AT&T International Day Pass,Passport, World SIM or Local SIM card options for travel abroad.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by gugy, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. gugy macrumors 68030

    gugy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #1
    I am traveling with family to Europe (Italy, Switzerland and France) in July and will be mostly a road trip.
    Thus, looking at the best option to use my iPhone there. The caveat is that I am still under contract (AT&T Next) and can't unlock it but could use my wife iPhone that is paid for.

    I noticed AT&T has the International Day Pass and Passport options. The Day Pass look enticing but I heard the taxes and extra fees can be a killer if you use it for more than few days. I might need it for at least 10 to 12 days. I will use it mostly for data (GPS for driving and occasional email).

    Also, another possibility is to get a World SIM card that I don't need to worry about roaming charges between the countries above or just get a local (single country) SIM card.

    I am wondering if any of you have any insights that could pass along as the best option and value. Thanks!
     
  2. thisismyusername, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018

    thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #2
    I can't really help you as far as sims and plans go but keep in mind that you don't need to be connected for navigation. Your GPS will work just fine and, with the right apps, you can download maps for the areas you'll be in ahead of time and use them offline. I use both Pocket Earth and Google Maps for offline navigation. There are lots of other good apps for this as well. Those are just the 2 I happen to use a lot.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there. Doing this is enough for me to just be able to rely on wifi hotspots when I travel to other countries.
     
  3. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    gugy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #3
    Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware you can use map apps offline.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    You might find a SIM that will work in all three countries. I know that a "3" (three.co.uk) SIM will work in all of those but you're going to have to look for something like that in the first country you visit. You probably won't be able to purchase a SIM ahead of time.

    As far as Google Maps offline goes...it works but you won't be able to search. Pre-downloading the maps will save you some data.
     
  5. MacDevil7334 macrumors 65816

    MacDevil7334

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #5
    Where are you starting your trip? I just got back from a 2 week honeymoon in Italy and Greece. I went the local SIM route and was glad I did. We started in Italy and I got a prepaid SIM card from Italian carrier TIM for €24 (about $30) that had 10 GB data plus unlimited calls to local numbers. No SMS texting (iMessage still worked fine because it’s using data), but that wasn’t a big deal for me. Here’s the thing though: the EU passed a law last year that requires cell plans must include free roaming to all EU countries for at least a good portion of the plan’s data. So my Italian SIM card worked just fine when we went to Greece. The carrier did send me a text trying to get me to buy another 10 GB for my “trip” to Greece but I just ignored it. Buying a local SIM was vastly cheaper than adding international roaming to my AT&T plan and was relatively easy. I walked into a TIM store, waited about 10 mins, and had a working phone about 10 mins after that. Almost everyone in the store spoke English so the process was quick and clear.

    So, you should be able to buy a prepaid SIM in your first country and use it in at least Italy and France since they are members of the EU. I’m not sure how it would work during your time in Switzerland since it is not a member state. You might have to buy another card there. If you don’t mind devoting a few minutes of your trip to dealing with finding a SIM, I highly recommend it. One word of warning: if you start in Italy, make sure you go to an actual carrier store. In the airport and train stations, there are “resellers” who will sell you a SIM card but have no official affiliation with the carrier. Almost all of the horror stories I read online about people getting misled or overcharged for a SIM card ended up being because they went to a reseller. Go to an actual carrier store and you should be fine. Enjoy your trip!
     
  6. gugy, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

    gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    gugy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #6
    Thanks for the reply. I have purchased Local SIM cards in the past, specially traveling to South America. It always worked well. I was just curious about the day pass because it seems very convenient and I have never had the issue of using on different countries but I agree with you that it’s cheaper to get a local card.
    I will land first in Switzerland so I’ll get a card there and hopefully it will work in Italy and France. My trip will happen at end of June. Thanks.
     
  7. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #7
    Here we go (used to be Nokia here) is another mapping app that lets you download maps and use them offline. I like it as you can download entire countries all at once and store them indefinitely.
     

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