I traveled 152,033 miles in the air last year, and I'm on my way to surpass those numbers this year.
I travel all around the globe. It's important to stay connected when I'm on the road. I always use my devices when I post on social media.
It's not the most convenient to rely on wi-fi abroad. To stay connected, I make sure that my phone connects to a local cellular network when I'm not at home.
There are more than one way to connect your phone abroad. You can purchase a local sim card or subscribe to a package from a worldwide service provider.
The major U.S. wireless carriers have made it easier to roam with domestic plans. You don't have to pay pay-per-use fees to use international networks with a $10-a-day pass. International access is included in some T-Mobile plans at no extra cost.
If you're an occasional traveler, these passes are a great option. $10 a day isn't cheap if you're spending a lot of time outside of the US.
I mentioned in my review that when I am on the road I usually buy a local sim card or connect to a cheaper international data plan. I don't have to pay the daily TravelPass charge for staying connected to my primary U.S. carrier.
I'm going to explain how that's done after receiving a lot of reader questions.
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If you want to take advantage of cheaper international data and stay connected to your primary U.S. carrier, you need to make sure that your phone supports dual sim.
Sim cards are small chips that connect your phone number to your cellular provider's network. You can use two phone numbers at the same time.
The first models to support dual sim were the iPhone XS and XR. It's important to check the technical specifications of your specific device if you're interested in this feature.
Your primary domestic network should be activated on your phone. It will happen after you purchase your phone.
Since the launch of the 14 Pro Max, I've been using it. The new standard for embedded sim is called eSIM and it is supported by the iPhone 14 lineup. There are two active eSIMs in the phone at one time.
The full list of major U.S. carriers, along with over 400 global wireless providers, can be found on Apple's dedicated page.
Your first sim card will be on your device once your primary domestic network is activated. You'll be able to make and receive calls, send texts and use data with your primary U.S. number.
If you wanted to roam with your device, you'd have to pay a $10-a-day fee with either of the two carriers.
If you want to save money, you can either subscribe to a package from a worldwide service provider or install a local sim card.
If you want to avoid the daily $10 charge from AT&T, you need to find a cheaper option that works in your destination.
For me, that has always been the case, with the exception of T-Mobile's network. International access is included in some of the plans. Data access abroad costs $10 per gigabyte and calls cost 20 cents per minute.
It takes very little work after the initial setup for the service to work in over 200 countries. Depending on your travel schedule, you can pause and resume your plan at any time.
It's a great option for those with the latest models of the iPhone to use a physical sim and e sim.
Taking a look at worldwide service providers that only offer data-only sims for international travel is another option. Many of these providers offer mobile apps on the Apple App and GOOGLE PLAY stores, and the activation process is usually as simple as tapping through a few screens and installing an eSIM on your device.
Apple compiles a list of providers that support the eSIM standard, and I have had success with some of them. The rates and packages available with these worldwide service providers can be found on the internet.
I paid $12.99 for 3 gigabytes of high-speed data in Israel this week through GigSky, and it was the lowest price I've ever paid for high-speed data. It would have cost $60 with the company and $30 with the one they use.
You can find a local cellular provider in your destination that offers pre-paid sim cards. Depending on where you're going and if there's a language barrier, this is often the cheapest option.
It's time to switch to an international data provider that's cheaper than your primary network.
The first thing you need to do when you're abroad is make sure both of your sim cards are connected. There are two rows of network status bars in the top right-hand corner of the display on the phone.
When you click through to the cellular tab, you'll get the details of your individual sim cards. It's important to make sure that your international provider is listed as "on."
Changing the primary cellular data line to your international provider will turn off cellular data switch.
If you tell your phone to only use data from your international provider, you will not be charged for internet access in the U.S.
You can turn off data roaming on your primary line if you don't want to pay for data from your U.S. provider.
It's possible to change your voice line to your international network.
Outbound calls, texts and data will be routed through your international provider, but you will still be connected to both your international and domestic phone numbers.
You'll still be connected to your domestic phone number even though you're on dual sim. You won't be charged a $10-a-day pass if you don't answer the phone or text.
It's free to receive calls and texts with both carriers, even if you're in a different area. If you don't respond to calls or texts, you won't be charged any fees with your US carrier.
Sometimes you need to respond to an urgent call. To make sure you don't initiate a $10 international package, be sure to ignore the call and then return it using the internet access provided by your international provider.
If you can't use the internet to place the call, then you can use the internet to make the call. You can confirm that you're connected to the internet by looking at the network bar.
Most domestic unlimited plans include wi-fi calls to U.S. numbers. You should check the details of your package.
It's the same with dual-sim phones and other devices. I don't have a lot of experience with these devices, but the steps outlined above should suffice.
If you want to save on international roaming charges and stay connected to your domestic provider, you'll definitely want to buy a dual-sim phone.
You can get two phone numbers at the same time. The first should be your main U.S. provider, and the second should be a cheaper option.
You should set the international number as your primary phone number once you've activated both lines. If you don't answer the calls or texts, you won't be charged the $10 a day fee.
If you want to save money when you return your calls and texts, you should use the internet instead.