Sunday, December 15th 2019

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from airports that start with Y."

2019
11
December
What is the best local SIM card or portable wifi hotspot to get when I travel to....



One of the most common topics I see people asking for help with in the Ydeals travel advice Facebook groups revolves around which SIM card provider to go with when traveling to (insert country or region here).

I thought it might be useful to organize the experiences that travelers have reported of using various SIM card providers around the world by country and region.

The best local sim card to buy, by country

I've found that this usually offers a pretty clear consensus on which SIM card provider to go with.

For example, when visiting Italy, you would likely want to go with the TIM Tourist Sim card, based on the number of positive experiences reported.

For the purposes of this step-by-step guide, I'll assume you've never bought a local SIM card before.

If you're already familiar with buying a local SIM card, and just want to know which one to get for the country or region you're visiting, you can skip ahead to step 3.

STEP 1

Should I buy a local SIM card when I travel to [country/region], or should I just use my cell phone provider's 'roam like home' option?

The primary reason people buy a local SIM card when they travel is because it's virtually guaranteed to be a cheaper way to stay connected than any 'roam like home' option that your Canadian cell phone provider is offering.

If you've never heard of 'roam like home', it's an option that all Canadian cellular providers offer, which allows you to use your current cell phone plan while traveling. It's convenient, but it comes at a steep price!

Here in Canada, we have the most expensive cell phone rates in the world. No matter where you travel, you can rest assured that buying a local SIM card will be cheaper than paying your cell phone company's 'roam like home' fees of $8 to $12 a day!

However, there is a tradeoff. When you install a local SIM card, your phone temporarily has a new phone number while you travel. This can be inconvenient for some things, mainly the fact that your friends and family won't have this new number to text you or call you.

Most people get around this inconvenience by installing an app like WhatsApp, which allows your friends and family to reach you at your phone's usual number, even while your phone temporarily has a new number.

Generally speaking, the longer your trip, the more likely it is to be worth buying a local SIM card. If your trip is relatively short (1-4 days), it may not be worth the inconvenience.

Here's a rough idea of how the math typically works out...

Cost of roam like home vs a local sim card

If you're going on a trip for 1 to 4 days, is it worth saving $15 by buying a local SIM card? Probably not.

But if it's a 10 day trip, is it worth saving $70 by buying a local SIM card? Probably.

Some providers have a cap on their roam like home fees, and charge a maximum of, say, $150 for 15 days of usage (how kind!). Others may charge more, or charge per billing cycle. So beware.

You have to decide how much you're willing to overpay the Canadian cell phone providers for the convenience of their Roam Like Home option.

You may be wondering if a $25-$35 local SIM card will come with enough data and minutes for your entire trip. It's *very* likely that you'll be able to get way more than you would ever need, and it will make you realize even more just how insanely expensive our cell phone rates are in Canada, when you see how cheap they are everywhere else.

STEP 2

If you've decided that purchasing a local SIM card is the way you want go, here's a checklist of what you need to do.

before your trip

     a) make sure your phone is unlocked

By law, all cell phone providers now have to provide a way to unlock your phone for you.

If you're not sure if your phone is unlocked or not, you can call your cell phone company and ask.

cell phone SIM card removal

     b) watch a YouTube video and practice removing your SIM card

Just go on YouTube and type in the name of your phone and the model, followed by 'how to remove sim card'

It's generally really easy to remove your SIM card. There's usually a slot on the side or back of your phone, or a hole that you insert a paper clip into to eject it.

You don't *have* to learn how to do this. When you buy a local SIM card, there's a very good chance the person selling it to you will know how to change it for you.

But there's a few reasons it's worth taking 3 minutes to learn how to do it yourself...

- sometimes you may want to buy a SIM card from a vending machine and swap it yourself

- the day of your trip, you may want to remove your current SIM card (see below).

the day of your trip

     c) you may want to remove your current SIM card before you step foot on the plane

I've learned the hard way how easy it is to forget to completely disable your phone's ability to use data .

If your phone uses data for even just 1 second while in another country, your Canadian cell phone provider will automatically charge you the $8-$12 'roam like home' daily fee.

By removing the SIM card at home before you get on the plane, it's now impossible for you to be charged any sort of roaming fees, no matter what your cell phone settings are.

SIM cards are usually tiny, so put it in a zip lock bag or somewhere you won't lose it.

I usually bring my home SIM card with me when I travel, just in case something goes wrong and I need to swap it back in.

STEP 3

Buying a local SIM card when you land (or buying one before you leave).

These days, there are often booths, kiosks, or vending machines selling local SIM cards right at the airport when you land.

I find it's usually worth buying the SIM card at the airport if you can. But if not, there's likely to be plenty of shops selling them in the city of your arrival.

Some people prefer to have all of this dealt with before they arrive. And in some cases, you can get a SIM card delivered to your home in Canada before you leave.

And that brings us to the point of this article, to help you quickly narrow down your best SIM card option, depending on the country or region that you're visiting.

Below you will find a list of Regions and Countries.

If you're visiting multiple countries in a region, like a trip around Europe for example, you may want to click on 'Europe' first and read the advice about SIM cards that are known to work well all over Europe.

But you should also click on the individual countries of the region you're visiting, for specific recommendations of SIM cards that work well in each country.

For some Regions or Countries, I've listed 'proven winners' when there appears to be an obvious choice that really works well for everyone.

What is the best SIM card (or portable wi-fi hotspot) to get when I travel to...

North America
      United States
           Hawaii
      Mexico

Caribbean
      Cuba

Central America
      Costa Rica

Europe
      Austria
      Balkans
      Baltics
      Belgium
      Bosnia & Herzegovina
      Canary Islands
      Croatia
      Czech Republic
      England
      France
      Germany
      Greece
      Holland
      Hungary
      Iceland
      Ireland
      Italy
      Luxembourg
      Netherlands
      Norway
      Portugal
      Scotland
      Serbia
      Spain
      Sweden
      Switzerland
      Turkey
      Ukraine
      United Kingdom

Asia
      East Asia
           China
           Hong Kong
           Japan
      Southeast Asia
           Malaysia
           Philippines
           Singapore
           Thailand

South America
      Argentina
      Brazil
      Chile
      Colombia

Africa
      Egypt

The Middle East
      Jordan

Australasia & Oceania
      Australia
      New Zealand
      The Cook Islands

Worldwide (anywhere in the world)

North America

United States

proven winners: Roam Mobility

Roam Mobility

"I just get Roam Mobility. Easy and works mostly everywhere."

"Roam Mobility. You have to have an unlocked phone though."

"For travel to the US, I have a Roam Mobility SIM. It's for local calls, as well as text and data, and their plans include unlimited calls from the US to Canada. But there's also AlwaysOnline Wireless (they have the parent company as Roam Mobility), which is global data and text (but not calling)."

"Roam mobility is your best bet. I think London drugs has the sim cards."

"As long as your phone is unlocked, I always use a Roam Mobility SIM card. It's a few dollars a day for calling, text and data."

"Roam Mobility. We have used them last 3 years. 50 per month CND. Unlimited. You can buy sim cards online or at Staples. Probably other places as well."

"We used Roam Mobility while commuting through the U.S to Mexico. Worked well and you can purchase only the days you need. Purchased the sim at Office Depot and purchased days online."

"Roam mobility is good. You can order the sim card online and set the days and plan you want (data only or data/call/text). And you can keep it to use again next time you go to the states as long as you use it once a year"

"I've been using Roam Mobility for years. Works wonderfully. I get the plan that is $4.95 per day"

"Roam Mobility is awesome works flawlessly!"

"I always use my Roam Mobility sim card when I travel to the states. Way easier just to use them than the Canadian companies that rip you off for service down there."

"Roam Mobility is the "cat's meow" for any Canadian travelling to US."

"Roam Mobility is our choice. We've used it all over the US with no problems."

"Roam Mobility is the way to go. great product"

T-Mobile

"Go to a T-Mobile store and ask for a tourist SIM. It's US$30 plus sales tax and it is good for 3 weeks. You'll have a phone number, 1000 texts, and 2 GB of data. Just make sure that they don't charge you $10 for the SIM. It's all included but some T-Mobile people don't know that. US$30 and you are good plus people can call you!"

"I went to T-Mobile while in California earlier this year and purchased a 1 month prepaid plan. $40 us got me all you can call and text and 10 gb of data. I'm heading back this summer and will just top up my plan. Worked great."

"We went to California for two weeks and bought SIM cards from T-Mobile when we arrived. You can also look into Roam Mobility, but I find that more expensive for longer trips."

"T-Mobile SIM card 100%. Lived there and paid 40 a month my whole time living in California"

AT&T

"I buy an AT&T SIM card for my unlocked iPhone and then buy a pay as you go plan and top it up each month."

Three UK

"I agree with Three UK. They have a list of Feel at Home countries (lots, USA included). I top up using Ding.com and the same SIM is valid so long as you make a chargeable transaction (call, text) every 6 months."

Google Fi

"Look into Google Fi cell phone plan like $30 a month but unlimited data in like 160 countries - always take it with me to Florida and Mexico great deal"

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Hawaii

proven winners: T-Mobile

T-Mobile

"We have bought at T-Mobile. $40 Included cost of sim, 1000 minutes to US phones and 2 GB of data."

"If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a SIM card and a tourist plan at T-mobile. "

"We purchased a sim card from T Mobile in Maui, having the extra data was perfect when needing directions or looking up where to eat in new areas... I think we paid $30 for unlimited data, calling and texting in March."

Roam Mobility

"If you want talk/text/data - try Roam mobility. If you only want data on the SIM card - try AlwaysOnlineWireless ... both by the same company. You can order the SIM ahead of time, load it - and set the activation date for when you arrive abroad."

Other

"Hoku Wireless Ohana East has great data plans!"

"Order a Straight Talk SIM online (~$1US) and have it mailed to wherever you are staying (or a border drop if you are close)"

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Mexico

proven winners: Telcel, AT&T

Telcel

"We got a SIM card from Telcel for our unlocked phones. Very inexpensive, 1GB with text, messaging and even free calls to Canada for $12 Cdn. each phone. Go to Telcel. But not a distributor but an actual Telcel store. They are the best as far as coverage is concerned"

"Telcel has the best coverage but AT&T is great if you use a lot of social media."

AT&T

"SIM card AT&T. Just about anywhere. Including Walmart im mexico."

"You can get a Mexican AT&T sim card for around 5 or 10 CAD, if you top-up 150 pesos (around 10 CAD) you will get unlimited free calls and texts to and from Mexico, Canada and USA for a month, you can even use it here in Canada!"

Skyroam (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"I use my Skyroam in small out of the way villages and towns (Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, parts of Africa etc) without any trouble at all. For an approc $100 investment and paying only when you need it (when other wifi not available) I found it was cheaper than our international plans like Telus, especially considering several friends can share the daily use cost."

Google Fi

"Look into google cell phone plan like $30 a month but unlimited data in like 160 countries - always take it with me to Florida and Mexico great deal"

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Caribbean

Cuba

"They sell wifi cards from Cuba telecom for $4 for 1 hour. They have wifi connections at hotel and airport but not sure where else. Good enough if you are only going to check things once or twice a day"

"There are no decent options... only the ETECSA cards that work at lobbies of good hotels and airport and a few dedicated data centers. http://www.etecsa.cu/"

"We were there in October, there was wifi at the hotel Melia Marina. We bought the Internet cards, something like $3 an hour. It worked perfect, and just enough to check up on things at home.

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Central America

Costa Rica

proven winners: KOLBI

KOLBI

"At San Jose airport you can get a SIM card for your phone... I think it’s with Kolbi .. data is super cheap to use "

"KOLBI is the national carrier there. I landed in Liberia and purchased a sim card (CR phone number) at the kiosk just after exiting all the customs area. It was good service, paid about $30USD total for phone/data/texting...worked great."

"We also used Kolbi SIM cards in our phones and had great service wherever we traveled. The data plan was more than enough to run Waze as our navigation tool for the full length of our trip."

ICE

"If I remember correctly I think there is an ICE desk that sells SIM cards at Liberia airport"

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Europe (to be used in multiple countries)

proven winners: Three UK, Vodafone, Giffgaff

general advice: Europe is the easiest place in the world to buy a cheap local SIM card. By law, a SIM card you purchase in the first country you visit will be allowed to roam for free in every European country you visit afterwards.

That being said, certain SIM card providers may have better coverage in one country than they do in another. If you're visiting multiple countries, you should look at the advice for each individual country, and see which provider(s) work best overall.

With few exceptions, Three UK and Vodafone seem to work well across much of Europe.

If you'd like to buy a SIM card for Europe before you leave Canada, Three UK SIM cards can be ordered on Amazon.ca

Three UK

"The Three UK pre-paid SIM card works for 30 days in any country and includes from 5GB to 12 GB data, 3000 minutes and texts for 30 days. The price on Amazon.ca is similar to what you will pay locally in the UK. I've used it and it's a good deal, no issues with data or call quality."

"I agree, I bought the Three UK Prepaid 12GB SIM for $35 CAD off of amazon for my trip to Europe. I was in 5 different countries and it worked flawlessly the entire time! It was super easy to use, really quick to activate and I had no issues with connectivity when changing countries. As it is a UK SIM you have a UK number and are unable to text/call non UK numbers but I was still able to make use of iMessage without any problems and used WhatsApp for any calls I wanted to make !"

"+1 for the Three UK. Lived in UK for a while and I go back pretty often and travel in Europe as well. Network coverage is good and great value for money both in terms of data, minutes and text. Absolutely no problem with roaming."

"I agree with the Three UK. They have a list of Feel at Home countries (lots, USA included). I top up using Ding.com and the same SIM is valid so long as you make a chargeable transaction (call, text) every 6 months."

"Get Three UK Prepaid before you leave from Amazon. And have a unlocked phone and roaming enabled. Works in all of UK and Europe."

"Three UK Mobile or Lycramobile! I activated a Three Mobile account in the UK with 12 GB of data and 1000 mins (within the UK or to a UK phone number) but we later saw Lycramobile which would have been better since it included EU calling!!"

"I have used Three UK Mobile and it is great. Can be used in 71 different countries.you can top up at Tesco or any U.K. supermarkets."

"If your phone is unlocked, you could buy a ‘Three Mobile’ network card in London when you land. I was with them when I lived in the UK and could use my phone all over Europe with no issues."

Vodafone

"I paid 15 euros for a sim from Vodafone which included 4GB of data and I was able to use it in any EU country without roaming charges. I’ve used a few other carriers over the years but found Vodafone to be the most reliable"

"Vodafone is widely used in Europe and is extremely cheap. Quite easy to set up and I’ve seen their kiosks in airports."

"I always buy a SIM card from Vodafone. It works all over Europe and costs 15 Euros for 30 days. Inexpensive!"

"Just came back from europe and we bought the Vodafone sim card from England and it worked everywhere with no problems."

"We always use Vodafone and has worked great for us."

Giffgaff

"GiffGaff. £20 for 20gb for 30 days. Important thing is 4G services in the countries you’re visiting. 3 UK have no reception in some area or 3g. I have one on each phone (work and personal). I noticed the UK 3 doesn’t catch reception in places where GiffGaff did. Activate it the day before you leave or day off. Turn on Roaming. As GiffGaff is a UK company, you are roaming in other EU countries but it’s considered Roam at home - no cost Roaming"

"GiffGaff. you can order it in advance and have it mailed to you. i live in the UK now and it's worked great all through europe and super cheap"

"You can order a sim from UK based giffgaff to an address in Canada. Then top up with a goody bag (£10 for 4-6 GB data) and roam anywhere in EU."

"Buy a sim card through GiffGaff! It is fantastic!I lived in europe for a year and it pretty much gives you a solid data, call, and text plan no matter where you travel! It is also super cheap in comparison to some others"

Orange

"I got the Orange European Holiday SIM card on Amazon, went to several countries with no issues"

"I got the orange SIM card for Europe. You can purchase it on Amazon. And plug it into your phone when you get there."

"Anywhere in Europe, the Orange travellers sim card is great. 10 gig's and unlimited text and call for about 40 Euro. Good for 2 weeks, if you top it up within those two weeks all of the data carries over. Super easy to set up and valid throughout the EU."

"I ordered the Holiday Orange SIM on Amazon before I left for multiple European countries last month. Its about $60 for 20 gigs. I had zero interruptions. "

Hippocketwifi (mobile wi-fi hotspot)

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

"Check out hippocket wifi. We just travelled for 3 weeks in Europe and 4 of us had unlimited data for less than 10 dollars per day. Connect up to 10 devices."

Lebara

"We have used Lebara and EE while in Europe. We were happier with the Lebara plan since it was easier to renew packages after 30 days with a Canadian credit card and coverage seemed better. EE has been a bit spotty for coverage and you can only buy data packs in the UK or with a European credit card. There's a lot of competition here and it's easy to buy a new sim and switch if you're not happy."

"You can get a Lebara SIM card and charge it when needed it works in 200 countries including France and all of Europe"

GigSky

"Go with GigSky! Their SIM is good in over 190 countries. I’ve used it in Iceland, the Caribbean and will be using it next month in Europe. It can also be used in North America. This company is super reliable, affordable and they are the company Apple chose for their newest dual sim phones. They also sell a hotspot device where 20+ people can connect so I have one of those also as six of us travelling together to Europe. I’ve used other SIMS but this one is by far the best."

Lycamobile

"Lyca Mobile - Widely available at any European airport...they sometimes even have kiosks with cheap or free promo SIM cards."

OneSimCard

"I have used "One Sim Card" in the past and have been happy. You buy the card here before you leave, easy to top up as you travel. There is no daily charge - you pay for what you use."

T-Mobile

"T-Mobile is good, about 10cad for 10gb of data and unlimited everything across EU for 30 days."

Tep Wireless (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"I’ve used Tep Wireless for several trips to Europe and Caribbean. The only place it doesn’t really work well is while at sea on a cruise. Otherwise it’s $10/day rental (shipping is extra) and you can connect 5 devices. Good service in most European countries."

Travel Wifi (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"Company called travelwifi. Worked very well in France and Italy. Good rates. Unlimited."

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Austria

"I got a KeepGo for my birthday and we just tried it in France, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and it works great. You just prepay for data and use it as a mobile hotspot."

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

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Balkans

"We found that Vodafone was good but doesn’t work in some of the Balkan countries....we had to get different cards for Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia but they were not super expensive "

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Baltics

"We purchased an Orange brand sim card from amazon,ca for our recent trip through the Baltics. Worked like a charm. Installed it in Europe."

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Belgium

"Lebara worked well for us in Holland and Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain."

"I have giffgaff and I’ve been to Germany, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg with perfect 4G coverage. It’s a 'roam like home' sort of package for everywhere in Europe and they mailed it to my home in Canada."

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

"We found that Vodafone was good but doesn’t work in some of the Balkan countries....we had to get different cards for Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia but they were not super expensive "

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Canary Islands

"I used the 4G Cellhire sim in Spain and the Canary Islands last month and it worked great. Works for all European countries."

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Croatia

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

"Oddly enough, Croatia was one place where EE worked very well"

"Check out the Orange Holiday SIM on Amazon for about $60 CAD. The list of supported country is on there. I recently used it for France and Croatia and it worked flawlessly. "

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

"We found that Vodafone was good but doesn’t work in some of the Balkan countries....we had to get different cards for Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia but they were not super expensive "

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Czech Republic

proven winners: Vodafone

"I am currently in Czech Republic and all Over Europe they use Vodafone. For $26 I got a SIM card here with unlimited social media and 3 gigs of data."

"We used Vodafone in the Czech republic and it was great."

"I got a KeepGo for my birthday and we just tried it in France, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and it works great. You just prepay for data and use it as a mobile hotspot."

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France

proven winners: Orange, Free Mobile

Orange

"In France Orange has a 20 gig for 40 euro. Works in 30 countries. Highly recommend"

"i got Orange in Paris and used it all over!!! it was fantastic!!!!"

"Check out the Orange Holiday SIM on Amazon for about $60 CAD. The list of supported country is on there. I recently used it for France and Croatia and it worked flawlessly. "

"We went with a company called Orange, purchased at the airport in France. SO much cheaper than the cell companies here and came with a pile of data."

"We landed in CDG and bought a Holiday Orange SIM card for 40 euros at the airport (although there are lots of Orange boutiques in Paris). You get 10GB of data, 120 mins of international calling, and 1000 international texts. "

Free Mobile

"Free from France was great. we got 25GB for Europe and 100GB in France for 19.99E/month."

"Get a Free Mobile SIM when you land in France, it's the best. You're covered pretty much everywhere in Europe and if you get the 20 euro per month you can phone Canada for free ( only in France though)."

"Free mobile! You’ll get 20GB in data per month ... ! Since you start in France, Free is a good option."

"The operator 'Free' in france .. you can have for 2 euros per month a plan where everything free in france and 30 days of data anywhere."

Lebara

"You can get a lebara SIM card and charge it when needed it works in 200 countries including France and all of Europe"

"Lebara worked well for us in Holland and Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain."

Three UK

"We did England, France, and Italy as well. We used Three Mobile it was 30pounds for 10 gigs of data and a few thousand mins. Worked fine in all three countries. "

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

Keepgo (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"I got a KeepGo for my birthday and we just tried it in France, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and it works great. You just prepay for data and use it as a mobile hotspot."

Lycamobile

"Buy Lyca mobile sim as you land.. Internet at great prices.. Activates instantly."

O2

"We bought O2 SIM card from SIM Corner for our trip to England and France....worked like a charm."

SFR

"I’ve just returned from France and used a local data SIM card from SFR that I picked up in the airport. 15 Euros ($22 CAD) for 15GB."

Travel Wifi (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"Company called travelwifi. Worked very well in France and Italy. Good rates. Unlimited."

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Germany

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

"I have giffgaff and I’ve been to Germany, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg with perfect 4G coverage. It’s a 'roam like home' sort of package for everywhere in Europe and they mailed it to my home in Canada."

"In Germany they implemented additional security checks in the last years, so that you have to proof you’re a German resident to activate a German sim. If you plan on getting a SIM card in Europe, I’d suggest to also make sure you’re able to activate it as a non-resident."

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

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Greece

proven winners: Vodafone

"We used Vodafone in Greece. We're able to use the same sim card in Italy as well. Super cheap and just put the sim card in our phone"

"bought UK Vodafone sim for 10 pounds. 3G and works fine in Greece."

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

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Hungary

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

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Iceland

proven winners: Vodafone, Trawire (portable wifi hotspot)

general advice:

"Portable/pocket wifi is best and some of the car rental companies offer it free."

"I unlocked my phone and purchased a SIM card at the tourist bureau in Reykjavik. Came with 50 international minutes, 50 text messages and 5gb of data. Used my phone as a GPS the whole time we were there (had rented a car for the week) and had no issues. Pretty cheap too at what I remember being $25."

Vodafone

"I just came back from Ireland, Iceland and Scotland. Picked up a SIM card with Vodafone, 20 euros for 20 GB data and limited local calling minutes. Worked great for us in everywhere we visited."

"We used a Vodafone SIM card and had good reception almost everywhere in the country."

Trawire (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"For internet, I used a portable wifi box called Trawire that you can bring anywhere. You'll always have internet on the road. It's $10 a day but I split this cost with two people."

"I got the hotspot from Trawire- best decision for travelling iceland. It is easy you pick it up at the Duncan Donuts at the airport and drop off in mail box at airport, 10 USA a day you have unlimited internet access and no need for a map while on the road."

"Trawire, we had 4 people so that was the best value, convenient pickup/drop-off and reliable!"

Three UK

"Three UK is the best sim card to use anywhere in Europe including Iceland. Just pop into your phone on the plane."

"We were constantly losing coverage outside of Reykjavik with our Three SIM card we purchased in the UK."

Giffgaff

"I have giffgaff and I’ve been to Germany, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg with perfect 4G coverage. It’s a 'roam like home' sort of package for everywhere in Europe and they mailed it to my home in Canada."

Siminn

"We bought a local SIM card (Siminn prepaid 10GB data) from the 10-11 store at the airport. Only 2900ISK ($35 Cdn)."

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Ireland

proven winners: Vodafone

Vodafone

"I used Vodafone in UK, Ireland & Netherlands. $30 for all that I needed. Got it on the spot."

"We used Vodafone in Ireland 2 years ago with a sim card. Worked well."

"I just came back from Ireland, Iceland and Scotland. Picked up a SIM card with Vodafone, 20 euros for 20 GB data and limited local calling minutes. Worked great for us in everywhere we visited."

"Vodafone worked well for us in UK, Ireland and Portugal."

Three UK

"Three Mobile in Ireland had one that was 20 euros with unlimited everything in the EU and 8GB when outside of the EU

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

Lycamobile

"I used Lycamobile in Ireland. Bought a sim chip and a big prepaid pack of data for much less than the ripoff Rogers roam like home. I think it was 20 EURO in total for 30 days compared to $100 from rip-off Rogers"

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Italy

proven winners: TIM Tourist, Vodafone

TIM Tourist

"I purchased a TIM tourist SIM card. I think it was 25 euros for 30GB and 200 international minutes. I found the service was great. I got it at the main terminal in Rome (termini station)."

"All the major Italian providers have tourist packages for about 20-30 euros. If you are traveling to other EU countries, go with TIM or Vodafone, otherwise 3 or Wind will work fine too. Might get better price in town compared to airport though."

"I can vouch for TIM. Used it last year in Rome, Almafi coast and in between. Good service. If you are using internet it allows your phone to connect as hotspot to others (in case you are trying to avoid buying 5 SIM cards and your group travels together). Used it to Bolt (to hail a taxi), google maps, search info on google and occasional use of google translate (and social media of course)"

"I purchased the TIM Tourist SIM online ahead of time and picked up the SIM card at the TIM store in the airport. It’s 5 euro cheaper to purchase online vs in store. Service was great. If you need iMessage then there was a €5 add on for that. The plan provides free messaging with WhatsApp, Messenger and Snapchat though.
I used this in Rome, Sorrento, Amalfi coast and Naples with no problems. Coverage was great. Even out at sea on ferries we had coverage."

"I bought the SIM card from TIMS at FCO airport. There is a booth apparently at baggage claim and it is cheaper than the booth located outside the baggage check."

"Go to a TIM store and buy sim card for your UNLOCKED phone - it was a data and cellular plan for 30 days, it was perfect for when we travelled in Italy"

"Visit a TIM cell phone store in Rome and prepaid SIM card."

"Buy a SIM card at the Italian airport. I bought ours in Rome through TIM I believe and paid 20 euro for 20 GIG and friend paid 25 euro for 25 GIG and 1000 minutes."

Vodafone

"I did vodafone! It was 50 euros for unlimited basically. But I found cheaper after the fact, but same carrier it was just more at the airport"

"All the major Italian providers have tourist packages for about 20-30 euros. If you are traveling to other EU countries, go with TIM or Vodafone, otherwise 3 or Wind will work fine too. Might get better price in town compared to airport though."

"We used Vodafone in Greece. We're able to use the same sim card in Italy as well. Super cheap and just put the sim card in our phone"

"Vodafone was perfect. 30 euro got us one month of calling and data. Worked great! And data didn't get used up quickly."

"I used Vodafone in both Italy and UK....really cheap! About £10 for 30 days....just buy a £5 SIM card!"

Three UK

"I ordered a Three UK SIM off of Amazon before my trip to Italy, Greece and Croatia. It worked phenomenally. 12GB +.3000min voice + 3000 txt for $33 CAD. It gives you a UK number and the calling and texting is between UK numbers but if your whole group gets them then it'll work perfectly! There' s also more than enough data to call and video chat via whatsapp."

"We did England, France, and Italy as well. We used Three Mobile it was 30pounds for 10 gigs of data and a few thousand mins. Worked fine in all three countries."

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

Lycamobile

"I’d recommend Lycamobile. You can roam across Europe at rock bottom prices, so the 5 of you get your own plan. I’m seeing 6 Euros for 1GB of data, 200 mins calling. Or 12 Euros for 15GB and unlimited! www.lycamobile.it"

"We got a SIM card from Lycamobile in a tobacco shop in Florence. We were away for almost a month and it was €10 for 30 days to use up 3gb of data. We travelled as far South as Amalfi and North up to Venice and didn't have any issues."

Other

"Expresso Wifi - They have a kiosk at some airports (I’m flying into Milan). Good price - unlimited, 5 devices. Bring a backup power pack."

"Iliad is super cheap!"

"We are currently in Italy and got a 1 month phone plan for 20 euros with TRE (similar plans available with Vodafone). Paid cash so no need to worry about additional charges after the month. Comes with 30 gb and the SIM card. It’s best in Italy while the rest of Europe is limited."

"I used WiTourist the 2 times I was there in November and it’s super easy. Also good price and can hook up 5 devices I believe. They will drop it off and pick up at your hotel if you want and good all over Italy!"

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Luxembourg

"I have GiffGaff and I’ve been to Germany, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg with perfect 4G coverage. It’s a 'roam like home' sort of package for everywhere in Europe and they mailed it to my home in Canada."

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Netherlands / Holland

proven winners: Vodafone

"I used Vodafone in UK, Ireland & Netherlands. $30 for all that I needed. Got it on the spot."

"Get Vodafone! I currently got a prepaid sim card in Amsterdam for 20 euro 6 GB,30 min and some texts. Only thing is the country you buy the sim at, is the only one you can upload money (since its prepaid sim card)."

"We used a Vodafone SIM card Amsterdam with no issues."

"Lebara worked well for us in Holland and Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain."

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Norway

"When we went to Scotland, England and Norway last year, the SIM card we got in Scotland (Vodafone) for 5-10£ lasted the week in Scotland, a day in Southampton, and occasional use through a 12 day Norwegian cruise. I only had to top up again when we hit London after the cruise. Well worth it!"

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Portugal

proven winners: Vodafone

Vodafone

"Had great luck with Vodafone in Europe. I recently paid 20 euro for 5gb in Portugal and Spain."

"Vodafone has a one-month tourist card that is all most people would need, and good coverage. There are shops in the airports so you can pick one up on arrival. Get them to put the card in set it up and test it, sometimes there are glitches if you try diy (eg they charge 50 cents for store service then it shows insufficient balance because they charged the normal price which I think is 20 euros. )"

"Just came back from there - check out Vodafone. They have a great 2wks tel/txt/approx 4GB for 15 euros. If you want you can also buy a wifi bar on a 4G network for approx $40 euro and load that up with just internet. 30gb = $15 euros. Super cheap compared to the $12/day that Rogers wants to charge here. There is a Vodafone store in the airport but be prepared it will be packed and line ups are long. I would try and locate a store close to your hotel."

"Everyone said it, but Vodafone for sure. I did the 30 Gb for 15 euro, and I was able to use it all across Portugal and Spain"

"The airport lines at the Vodafone can be quite long! I was in Lisbon last sept. I waited 30 min before I realized the queue had hardly moved and there were still 5 people ahead of me. Have a back up and find a Vodafone near where you are staying just in case there are long lines.
Hint- there is a 2nd Vodafone in the airport In the departure section (one level up). The queue was shorter...but still too long for me to wait!"

"Vodafone - They have them in the Lisbon airport. 10-15 Euros. They have 2 week cards and a month."

"Vodafone.... they are everywhere. I bought a 30 day sim card for 20 euros no issues, it worked great. There is a kiosk in the airport, otherwise they are the largest carrier in Portugal."

"Vodafone worked well for us in UK, Ireland and Portugal."

"Get a Vodafone SIM card in the first place you land. It will work all through Europe. We got a Portugal one for 15 euro. 5 gb data and 30 minutes overseas calling."

"I also recommend Vodafone. Easy and convenient. Just check the lineup when you arrive at the airport. Sometimes the line is long but it goes quickly."

"I bought a SIM card for a month in Portugal recently for 20 Euros that included 500 minutes, unlimited texting and 5 gigs of data from Vodafone. The cards are often available from a booth in the airports."

Other

"We used MEO visitor card which is available in any airport or MEO points of sale, but I think the other carriers have similar products"

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

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Scotland

proven winners: Vodafone

Vodafone

"When we went to Scotland, England and Norway last year, the SIM card we got in Scotland (Vodafone) for 5-10£ lasted the week in Scotland, a day in Southampton, and occasional use through a 12 day Norwegian cruise. I only had to top up again when we hit London after the cruise. Well worth it!"

"I just came back from Ireland, Iceland and Scotland. Picked up a SIM card with Vodafone, 20 euros for 20 GB data and limited local calling minutes. Worked great for us in everywhere we visited."

"I'm from Scotland and my husband was a tour driver drove all over the EU and he bought a pay as you go Vodafone sim and topped it up and used it all over."

"I found Vodafone had the best coverage in Scotland -- I spent most of my time in the Inner Hebrides and between Glasgow and Oban. You can order a SIM (free) online and have it delivered to your destination. Or pick one up on arrival."

Other

"I used O2 because they were reported to have better coverage in the Highlands of Scotland."

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Serbia

"We found that Vodafone was good but doesn’t work in some of the Balkan countries....we had to get different cards for Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia but they were not super expensive "

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Spain

proven winners: Vodafone

Vodafone

"Had great luck with Vodafone in Europe. I recently paid 20 euro for 5gb in Portugal and Spain."

"Everyone said it, but Vodafone for sure. I did the 30 Gb for 15 euro, and I was able to use it all across Portugal and Spain"

"Landed in Barcelona last week. Got a Vodafone SIM for 25 Euros for 10gb. It’s good for three weeks and I’m using it in the U.K. right now with no problem. Cheaper than adding the $12/day roam away from home with my cdn provider. Just make sure your phone is unlocked."

Other

"I used the 4G Cellhire sim in Spain and the Canary Islands last month and it worked great. Works for all European countries."

"When I last did a multi country Europe trip (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Hungary). I used Hippocketwifi as they worked all across Europe with good prices. And for me it worked without a hitch. It’s a flat rate / unlimited data). Easy pick up at many locations across Europe and drop off at any mailbox when you’re done."

"Lebara worked well for us in Holland and Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain."

"Just got an Orange SIM in Spain. 40 Euros for 25G. Think I used about 3G. Totally worth it."

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Sweden

"I lived in Sweden and had a Telenor pay as you go SIM card."

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Switzerland

"Lebara worked well for us in Holland and Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain."

"I got a KeepGo for my birthday and we just tried it in France, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and it works great. You just prepay for data and use it as a mobile hotspot."

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Turkey

"Mobile wifi from @RentnConnect."

"There are 3 big companies , Turkcell, Vodafone , Turk Telecom. They have kiosks at the airport. Now, I don’t know the exact procedure for a foreigner to buy a SIM card but I’m sure it’s easy. I’d go for Turkcell. Prices Will be very similar with all companies. You can get 1000 minutes and text , 4-5 gb data for about 15-20$ CAD. it’s very inexpensive compared to Canada."

"We use Three Mobile everytime we go. Worked well in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece."

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Ukraine

"I have used a 'Life' SIM card before with no issues."

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United Kingdom

proven winners: Three UK, Vodafone, EE, Giffgaff

Three UK

"Get Three UK Prepaid before you leave from Amazon. And have a unlocked phone and roaming enabled. Works in all of UK and Europe."

"Three UK in the UK is a great option, as it works everywhere in Western Europe and is very reasonable."

"I lived there and used Three Mobile. £20 Go Roam pay as you go gives you 12GB data and unlimited calls texts. Works every country (except Canada) without any roaming charges. Highly recommend and they have good customer service if you need. Can get them at airport or any '3' kiosks"

"We also use Three UK for SIM cards while in Britain. They are also good in 70 countries throughout the world and have had great sucess using it all over."

"Three UK is a UK-based provider, but the EU mandates borderless telecom services. 12GB of data for less than 35 bucks, you can't beat that. Bonus is that you can order it before to avoid the stress of looking for a counter without your phone"

"We did England, France, and Italy as well. We used Three Mobile it was 30pounds for 10 gigs of data and a few thousand mins. Worked fine in all three countries. "

Vodafone

"When we went to Scotland, England and Norway last year, the SIM card we got in Scotland (Vodafone) for 5-10£ lasted the week in Scotland, a day in Southampton, and occasional use through a 12 day Norwegian cruise. I only had to top up again when we hit London after the cruise. Well worth it!"

"I used Vodafone in UK, Ireland & Netherlands. $30 for all that I needed. Got it on the spot."

"I used Vodafone in both Italy and UK....really cheap! About £10 for 30 days....just buy a £5 SIM card!"

"Vodafone worked well for us in UK, Ireland and Portugal."

EE

"Currently using the EE sim in the UK, £27 for 20gb. I’ve been from Durham way up north to Portsmouth in the south and have had excellent coverage at all times."

"Used EE in the UK in November and it activated for use in all EU countries. Since you are starting in the UK I would recommend them and 02. Loads of data plus text and calls throughout the EU."

"I always use EE, 10 pounds for a month, only 1Gb of data though but plenty of minutes for calls and unlimited texts. You will need to check with any sim if there are restrictions for calling Canada though."

"While in the U.K. we've tried Vodafone, EE and O2 and found EE the most dependable."

Giffgaff

"GiffGaff in UK is excellent. Great deals where you can buy a goodybag with various data packages. 2019 Network of the year. There's no contract, lots of flexibility and you can order a free SIM to be sent to your Canadian address in advance."

"I used giffgaff the whole time I lived in the UK and traveled with it tons - always happy with it! Super cheap data plans and easy to buy more whenever you need (dont have to wait for the month to end!)"

"Just got a GiffGaff SIM for our UK trip 30GBP ($45) for unlimited calling, and texts, and 3GB data for a month. Unsure how that works through rest of Europe though. They will mail them here and activate onlanding."

O2

"We bought O2 SIM card from SIM Corner for our trip to England and France....worked like a charm."

Orange

"I got Orange for $20£ good anywhere in UK/Europe 30GB for 30 days. Worked awesome."

Other

"I use a Tip Wireless hotspot. Connect up to 5 devices, and you can carry it around in your bag."

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East Asia (to be used in multiple countries)

"Ubigi is good especially if your phone supports esim."

"Pokefi! Check it out! With pokefi you just pay a flat amount for 5G an d then have two years to use it up. This way you can use free wifi whenever it’s available and use pokefi only when necessary."

"+1 for pokefi! I've used it all over the place. You can buy online or if you're flying Cathay you can buy it onboard."

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China

"Bought a Sim Easy (www.simeasy.com) China Sim card. 3gb data 50 minutes air time all over China. Shipped to home but give enough time for shipping. No setting required. Plug in n turn on phone when arrived in Shanghai. No issue."

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Hong Kong

"Buy a SIM card right at hong kong airport with China Moble cell network. Many options. 4 gb. 30 days. Reload at 7/eleven convenient stores."

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Japan

proven winners: Japan-Wireless (portable wi-fi hotspot),
B Mobile (sim card), eConnect Japan (portable wi-fi hotspot)

General advice:

"Just buy at biccamera or yodobashi there’s a wall of data sims."

"If you’re staying in an Airbnb a lot of them included a pocket wifi device!"

"I love the FlexiroamX app. I’m in Japan right now and got 10g for $15 and it’s worked great even on remote islands. I love not having new SIM cards in every country or having to deal with that first thing after long flights."

Japan-Wireless (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"We went with Japan-wireless.com. If I recall correctly it was cheaper because you did pickup/drop off at the postal office at the airport rather than a airport desk that offered this service (there were a few!)."

"I always go with the SIM card from Japan-wireless.com. Fast. Reliable. Best rate imho."

"Japan Wireless. At the time it was $10 a day unlimited data. We got the portable pocket wifi which allowed multiple phone devices to connect and the battery lasted the whole day out."

"I used Japan Wireless for my portable WiFi. They had great service."

B Mobile (sim card)

"I purchased a b mobile sim card that was approximately $40 cdn and it included 5gb data only for 21 days. The sim card can be purchased at the following stores in Japan: AEON, Yodabashi Camera and BIC Camera."

"IIJ (https://t.iijmio.jp/en/), So-Net (http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/en/), and B-Mobile Visitor (http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/) are your three best options"

"I bought a b-mobile visitor for 14 days and it was perfect. BIC Camera like others have mentioned."

"Get the b-mobile sim card."

eConnect Japan (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"eConnect Japan I used them in October for 3 weeks. Not one issue...so easy to use. Pocket Wifi was shipped to my hotel and waiting for me when I arrived."

"I used eConnect for Japan last time i went. Also very seamless. Came with an extra battery pack too!"

"I rented a pocket wifi from eConnect because my phone was not unlocked at the time. It was great."

Ivideo (portable wi-fi hotspot)

"I rented mine online from ivideo and they shipped it to my Tokyo hotel the day before I arrived there. Worked great."

"I used ivideo. The wifi was waiting for me at the hotel when we checked in and I just dropped it off in a prepaid envelope at a mailbox before leaving Japan."

Global Advanced Communications

"I've used Global Advanced Communications and it was really straight forward and easy. You can reserve a portable WiFi device online and pick it up at the airport."

"I rented a pocket wifi a few times from Global Advanced Communications and know they rent SIM cards and even phones as well. Haven't had any issues with them."

Other

"I have got a prepaid one from a vending machine and Docomo one from the counter before, and both worked great."

"When I was in Tokyo last year (travelling with a group), about half the group rented a portable wifi device while in-country. I picked up a global sim through Always Online Wireless. It was about the same price. The nice thing with AOW is that the sim card is usable in many different countries, and doesn't expire if you use it at least once every 12 months."

"Yeah I just got the iijmio from the airport. I had to restart my phone to log in the first time, but it's worked well for me since."

"We got ours from Japan Rail Pass - we picked up & dropped off at Haneda Airport and it cost roughly $100 CAD for 11 days of unlimited use."

"On our trip to Japan, we used Japan Wifi Buddy. Signing up was easy, the device can be pick up at the airport or have them deliver to your hotel / accommodations. We had no problems staying connected and returning the device was easy too!"

"Get a Pocket wifi, we used this company and it worked really well. https://www.japan-experience.com/rent-pocket-wifi-japan."

"I bought a SIM card online before I left and picked it up at Narita Airport. It was from Klook. They have different plans. I chose 8 days (I think 4 GB) and it cost around $40. I was in Tokyo and Kyoto and it worked well in both places."

"I used ninja wifi box when I was there a few weeks ago. Loved it and helped a great deal when I got lost."

"I use Softbank Global Rental. I have a business in Japan and have travelled from Hokkaido to Kyushu (including many rural areas) with excellent coverage and speed. Unlimited data for 970 yen per day; the battery easily lasts a full day of heavy usage."

"We rented one from Wifi-hire in Japan this past spring. We picked it up at an airport shop and returned it five or six days later. Pretty seamless.

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia

proven winners: Maxis

"Maxis is good in Malaysia, and I used AIS in Thailand. All easily available at airports, convenience stores, and carrier stores."

"If you’re in Malaysia Maxis Hotlink is great. I used only data as I used a VOIP app, FaceTime or WhatsApp calls."

"In Malaysia my preference is Digi (digi.com.my)...cheap data plan and good reception in most places. If flying into KLIA, buy the SIM card at the booths past immigration before luggage pickup. If you buy outside the airport, you can find it at any Digi store or 7-eleven. but outside the airport they may ask you to show your passport as ID, while they don't ask for any ID inside the airport."

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Philippines

"You can get a SIM card right at the airport!! I was with Globe when I was there."

"I used Globe when I was there."

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Singapore

proven winners: Singtel

"Singtel has great tourist sims, available at the airport."

"We bought sim cards from the airport from singtel. Their prices were amazing and we had access to data and calling."

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Thailand

"I used AIS in Thailand. Easily available at airports, convenience stores, and carrier stores.

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South America (to be used in multiple countries)

"I've had great experiences with 3 UK's international roaming sim cards. Amazon has them for like $50 for 12gb data for 30 days (or other combinations); which is definitely cheaper than using roam like home. The sim card comes with instructions on how to activate it ahead of time so that its ready for you to use when you get to your destination. I don't think it will work in Argentina or Bolivia (i dont see those destinations on their website) but will work in Brazil and Chile."

"TEP Wireless"

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Argentina

"Just a word of caution. In Argentina, as a foreigner, you can’t just buy a sim and pop it into your phone. Their networks are set up to require you to enter your national ID info in order to activate your phone. I actually couldn’t activate the sim. I got lucky and a local helped me by 'lending' me their info."

"Correct, you need to go into a local telecom and be prepared for a 15 minute process where they scan your ID and activate. Not customer friendly, but it is what it is."

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Brazil

"I've had great experiences with 3 UK's international roaming sim cards. Amazon has them for like $50 for 12gb data for 30 days (or other combinations); which is definitely cheaper than using roam like home. The sim card comes with instructions on how to activate it ahead of time so that its ready for you to use when you get to your destination. I don't think it will work in Argentina or Bolivia (i dont see those destinations on their website) but will work in Brazil and Chile."

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Chile

"I've had great experiences with 3 UK's international roaming sim cards. Amazon has them for like $50 for 12gb data for 30 days (or other combinations); which is definitely cheaper than using roam like home. The sim card comes with instructions on how to activate it ahead of time so that its ready for you to use when you get to your destination. I don't think it will work in Argentina or Bolivia (i dont see those destinations on their website) but will work in Brazil and Chile."

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Colombia

"I highly recommend visiting a Claro store, and buying a sim card for a prepaid data plan. This is so cheap, you can get like 4 GB of data for like 20 bucks, it includes WhatsApp and Facebook."

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Africa

Egypt

"I use my Skyroam in small out of the way villages and towns (Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, parts of Africa etc) without any trouble at all. For an approc $100 investment and paying only when you need it (when other wifi not available) I found it was cheaper than our international plans like Telus, especially considering several friends can share the daily use cost."

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The Middle East

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Jordan

"I use my Skyroam in small out of the way villages and towns (Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, parts of Africa etc) without any trouble at all. For an approc $100 investment and paying only when you need it (when other wifi not available) I found it was cheaper than our international plans like Telus, especially considering several friends can share the daily use cost."

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Australasia & Oceania

Australia

proven winners: Telstra

Telstra

"In Australia I went to Telstra store and got a SIM card for $10 for 22 GB for 30 days but there was a sale."

"We just bought a Telstra SIM card in Australia - really cheap, and it provides coverage in some more remote areas that other providers don't - so look at their coverage and your plans when you select which provider to go with!"

"We usually get a mobile SIM card from Telstra. Best coverage if you are going out of the cities."

"Telstra has the best coverage if you are out and about away from cities. Now that our phones here are unlocked grab a prepaid sim at a telstra shop I think my hubby got 30g of data for introductory deal of $8."

"We bought a SIM card with Telstra. They have better coverage than Optus. Just ensure your phone is unlocked."

Optus

"Go with Optus. $40 for unlimited talk and text and 10gb of data"

"Optus had very poor coverage in Western Australia."

"I'm currently using Optus, and I have never had any issues. I would not recommend Vodafone, as many of my friends have issues in the big cities. Telstra is the most expensive, but best coverage. Optus is second best, and coverage is pretty close, and cheaper."

"At the airport we got an Optus sim for $15 and the bonus we had was for a total of 10GB of data."

"If you fly into Sydney, there is at the airport booths that sell you SIM cards and more importantly get it activated. Optus has a great plan where its $3aday for unlimited everything."

Vodafone

"Go with Vodafone or Optus."

"Sydney airport in Australia has a Vodafone store in the lobby. You give them your passport for a second and they will even activate it for you. It’s $30 for 10gb and unlimited calls. Or at least it was last time"

Amaysim

"In Australia use an Amaysim Sim card. Great deals. Can pick up one at the Post Office or the grocery stores Woolworths or Coles. I pay $40 for 20GB of data unlimited talk an text and free international calls to 10 countries."

"Amaysim or Vaya are the cheap short term ones."

Other

"Aldi prepaid $15 at a time, lasts 365 days, data, calls and texts and uses Telstra or Optus network, forget which, but best coverage all over."

"Avoid the airport lineup and go to any location that sells Boost Mobile. It’s a on the Telstra network. https://boost.com.au/. Makes sure your phone is unlocked before you go."

"I just got back from Oz and got a 5$ SIM card from Kogan that had 16 gb of data and unlimited call and text."

"I use Lycamobile in Australia...cheap and I buy it here"

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New Zealand

"In New Zealand ... just go talk to Vodafone (can do at , also Vodafone has good deals in Aussi as well) ... if yr phone is unlocked you can get cheap SIM cards with way better “pay as you go” deals than in Canada"

"I’m currently in New Zealand. Getting a phone plan here is hella cheap. $29 pay-as-you-go with Spark. 2gb, 100min call, unlimited texting. Definitely recommend. Just make sure to get your phone unlocked before you come."

"In New Zealand, I went with Spark. I was with 2degrees, but coverage was spotty. Great plans, though. Both work well in the cities, 2degrees not so much in rural areas."

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The Cook Islands

proven winners: Bluesky (your only choice)

"We are here now (thanks YVR deals ;) )and purchased a SIM card for $50 NZD for 3GB, 100txt, 30 min of calls. One phone and you can tether off each other. If you stay at a place that offers bluesky WIFI you dont need a sim card, just pay your resort $50 and they give you login credentials you can use for 4gb of data only (when u run out, pay $50 again for another 4gb). Also multiple logins are possible, we have two phones and an ipad running off the same login at the same time. Unfortunately with the sim card it's a bit of highway robbery once you run out of data... u can pay $50 again but it's a 20cents per MB which is crazy so if you NEED a sim card, once u use it up, just buy another dont top up!"

"Are your phones unlocked? If so, you can grab a Bluesky sim card at the airport when you arrive"

"Some resorts will provide free internet chips (like 500mb per person per stay). Restaurants and cafes are your friend. You can get Bluesky pre-paid internet at the local post office and Bluesky kiosks around town as well but it's pretty bad service (they have been known to randomly deduct time even when you aren't using it) probably because they are the only option."

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Worldwide (to be used in any country)

"I’ve used KnowRoaming on multiple trips. It’s more expensive than a local sim, but cheaper than purchasing a plan from home. If you’re in the country for just a couple days, it usually doesn’t make sense to purchase a SIM card, or you can use it until you buy a SIM card (if your flight comes in late, stores might be closed). I’ve used it in Europe/States/ and Middle East and always been impressed. You can preload an amount of the app, and have it auto reload, or not."

"Gigsky is a really good world data SIM carrier and you can get the starter card for $10 or less. I would recommend using WhatsApp or Facebook for texting/calling home. There is no really good all in one world SIM but gigsky is really good if you can live without a phone number."

"I like World SIM, I have had it for about 5 years and top it up for whatever countries before I go. It's really simple and can be used all over the world with the one card."

"I love Skyroam. It works in many, but not all, countries worldwide. Buy the device, then pay by each 24 hr period needed. Preload your account with # of days, can add as you go. Check the website first before buying to make sure there is coverage in the countries you are travelling to. I've used mine worldwide. Only load my 24 hrs when I do not have hotel or other wifi options available. You do not need a SIM card unless making actual phone calls."

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Trip length Roam Like Home Local SIM Card
------------ -------------- --------------
1 day $10 $25
2 days $20 $25
3 days $30 $25
4 days $40 $25
7 days $70 $30
10 days $100 $30
15 days $150 $30
21 days $150-$200 $35
30 days $150-$300 $35



2019
15
October
Vancouver hotel promo - free $50 to $125 Visa gift card with each booking

Vancouver



Read more



2019
26
September
Disneyland California or Disneyworld Florida - 20% discount for Canadians

Disneyland California



Read more



2019
8
January
Vancouver hotel promo - 4* hotels starting at $65/night

Vancouver



Read more



2018
30
August
Disneyland California - 25% discount for Canadians | and 15% off Disney World Florida

Disneyland California



Read more



2018
12
June
Flair Air 'Kids fly free' sale for summer travel - is it as amazing as it sounds?







Read more



2018
10
June
What is the best way to exchange money or pay for things in a different currency?

What is the best way to exchange money or pay for things in a different currency?



Read more



2018
11
May
Flair Air is offering $2 base fares (real prices, about $70 one way)







Read more



2018
11
April
Canada to Lisbon, Portugal - $248 CAD roundtrip including taxes | error fares

Lisbon, Portugal

Read more



2018
20
February
WestJet Flash Sale - 50% off base fares to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Montego Bay, Jamaica

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Read more



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