Traveling with an iphone?

MacAttackKev

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 18, 2014
60
7
Hey everyone!
So I'm a newbie when it comes to using a smart phone for international traveling (I use to travel a while ago before smartphones were a thing). Anyway, I'm planning to travel around south east Asia to multiple countries and was wondering what my best bet for internet connection would be.

Do I need multiple sim cards? Try Pocket wifi? Or?

Also, from my understanding Verizon phones are "unlocked" so does that mean I can just pop another sim card from another carrier and be good to go?
PS: I'm on a contract and have not completely paid of the phone.

Early appreciation for any advice! :)
 

joelvc

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
22
3
I am traveling regularly in SE Asia. An unlocked phone is what it is, so another SIM card would work. Malaysia and surely other country have wonderful packages with Data roaming in 7-8 Asian countries, However there are two challenges: your Verizon phone doesn’t seem to be a GSM phone but only for American use (US has different system than the east of the world, except for T-Mobile abc AT&T who use the GSM standard) and the roaming I mentioned are for subscription not pre-pay. SE Asia has so baby offers there, best is to doit y phone shop when you arrive at the first country of arrival. All the best!
 

eVolcre

macrumors 68000
Jan 7, 2003
1,984
565
Verizon phones are unlocked for gsm use abroad.

Pick up local prepaid SIM cards at every airport when you arrive in a new country and you’re good to go. If you post your itenary here I can give you carriers too.

Also do you really need a phone all the time ? I typically do like phone service when I travel but SE Asia is traveler and backpacker paradise. WiFi is everywhere. Usually free. You can download maps2go for offline map access. I managed a month in Vietnam very recently without a sim. It’s doable
 

jrs22

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2012
331
35
Verizon phones are unlocked for gsm use abroad.

Pick up local prepaid SIM cards at every airport when you arrive in a new country and you’re good to go. If you post your itenary here I can give you carriers too.

Also do you really need a phone all the time ? I typically do like phone service when I travel but SE Asia is traveler and backpacker paradise. WiFi is everywhere. Usually free. You can download maps2go for offline map access. I managed a month in Vietnam very recently without a sim. It’s doable
I have an unlocked iPhone 7 that I plan to take with me to Thailand and India. Are iPhone SIM cards different from the ones that are used in android phones? Can you recommend carriers for these two countries?

I’ve always travelled without a phone but since I already own one I thought it could come in handy even if it’s just for calling a taxi. Tia
 

eVolcre

macrumors 68000
Jan 7, 2003
1,984
565
I have an unlocked iPhone 7 that I plan to take with me to Thailand and India. Are iPhone SIM cards different from the ones that are used in android phones? Can you recommend carriers for these two countries?

I’ve always travelled without a phone but since I already own one I thought it could come in handy even if it’s just for calling a taxi. Tia
Same SIM card but the size is different than most androids. The place you get the card should be able to cut it down for you. Lot of the carriers now come with one size fits all Sims and you just rip it down to the type you need.

Thailand is super easy. Grab one at the airport or any 7/11. Same with adding cash. Just walk into a 7/11. They’re everywhere ! I’ve literally seen 4 in a one square block area.

India is now making it incredibly hard for tourists to get SIM cards. Make sure you get one at the airport. Most international arrivals will have an Airtel ship right where you land.

You’ll need a landline number to get a confirmation call I believe (this may have changed ). If you don’t get it at the airport there’s places outside in most popular tourist spots that have preactivated cards. You’ll pay a small premium for that (maybe 5 US) but it’s not worth the hassle. There’s a lot of scams. Cards stop working. And these days the government is so weird that you really don’t want a dodgy SIM card in your phone.
 

jrs22

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2012
331
35
So Thailand will be extra easy because I’ll be with thai speakers.

But India -why would a tourist have a landline? If I understand you correctly then we would want to find an Airtel shop and ask for a preactivated card. Most airports seem to have shops like this on the walk from customs to taxis so finding one shouldn’t be a problem.
 

eVolcre

macrumors 68000
Jan 7, 2003
1,984
565
So Thailand will be extra easy because I’ll be with thai speakers.

But India -why would a tourist have a landline? If I understand you correctly then we would want to find an Airtel shop and ask for a preactivated card. Most airports seem to have shops like this on the walk from customs to taxis so finding one shouldn’t be a problem.
Why? I just live here at the moment don’t ask me to explain some of the absurd rules. They need a landline to confirm that you are who you are and that someone can vouch for you. Maybe a terrorism preventer.

You won’t find a preactivated card at the airport. You’ll find an official Airtel shop. Do you have a hotel booked or a local reference? They ask you that at immigration and trust me, I’ve seen people being turned away when they say “I’m a traveler I’ll figure it out “. Keep some address or phone number handy even if iTs fake.

The preactivated thing I was talking about are little shops usually at tourist sites or backpacker lanes. They activate it using their own account and then sell it for a premium. Like I said it’s dodgy and sometimes the number stops working.

I’d say Thailand you can get away without a sim card. WiFi is all over. India id recommend getting a number just for safety if nothing else. Activate find my iPhone immediately on it too.

PM me as you get closer to arrival I’ll send you my phone number for activation or emergencies. A MR member to member goodwill present :)

Enjoy your travels.
 

iMi

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2014
1,203
2,244
International travel is why I stick with T-mobile. Data and texting is free. Calls back home are ultra low cost, like 20 cents a minute.

The only reason I would get a SIM card in China is so that the people I work with over there don’t have to make long distance calls. But now we just use WeChat and Skype, so no need for sims.
 

MacAttackKev

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 18, 2014
60
7
Verizon phones are unlocked for gsm use abroad.

Pick up local prepaid SIM cards at every airport when you arrive in a new country and you’re good to go. If you post your itenary here I can give you carriers too.

Also do you really need a phone all the time ? I typically do like phone service when I travel but SE Asia is traveler and backpacker paradise. WiFi is everywhere. Usually free. You can download maps2go for offline map access. I managed a month in Vietnam very recently without a sim. It’s doable
I'm planning to go to Singapore, Malyasia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
I've previously traveled to Thailand and Laos, and it was quite convenient to have a map and a means of calling for transportation during adventures, also it was nice to have a back up when my thai doesn't translate properly to still be able communicate with the locals. I did have trouble finding Wifi up north in Thailand and around Laos, but not so much in cities like Bangkok. Just covering my bases.

PS: Things I must see in Vietnam? ;)
 

jrs22

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2012
331
35
Why? I just live here at the moment don’t ask me to explain some of the absurd rules. They need a landline to confirm that you are who you are and that someone can vouch for you. Maybe a terrorism preventer.

You won’t find a preactivated card at the airport. You’ll find an official Airtel shop. Do you have a hotel booked or a local reference? They ask you that at immigration and trust me, I’ve seen people being turned away when they say “I’m a traveler I’ll figure it out “. Keep some address or phone number handy even if iTs fake.

The preactivated thing I was talking about are little shops usually at tourist sites or backpacker lanes. They activate it using their own account and then sell it for a premium. Like I said it’s dodgy and sometimes the number stops working.

I’d say Thailand you can get away without a sim card. WiFi is all over. India id recommend getting a number just for safety if nothing else. Activate find my iPhone immediately on it too.

PM me as you get closer to arrival I’ll send you my phone number for activation or emergencies. A MR member to member goodwill present :)

Enjoy your travels.
We’ll have hotel reservations when we arrive in India. Traveling in Asia is enough of an adventure for me even when I know where I’m going to sleep that first night. And thanks for the offer of additional help.