The Traveller’s Guide to Setting Up Your International Sim Card/Phone

Aleta Fimbres 30/08/2017

Travelling to a foreign country can be a great deal of fun. Not only will you be able to experience a host of unforgettable sights, but it is highly likely that you can develop a different view of the world. Of course, there are a number of concerns that should be addressed to make sure that your holiday is as pleasant and safe as possible. One factor that cannot be overlooked is the ability to purchase a cheap and yet reliable mobile phone to contact friends, relatives and the authorities in the event of an emergency. Let’s take a look at the options available and some of the most effective and logical suggestions.

Purchasing a Phone at Home or Abroad

Depending upon where you are travelling, you may be able to purchase a pay-as-you-go phone before leaving the United Kingdom. However, it is important to make certain that the plan in question and the service will be able to provide you with adequate reception upon arrival at the specific destination. Another possible advantage of obtaining this phone and SIM card before you leave is that you will not have to deal with foreign languages and instructions. However, it is highly likely that you can obtain a cheap prepaid phone at the airport of your destination. It is always better to choose a kiosk or retail outlet here, for the brands are more reliable and specifically geared towards foreign travellers.

Price is Important

It is a foregone conclusion that your phone will only be used on occasion. Many consider this a one-off purchase as well; you could simply discard the unit when you return home. However, you should still opt for a middle-range model. In simplest terms, you get what you pay for in this case. A basic Internet connection is also extremely beneficial as is the ability to send and receive text message while abroad. Cheaper versions may not support these functions. 

Installation and Verification

Recall that these phones can be considered rather “one size fits all” in terms of their use. So, install the SIM card the way you normally would and make certain that the battery is fully charged. The first step is to find your personal number and write it down physically. Keep this number with all of your other important information such as passports, credit cards and any holiday insurance documents. Then, try to make a call on the phone before EVER leaving the retail store. This is to be certain that it is functioning properly. 

Finally, it is prudent to call two or three important people in your life so that they have your number in case they need to contact you suddenly. A SIM card and a pay-as-you-go are both powerful items that should always be present during international holiday. Let us never forget that even if your normal phone works, the roaming charges can be exorbitantly high. Such low-cost alternatives make a great deal of sense!


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