Traveling Across The U.S.A

lukeyyyyy

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2010
47
9
Hello

So I am travelling across America, from lax to JFK over the course of 4 weeks, problem is I am from the Uk and I will be relying on my iPhone for data / Gps, would it be possible to buy an American pay as you go SIM card once we arrive in Los angles and simply swop it for my current U.K. O2 sim?

Going completely off Topic how much spending money would you advise taking?

We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation the hire car has cost us $3100 and we have estimate $500 in petrol so this is 100% spending money, for food entertainment ect, we travel from la to Las Vegas to denver to Kansas City, to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Washington, New York with stops in between

Thanks
 

iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
71
Without going into laborious details the correct answer is buy a "red pocket mobile" SIM card now and have it shipped to you now, and then as soon as you get to the US activate it on some web browser somewhere and stick it in your phone . It works on AT&Ts network so you will have excellent coverage on your trip.

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Without going into laborious details the correct answer is buy a "red pocket mobile" SIM card now and have it shipped to you now, and then as soon as you get to the US activate it on some web browser somewhere and stick it in your phone . It works on AT&Ts network so you will have excellent coverage on your trip.
Cost will be about $45 for one month data plan plus the cost of the sim and sim shipping. Sometimes you can find it for a dollar on eBay or amazon.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,198
1,200
Stop at any Walmart, T-Mobile SIM as well as AT&T is available for only $10. Buy a prepaid card containing minutes and data and be done with it.
 

iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
71
Stop at any Walmart, T-Mobile SIM as well as AT&T is available for only $10. Buy a prepaid card containing minutes and data and be done with it.
Tmobile has a lot less 3G+ coverage on that route. I know that route. Go with red pocket it's cheaper with better coverage.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,264
13,115
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Going completely off Topic how much spending money would you advise taking?

We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation the hire car has cost us $3100 and we have estimate $500 in petrol so this is 100% spending money, for food entertainment ect, we travel from la to Las Vegas to denver to Kansas City, to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Washington, New York with stops in between

Thanks
I might allocate a couple hundred dollars more to gas (petrol). I say that, because the US is not consistent with gas prices. It fluctuates everywhere. California is very expensive while other states might be much less. For instance, I can get gas in Blythe California and it'll run me around $4 or so, but if I cross the border and get gas in Ehrenberg, Arizona it's 30-70 cents less.

You will pay more in small towns and rural areas. Depending on your car you may have to fill up more or less. A trip from Phoenix, AZ to Banning, CA takes $50 in gas money for my 1997 Honda Accord. $30 to fill it up and $20 to top it off at the quarter tank it drops to in Ehrenberg. And that's only about 350+ miles. About the same distance from LA to Vegas (more or less). If you sightsee along the way it will cost you more.

Don't know what your plans are, but that's just some examples.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,198
1,200
Also call your bank, only Walmart takes Chip and PIN, other stores will still swipe your card. Make sure you call your bank and set a PIN to 4 digits, also, make sure you type in a 99999 ZIP code if asked by a gas pump, or train ticket machine etc.
 

patt2k

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2012
244
24
Without going into laborious details the correct answer is buy a "red pocket mobile" SIM card now and have it shipped to you now, and then as soon as you get to the US activate it on some web browser somewhere and stick it in your phone . It works on AT&Ts network so you will have excellent coverage on your trip.

----------



Cost will be about $45 for one month data plan plus the cost of the sim and sim shipping. Sometimes you can find it for a dollar on eBay or amazon.
Whatever you do PLEASE do not get Red Pocket speeds are VERY VERY SLOW I am moving away from them one of my friend's has it speeds never even reach 1 mbps.

Upload is faster then DOWNLOAD.

get straight talk or tmobile prepaid.
 

869639

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2014
327
0
Earth
Expert Advise: I recommend going with AT&T GoPhone SIM Card -- $60 for the month and gives you:

- Unlimited Talking + Texting [Texting to International numbers as well] + 2GB 4G LTE Data

If you need help, just PM me and I can help you setup that won't be an issue.

Purchase a AT&T GoPhone SIM before you come here or get one from a AT&T Store and set it up online at your hotel.

Wish you a happy and safe journey! and Please do not go with any other carrier besides AT&T, you want the best coverage throughout your entire trip and your phone available for use when you need it and where you need it!.

T-Mobile / Redpocket / Straight Talk will not give you the superior experience that AT&T Gophone Service will! take my word for it!

DO NOT GO WITH RED POCKET MOBILE AS ANOTHER MEMBER HAS RECOMMENDED, I would hate for you to have the worst experience and/or any hiccups with your phone during your stay here in the states.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,987
192
Price for the car rental seems high as hell
When car is not returned to the departure location, they really dink u.

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We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation
That's why the Australians (don't know where I got that from) hire a van and sleep there.

I've seen some smaller size RV (recreational vehicle) with beds but don't know how much they are.


And oh, a while back there were some scum buckets who stop you and say "hey, your car looks funny, your tailpipe looks like it's about to fall off, luckily I know a mechanic nearby." RUN.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,877
3,413
Boston, MA
Hello

So I am travelling across America, from lax to JFK over the course of 4 weeks, problem is I am from the Uk and I will be relying on my iPhone for data / Gps, would it be possible to buy an American pay as you go SIM card once we arrive in Los angles and simply swop it for my current U.K. O2 sim?

Going completely off Topic how much spending money would you advise taking?

We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation the hire car has cost us $3100 and we have estimate $500 in petrol so this is 100% spending money, for food entertainment ect, we travel from la to Las Vegas to denver to Kansas City, to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Washington, New York with stops in between

Thanks
A few have recommended TMobile pay as you go. I would look into that because I have read (don't quote me on this because it has always been on forums here) that some of these plans require US residence. There are viable options out there, just make sure you are getting the right one for yourself. That's all I will say about that since I don't know a whole lot.

As for your drive, we recently made almost this exact trip in our move (two summers ago). Our car averaged 35mpg (Ford Fiesta loaded to the gills with wedding gifts and our dogs lol) and we spent just under $400 on petrol. That was as straight a shot as we could take going from Moorpark (an hour outside of Los Angeles) to Boston (about 4 hours NORTH of your destination). All in all due to how highways are mapped, the distances we drove should be nearly identical.

So, you have allocated an extra $100 for "fun" petrol. Certainly doable, again depending on the vehicle, and how much extra driving you plan to do.
 

ET iPhone Home

macrumors 68040
Oct 5, 2011
3,713
459
Orange County, California USA
Hello

So I am travelling across America, from lax to JFK over the course of 4 weeks, problem is I am from the Uk and I will be relying on my iPhone for data / Gps, would it be possible to buy an American pay as you go SIM card once we arrive in Los angles and simply swop it for my current U.K. O2 sim?

Going completely off Topic how much spending money would you advise taking?

We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation the hire car has cost us $3100 and we have estimate $500 in petrol so this is 100% spending money, for food entertainment ect, we travel from la to Las Vegas to denver to Kansas City, to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Washington, New York with stops in between

Thanks
How many people are being covered by this $4200 allocation? First, you say, "I", then you say "we".
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,033
1,800
Manhattan
Definitely don't go with T-mobile. They have terrible coverage outside of major metropolitan areas -- and since you'll be driving across country you'll be in the middle of nowhere a lot. I'd go with AT&T or a carrier that runs off AT&T's network.
 

nanogirl21

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2011
697
63
Midwest United States
Hello

So I am travelling across America, from lax to JFK over the course of 4 weeks, problem is I am from the Uk and I will be relying on my iPhone for data / Gps, would it be possible to buy an American pay as you go SIM card once we arrive in Los angles and simply swop it for my current U.K. O2 sim?

Going completely off Topic how much spending money would you advise taking?

We have already allocated $4200 for accommodation the hire car has cost us $3100 and we have estimate $500 in petrol so this is 100% spending money, for food entertainment ect, we travel from la to Las Vegas to denver to Kansas City, to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Washington, New York with stops in between

Thanks
You are going to need more gas (petrol) just a heads up.
 

Bigads

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2012
113
43
Here
When I went last summer, I paid $90 for a T Mobile SIM card. This gave me unlimited domestic calls and texts, unlimited data, unlimited calls to UK landlines and £10 credit on the account itself.

Spent nearly 3 weeks travelling across from San Francisco to Las Vegas and had no bother with the service, quality or speed. Also used my iPhone as the sole source of Sat Nav too and it didn't miss a beat.

Obviously, I presume your handset is unlocked as this will be needed to use a sim from the USA.

Enjoy. Shame you are not on 3 mobile as they now allow you to use your UK allowances whilst roaming in the USA. Certainly my plan for my upcoming trip to NY.
 

Apple Trees

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2013
261
0
Your only choices are pretty much AT&T or T-mobile.

AT&T is the better choice in this situation for overall coverage while T-mobile is cheaper. I'd go with AT&T in your case.