Using data overseas means having to figure out whether or not to buy a prepaid sim or a sim at your destination. But that can be risky. Do you go with your own sim card provider or buy a new one? Australia Post and Sim Corner are great options but read on to find our comprehensive list.
Excited for your first trip overseas?! I know I was. But you know what can be a big, FAT bummer? Not being able to stay in touch with your friends and family from back home to share your AMAZING experiences as you go along your trip. While most of us penny-pinchers try to scab off free WiFi from nearby establishments or WiFi hotspot areas, it can be much more enjoyable not having to stress about internet or phone connections on your trip. You’d be surprised by the different types of methods for overseas communication there are!
* So, what can you do to sort this out before your next trip? *
Enable WiFi 24/7
Like we don’t do this already. If you are planning on skimming out on getting yourself a data connection plan, double check to make sure your electronic devices has its WiFi services enabled. You can edit the settings on your phone or laptop to enable your device to detect all nearby WiFi networks and connect to them automatically (IF the network does not require a password). This way, even when you are not aware, you’ll be able to receive updates whenever your device manages to establish a connection.
Every sim card provider has their own range of sim plans available for customers. And each of these plans vary in its charges. No matter who you are with, Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, iPrimus, or literally any other service provider, flesh out their promotions and plans to find the best data roaming plan for you. For example, did you know that Vodafone offers a $5/day roaming plan for customers travelling for an overseas trip? If you are unable to find deals by your service provider online, call them to ask them the best service they can offer you.
Go International with an International Sim!
If you are a frequent traveller, then this is the go-to sim for you. If you are on a phone payment plan then you need to check with your carrier and make sure your phone is unlocked. Often times, you may need to reach the end of your contractual agreement before your phone is fully available to you without any restrictions. If you have your own phone and sim then you don’t need to worry about the above step. Once all of that is sorted, all you need to do is make sure the sim you buy doesn’t come with a plan that auto-renews or is contract bound. Travel SIM is an Australian sim card company that provides SIMs that can be taken across Europe. You can prepay, check your balance and top-up the sim with money when needed through their mobile app! Calls, texts and data usage comes at a cheap price of 25c per minute, per message and per megabyte respectively.
Travelling to Europe
If you are travelling to the land of opportunities, then you are in for a lucky treat! Because roaming fees have been scrapped across Europe. Do you know what that means? You could literally walk into any sim retail shop (like supermarkets) and buy one to use through your travels. The only problem with this is, if you are an anxious person that likes to stay prepared and on top of your game at all times (just as we do as TCM), then you are probably after a solution that you can sort out before you start your journey. In which case, there are plenty of other options that you may prefer:
- Buy yourtravel sim from Australia Post. Australia Post sells prepaid overseas sim packages so you can stay connected before you take off! They are easy to get to and are definitely worth your money.
- Get ontoLoccalls! Loccalls is an online service that helps you choose the best sim for your travel needs. All you have to do is specify where you will be travelling, the date of departure and what you’ll be needing a sim for. Once you have filled this in, Loccalls will narrow down and present the best sim plans for the duration of your trip from a variety of providers across Europe. Once that’s sorted and paid for, leave it to Loccalls to take care of the rest! They’ll ensure your sim reaches to you as soon as you arrive at the airport. They also take care of topping-up your balance if you start running low! Is there anything technology can’t do for us?!
* Still looking for more options? *
- Check out the Sim Corner! A similar service to Loccalls, the website provides deals for SIM plans needed for travel across the UK and EU. With this service, you have the option of choosing different types of plans. For example, with Sim Corner, you can opt to get a “data only” service for your SIM. Alternatively, you could also get the “classic data plan” option or “charge usage by minutes” SIM. At the SIM Corner, data packages range from 6GB to 20GB starting from $37 AUD up to $80 AUD, respectively, for a period of 4 weeks. And if that still seems too expensive, SIM Corner also offers SIM cards that are catered to individual countries, making it nearly cheaper than the data plan we get onto in Australia! Pretty crazy, hey?
- Another popular provider is Tellink, which ships SIMs over to your country of residence, so you can activate it, put it in your phone and be ready to use it as soon as your get to your destination! The plus side to this is that you can use it across 70 countries and it never expires. You know what that means? If you keep it safe, that sim could be the travel SIM you use for future travel trips too! The biggest drawback is that it isn’t as affordable and data plans aren’t as generous. A 5GB data bundle will set you back $107 AUD. However, if you travel multiple times a year, it will be worth it in the long run as it will cut out the hassle of having to deal with overseas SIM plans ever again!
Travelling to Asia
Ah! Travelling to the land packed with beautiful and exotic cultures? Are you ready to immerse yourself into the cultural history of the East, but don’t have any means to share your adventures online?! Don’t worry because yet again, the Sim Corner can rescue you! When taking a short trip to Asia, Sim Corner offers two short-term SIMs. One that lasts 8 days and the other will last 15 days. The best part? These SIM plans are valid in up to 18 different countries within the continent. Prices for these SIM plans generally range between AUD$25 to AUD$45 for 4GB worth of data or more. If this seems too pricey and your trip is a one-country only work trip, you may be better off getting onto a plan catered to the country you are travelling. This could make your plan cheaper.
Not really satisfied with the options SIM Corner has under their belt?
Try AIS SIM2FLY! They are an Asian based online SIM card provider. With incredibly low rates, you’d be able to buy a $13 AUD SIM, valid for 10 days across 20 Asian countries, with 6GB of data! Insanely cheap isn’t it? However, calling rates can vary significantly for different countries. Visit their website to have a look at the rates and plans!
TrueMove H basically offer the same thing – another Thai provider.
Starhub offer data plans that work across 17 destinations including major Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, USA and UK. You can buy plans for as little as a day, and for as long as one month with the top cost amounting to $25 AUD for 4GB (with up to 10GB free data on Sundays).
Travelling to the USA
Ah! The States. Everyone wants to go there for a vacation at least once in their lifetime. And if your time is now, you have got yourself heaps of SIM options. If you want to wait until you’ve arrived in the States to buy a SIM, make sure you get one that uses AT&T as the provider. Their network coverage is of better quality. And if you are looking to prepare beforehand, then once again, Sim Corner has got you covered.
There are other options to opt for as well, for instance, this website caters specifically to USA prepaid SIM cards.
Still looking for more? Visit this site on the best SIM card options available when travelling to the States.
When it comes to technology, The Computer Market have got you covered. Apart from providing great tips on a regular basis, we also provide customers with refurbished IT at competitive prices compared to other markets. And remember, don’t confuse refurbished with second hand IT, because they are vastly different in quality. Refurbished electronics are almost as good as new and they diminish the amount of electronic waste that is constantly contributing to landfill. If you are looking to learn more about refurbished electronics and possibly buying one, visit us at The Computer Market or call us at 07 3256 2511 to get your IT needs sorted!