This day and age, people are glued to their phones. Whether it’s texting via WhatsApp, uploading Instagram pics, checking Facebook or emails, having internet access everywhere is basically a must. If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you might be wondering how you’re going to stay connected abroad.
First, you should know that WiFi is commonly available all across Europe. There is free WiFi access at all the hostels (although sometimes they do charge a small fee), in almost all cafes and restaurants, and even on some trains and buses. However, if you prefer to have internet access at all times, and not have to rely on the sometimes poor hostel WiFi, then you might want to consider getting a European SIM card.
You do have the option of a getting a SIM card in each country you arrive in. However, if you are planning on traveling fast-paced and visiting many European countries, then it will make more sense to buy one SIM card that will cover the majority of Europe.
What is DataRoam?
DataRoam is a U.K. based company that offers various Pay-As-You-Go Data SIM Cards. One of the SIM cards they offer is a 1GB European SIM card that has coverage is 33 European countries.
European countries (33)
What is included?
The SIM card comes with 1GB of data, and you easily have the option of adding another 1GB of data or more to the plan. It is Pay-As-You-Go, so you won’t occur additional charges. If you want to add more data, you can log onto your account online and purchase more data for you existing SIM card.
With heavy internet usage (including using ‘Maps’ a lot when lost, and uploading a lot of pictures on Facebook and Instagram) 1GB of data lasted me about 2 1/2 weeks while traveling through Europe. With careful usage, you can easily make it last a month. I recommend turning your phone on airplane mode whenever you aren’t using it to conserve the data. Also, switch the settings on some of your apps to only allow usage when connected to WiFi.
What is the cost?
The 1GB European SIM card costs £49.99 ($78 USD) plus shipping.
Shipping cost and expected delivery:
UK Delivery Costs
- £0.99 – First Class Delivery
- £7.99 – Special Delivery (Next Day; Mon-Thurs)
Expected Delivery Times for the UK
- First Class Delivery – (1-3 working days)
- Next Day Delivery – (24hrs Mon-Thurs, orders placed before 1pm)
International Delivery Costs
- £3.99 – Standard International Delivery (Untraceable)
- £9.99 – Express International Delivery (Traceable to point of passing to local postal service)
Expected International Delivery Times
- Standard International Delivery – (7-15 working days).
- Express International Delivery – (5-7 working days).
Setting up DataRoam:
Setting up DataRoam is really simple. After my SIM card arrived, I put it into my unlocked iPhone 6 and followed the directions to change a couple settings on the phone. Within minutes it was working!
Is it worth it?
Yes, it’s pricy. Using Wifi would be a much cheaper option, and WiFi is pretty readily available. If you’re able to get by on WiFi, I highly recommend it since you’ll save quite a bit of money. However, if you would prefer to always have good internet connection anywhere you are in Europe, DataRoam is the way to go. Before I used DataRoam, I was racking up enormous internet fees using Verizon’s international plan. For me, it was worth it to switch.
You can learn about DataRoam’s European SIM card by checking out their website.
What about you? Can you get by with just WiFi, or would you rather have a European SIM card?