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Thread: International data solution?

  1. #1
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    International data solution?

    Hello! Looking for suggestions from the intrepid travelers here on the TB boards... What do you do for portable data access? (I'm thinking frequent business travelers might have some key insights here, or perhaps students...) We are planning a trip to Turkey and Italy this summer. We'll be moving every 4-5 days, and will have rental houses for some but not all of our trip. We'd like to check e-mail periodically, and perhaps upload backups of pictures - this part is optional. But more importantly, my husband may need periodic online access for work - uploading/downloading documents, possibly face-to-face video time, though more likely he would just call clients...

    Any suggestions for a reliable mode of access across different countries? We were considering buying a phone (maybe something like this? - we could ask the relatives we are meeting up with to buy one for us), and then I guess adding some kind of MiFii to it, but I don't know what a data plan would cost. Since we don't know whether DH will definitely need access, I'm hoping for something with a minimal upfront cost, and pay-as-you-go time thereafter. But, I don't know what is out there, nor even what to begin Googling. Thanks for any suggestions!

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    Have you checked to see if your rental houses have wifi?

    The T-mobile plan is no contract, unlimited data overseas but it's only 2G. That means it's vvvveeeerrrryyyyy sssssllllllooooooowwwww.

    This might help: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...l-phone-europe
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  3. #3
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    I got my iPhone unlocked by Sprint before I left for Italy, and bought an Italian SIM once I got there. Italian 3G was better than Sprint LTE at home! I used TIM. I was able to roam with it through Europe, too.

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    Yes, one of the houses has WiFi, but we won't know ahead of time when DH will need access, and issues are usually time-sensitive, so we are hoping to find a good mobile link option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    Have you checked to see if your rental houses have wifi?

    The T-mobile plan is no contract, unlimited data overseas but it's only 2G. That means it's vvvveeeerrrryyyyy sssssllllllooooooowwwww.

    This might help: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...l-phone-europe
    THank you for the RS link, I will look into that!!

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    Thank you, I will inquire about getting ours unlocked! What is TIM? DH will need to connect using his computer, so we'll need to do some kind of hotspot if we go the unlocked-phone route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    I got my iPhone unlocked by Sprint before I left for Italy, and bought an Italian SIM once I got there. Italian 3G was better than Sprint LTE at home! I used TIM. I was able to roam with it through Europe, too.

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    On this year's trip to India (I go yearly with a non-profit), I ordered Verizon's Global Data Plan, so for $25 I got 100MB of data (at 3G or slower rates, granted). Since I was the primary blogger for the team, I passed the 100MB limit a few times, but that's only a $25 increment each time: without the plan, I believe it is $20.48/MB (emphasis there to catch your attention and warn you). After I got home, I turned the Global Data Plan off via their website.

    Now, realize that that is Verizon's rate for India: they cover a hundred countries or so, but not Dubai, UAE, where we had a short layover on the way out and a long layover on the way home. On the first layover, I took my phone out of airplane mode, and blew about $50 in two or three minutes synching my email. Don't do this.

    Phone and text messaging in India, even on the plan, were still way more expensive than in the US, but our team goes to back-of-beyond places, and we need to stay in touch, sometimes. Part of our team got scammed in a railway station, and I was able to get the phone-number of our regular tour guide to help them out and text it to my friend leading the other part of our group. (Under our tour guide's direction, he reported the incident to a policeman, and cancelled the credit card transactions he'd made under pressure, so it cost only time, not several hundred dollars.) Without a link to the web and phone/text access, we'd have lost a lot in that case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Yes, one of the houses has WiFi, but we won't know ahead of time when DH will need access, and issues are usually time-sensitive, so we are hoping to find a good mobile link option.


    THank you for the RS link, I will look into that!!
    Throughout Europe there are plenty of WiFi hot spots. cafes, Starbucks and the like. You can always use those.


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