Daughter leaves for a summer internship in London in a couple weeks, 10 weeks long. She has an iPhone SE that I imagine is unlocked as I bought it outright. We're on an AT&T family plan.
What's the best strategy for her over there wrt phone use. Get her a local/England SIM card for her phone? Is that something I should buy online ahead of time? Or have her buy when she gets there? Any words of wisdom? Or things to watch out for? We've never done this before.
Thanks very much in advance,
AT&T has international roaming, but... $10 per day. https://www.att.com/offers/international.html
I'd recommend she get a local SIM when she arrives. Most buy-beforehand SIMs and plans are woefully overpriced, and the 15 minutes on the ground to get a local SIM is time well spent. I believe most youngsters usage patterns are to mostly use data and text, not so much minutes. She should shop on that basis. For calls to home, she can presumably use FaceTime or Skype (thus avoiding using expensive International minutes).
There is at least one (SIM Local, T2 international arrivals) and perhaps other shops in the airport. Most shops will install and activate the SIM for her.
You should check with AT&T regarding lock status, though, as soon as possible. You should be able to do this online. See https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1008728
. Note step 10 - once AT&T approves the unlock (or it is already unlocked) she can just turn it off, replace the SIM, and turn it back on. The new SIM may have its own unlock code, distinct from the iPhone unlock code. If so, it will be printed on the card the SIM was attached to. She'll need to enter this whenever powering on the phone with the UK SIM. It can be turned off, somewhere in settings. I mention it because that could be a nasty surprise for a tired traveller.
She should not remove the SIM before she leaves for safekeeping. That will render the phone useless until she gets another SIM, and this is not good for a traveling young person (or old for that matter).
Two more tips - Learned these two the hard way:
When she does replace the SIM with a local one, she should make sure to keep the old one safe. I usually tuck mine inside the phone case. Taping it to a card in her wallet (perhaps the one that comes with the new SIM) is an option.
One last thing - send her with a SIM tool, or a paperclip. Makes it easy to swap back when she returns to the US. It is surprisingly difficult to find a SIM tool or paperclip in some airport terminals.
And one more - if she has not already setup a good (more than 4 digits) passcode, Find my Phone, and thumbprint lock, she should do so before leaving.