't keep the same SIM longer...
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 103,784 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
For those who may have the same question as I do, there is https://www.getadoodad.com/

All those services are kind of expensive... It's your call whether you like it or not.
Photo of Sophia

Sophia, Mobile Master

  • 141,558 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I have used Truphone (love it but not the cheapest, their support is outstanding though), Piranha (like it too) and a few others... but for countries I frequent often I find it the cheapest to buy a local SiM which no international roaming company can match. If you want to compare internationl plans or ask questions, this is a forum and site I find gives good answers: www.prepaidgsm.net/

Have fun on your travels!
Photo of mattjs

mattjs

  • 15,658 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Pro Tip: Use a single sim card. I would suggest Wind (Italy).

They have the cheapest European roaming rates. It's €15 per week for 400MB of data, then you add on voice for €0.50 per day - you're charged a flat roaming rate of €0.08 per minute for calls received, and €0.20 per minute for calls you've initiated. This is from anywhere in Europe. SMS is a standard €0.10 rate sent/received I believe.

Alternatively, they also have a flat rate inclusive roaming plan that costs €2 per day but only gives you 30min of calls, 30 sms, and 30mb data. This may work for you, the data and voice allowance has always been too light for me though.

Going this route, you don't have to buy multiple sims and deal with multiple activations, rate plans, and having a different phone number multiple times on your trip. You're going for 2 weeks it looks like, so theoretically you should be looking at somewhere around €40-60 to roam the entire time on Wind with more then enough data, sms and text (depending on usage, of course). If you want to be a 'super-pro', setup a DID account at les.net and activate forwarding on your koodo phone, then route that DID to your new wind number. It's dirt cheap and you can get all your calls from your Canadian Koodo number routed direct to your wind phone in europe for pennies.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,672 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Where will you pick-up the SIM? At any wind company?
Photo of mattjs

mattjs

  • 15,658 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
You're "technically" only suppose to be able to buy and activate Italian sim cards from within Italy.

However, their is a workaround. You first need to get a wind italy sim card. You can usually find them on Ebay, or if you do a google search I'm sure you can find a retailer. Have it shipped to your place in Canada.

Once you get it, you need to activate it.

In order to activate any Itialian sim, you need a "codice fiscale". This is a number that the retailers in Italy will provide you with when you buy a sim card. It's like a Foreigner ID number and is required by law to actually activate a sim card.

Since you're not actually going to italy, you can use http://www.miocodicefiscale.com/ to generate your codice fiscale (it's free). Then you just go to www.wind.it, register your sim with the generated code, and select your packages.
Photo of Ivan

Ivan, Mobile Master

  • 96,280 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I'd disagree here. WIND Italy may have the best roaming rates in Europe, but it's still not nearly as good as individual local providers.

Having the same number is hardly a convenience for me as most people won't call or text me on a Euro number anyways. For all others, one SMS is all it takes. I don't see activating multiple accounts as a hassle at all. All you need to do in most cases is pop in the SIM and send an SMS code selecting your tarriff model. Prepaid is not really a hassle abroad.
Photo of mattjs

mattjs

  • 15,658 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Good point. You'll always get better rates if you're not roaming of course. The downside is having multiple numbers throughout the trip, which depending on the person may not be a big deal at all. Personally I like to take care of this stuff before I go, so I use Wind because I know I can top up my account and then not have to bother with anything once I touch down, regardless of where I go. Having said that, if having a few different numbers over the month isn't a deal breaker, grabbing a local sim card in each country will potentially be more advantageous.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,672 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I think individual SIMs is the best solution so far! Thanks all for your help!
Photo of Don

Don

  • 6,586 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
If you understand french, check this out : http://mobile.free.fr/

Better in every way to the 75$ plan but for only 20 euros. They include calls to a bunch of countries including Canada.
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 102,006 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I do understand french! But if I'm understanding it, it's a mobile company same as orange/vodafone, etc??
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 103,784 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Also, is there problem setting APN ro other things like that? And
Philosoraptor, I don't seem to find what you were talking about for France...

Also, is nano-SIM available almost eveywhere? Extra cost?
Photo of Don

Don

  • 6,586 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Most high end smartphones today have the capability of auto-setting itself when you pop-in a sim card. I can confirm this with all the Galaxy S phones (I had them all and they all worked with Koodo, VM, Petro-Canada, TelCel, Sprint).
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 103,784 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I hope mine will have that! I don't feel like setting up anything there
Photo of Maria Spiegel

Maria Spiegel

  • 60 Points
Hi all!
A friend of mine used travelsim card for Europe road trip this summer, liked that. You can check rates and offers here: http://www.travelsim.com
Seems to be interesting

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.