Inexpensive cell phone plans and travel

 History:     My well loved and well used old I-phone 4s was having issues of of old age (I tend to keep a phone until it dies,  if it works, I'm good),  when I went into the phone company and asked what phones were free since I had not gotten a new phone in ages they said I had to pay full price for a new phone and pay activation fee!   I gave them my thoughts on the matter as a customer of over 10 years and changed my cell phone service.

 

My new phone is with Cricket,  free LG  Android phone,  free activation,  no contract and only $ 30.00 a month including taxes.   It uses AT&T towers and has great reception.    

 

I have been happy as can be for months until I asked them about using the phone when I will be in Europe in a couple weeks.   The phone will not and can not work in Europe even though it is part of AT&T.  I asked if it can text over wi-fi and was told no....it will be useless.  Now from the USA I can get a plan to call almost anywhere in the world but can only make and get calls from inside the USA, (Canada and Mexico if I upgrade my plan).

 

Moral of story:    If you do a lot of traveling check with a new carrier before you switch.  In Europe I will have to rely on E-mail or buy a burner when I land to use for the week.

9 Answers

They've got you coming and going on cell service Angry

I know what you mean about keeping a phone till it dies.  DH & DD want a new phone every two years when they are upgrade (upsell) eligible.  They would prefer a new phone every six months or so, but that ain't happening on my watch LOL. For me, I would keep the same phone forever if I could. 

My understanding is that burners are not that expensive in Europe so that may be a reasonable option. I also keep my phones till they either die or must be replaced. I hate having to get used to a new one and going through setting and configuring all the features that I do not want to use. I suspect that the issue is not so much the carrier that you use and is more that in EU the phones operate on a different band than in NA and not all phones are built for both.Sort of like the electrical plug over there having a shape and voltage incompatibility with our stuff.

I am still using a "flip phone" and the same carrier I started with back in the late 90's.  Let us know how the "burner" phone works out, please.

I've been told burners for the Bahamas or the Caribbean are the way to go if you need to communicate in the area. Prepay and keep them in a drawer until next cruise.

 

I'm really happy with my iPhone 6 but an thinking of upgrading to the 7 Plus because of the camera. The upgrade is very low priced because my contract is up and our cell provider has offered a great price. Our provider has travel plans available for anywhere we would want to visit in the world.

oh that completely sucks & obv at the time you purchased the phone you wouldn't have thought about more than your day to day needs. Sounds like burner is the way to go esp if inexpensive.

I am in Canada & my provider has a great roaming package that I will get before we sail in Dec. Its 100mb/day, refreshes at midnight & it is $5/day in US & $10/international but only if I use it. If we don't use it then we won't be charged. I fully expect to use it before we sail & while in port, I have family who will be expecting updates/pics at least once a day of my kids & that is completely fine. My husband's cell is through work & we checked to see what their phone provider offers & the pricing is the same except the data usage comes off his current package whereas mine is an extra. We won't be using his phone anyways, it will be locked in the safe since it is his work phone but still has to go with us as it is his only cell phone.

RGJoyce, most ports have wifi available so save your data plan and hook into the port wifi. 

That’s what we do too if we want to touch base with family or send photos.

I guess that I amone of the  the only holdout with a flip-top phone.  Texting is cheaper, don't forget./

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