Heading abroad this year? Get a local SIM.. again

I think it’s fair to say that, if you can afford it, you’ll have a bit more confidence travelling to the USA for your holiday this year. With a Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit or No Brexit still being discussed, there’s a huge amount of confusion over whether flights will be disrupted, so if you’re lucky enough to have enough cash, you can head to America for your holiday instead.

Florida is usually a top destination for travellers, but likewise you might be heading to New York or Las Vegas. It costs a lot to get there, it costs a lot to stay there and, unless you’re careful or you’re on the right network, it’ll cost a lot to call home too.


However, even if you’re heading to Europe this summer, if Britain does leave the EU, you’ll find that it’s expensive to call home again – just like the “old days”. That EU roaming we’ve recently enjoyed will be going in the bin, so it’s time to get a SIM card from the country you’re heading to all over again. This usually means heading to eBay before you go. You’ll also need to ensure there’s sufficient “top up” on the card and that your phone is SIM-free so that you can use a different provider.

We’re still a little unsure as to what’s happening with the EU deal / no deal plans, so here’s a look at some of the options if you’re travelling to the USA…

1. Virgin Mobile

There’s no ties and you can get 5GB of 4G data for just $35 over the month. Virgin also offer unlimited talk and text and there’s no annual contracts.

2. The Ting Network

If data is not your top requirement, then Ting offer a small no data plan. This has 100 minutes of talk time plus 100 text messages. It’ll cost $12 per month.

Again, there’s no big contracts here (which is a good thing) and you only pay for what you use. This means that you will only be charged a $6 base fee if no calls or texts are made from your mobile phone.

This is great if you simply want to receive calls while you’re abroad, as you won’t be paying that additional cost for receiving a call on your UK SIM while you’re in the USA. However, if your call goes through to your voice mail, this is considered a charged call, and you will incur additional costs.

3. Tello Wireless Network

If you want unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data on a 4G LTE network, Tello offers a great deal for $14. Again, there’s no contract and they offer flexible plans which start from $5.

If you don’t want to take your own smartphone, you can also get a really basic one from the network for $25.

4. Mint Mobile

Choose 3GB, 8GB or 12GB of 4G data per month. Mint has prepaid deals which are ideal if you’re stopping a little longer. You can go and get yourself a $15 package with 3GB of 4G data on a 3 month plan.

5. AT&T Network

There are plenty of AT&T SIM cards on eBay so you can pick one up before you leave. Whack some credit on ahead of time or pop into one of the many AT&T stores out there to add funds. It’ll cost so much less than your normal UK mobile.

6. Twigby Wireless Network

Ideal if you don’t want to be disturbed by work emails – they have a selection of offers if you don’t really need any data. Check out Twigby no data plans for that or, if you do have a smartphone and want to have a small amount of data for getting around with Google Maps, data packages start from $2.25 for 200MB. You can get 500 minutes talk time, unlimited texts and 1GB of 4G LTE data for $12.75. Oh, and you get free international texting too.

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