Any good suggestions for telecom if my wife and I travel to the UK next year?
We’re both using US Virgin Mobile accounts… Which in the US is a subsidiary of Sprint and totally unrelated to the Virgin Mobile everywhere else despite similar branding and such. They seem to be, frankly, completely useless and changing from them is not out of the questions. Still, we’re about about $35 per month per phone, which is dirt cheap.
One thought was to just unlock our phones (both are well over the 12 month thing Virgin seems to use as a ‘security guideline’ to manage unlocks; I’m using an older iPhone SE, wife is an Android that’s not exactly new) and get local SIM cards before or when we arrive. Then change back to the ‘proper’ sims on the way home. This would mean we’d have different numbers while we’re there, but all we really want is to be able to call each other, access web/navigation, and social media and such.
Another thought was to pick up cheap-o burner phones when we arrive and do the same… But we’d still need to carry our ‘real’ phones for cameras and such. And find wifi for uploads and such.
The Trip is several months off (we haven’t booked anything yet!) and a max of around 2 weeks
Other things I have considered:
- T-Mobile’s “Magenta” plan covers international usage to many countries. It definitely includes text & data, not sure how voice is billed. It’s a bit pricey for such limited use. (T-Mobile and Sprint, who owns VM, are merging maybe one day) If I knew I was traveling international more, perhaps. I’m not sure if it’s feasible to ‘upgrade’ for a couple months then revert to a cheaper plan.
- I briefly considered upgrading my iPad Mini I travel with to a cell-capable model. It’s due for an upgrade anyway. However, it’d be a big price jump so probably not a good use. Also wouldn’t work well for phone calls.
- The ‘who to buy a sim from’ is a possibly follow-up. “Giffgaff” has been recommended as they cater to tourists and such: They apparently are used to (for example) taking US credit cards so we can have SIM cards quickly if needed.
- I have Personal Issues with Verizon and AT&T, but may have to put those aside.
Any thoughts are appreciated!