International SIM card: Affordable way to make calls while travelling

Discover an affordable way to make calls anywhere in the world when you are travelling with the international prepaid SIM card. You can visit www.simoptions.com/ if you want to know more about prepaid SIM cards.

The challenge of calling when travelling

During my travels, I have regularly needed to make a call or simply want to talk to my family and friends. Over the years, the means of communication have evolved enormously. I remember my first trip to Southeast Asia in 2008. I had to find small businesses that provided people with a phone to make international calls. In addition to emails, it was the way to keep in touch with my family and friends. I also used prepaid calling cards for a long time where I had to find a public phone booth to be able to use them.

Time has passed and the means to communicate have multiplied. Nowadays, with the presence of WIFI all over the world, it is easy to use Skype, Messenger or Whatsapp. But these free or inexpensive ways of communicating have their limitations, the main one being that they require an Internet connection.

Today, almost everyone has a cell phone. Many possibilities, at very different costs, also exist to be able to use it when travelling. But, it is necessary to be vigilant to avoid unpleasant surprises. Last year, during a trip to central France, I used my Quebec phone line to talk to a French friend who was coming to join me. Since I was not in my geographical area and had not planned to take an additional travel package from my telephone company, I was surprised to receive an invoice for almost $200 more than my usual amount. This included my airtime charges, but also the famous roaming charges. Now I know I have to disconnect my cellular data when I’m travelling or take an additional travel package if I want to use my regular phone line. But this option is only good if you already have a package in the country.

At the beginning of the year, I spent 5 and half months in Central America, from Mexico to Nicaragua. As I no longer had a contract and my phone is now unlocked, I used local SIM cards from the countries I visited. I found this option rather convenient in order to have access to the Internet at all times and to be able to make and receive local calls, and this, for a ridiculously low rate. But to make international calls, it wasn’t ideal and since I had to change my SIM card for each country I visited, I had no fixed number to give people.

To overcome all these limitations, there are international SIM cards that not only provide access to a telephone line and the Internet at all times, but is also affordable.

The international SIM card

An international SIM card is a card that can be used anywhere in the world and allows the user to make phone calls, send text messages and use the Internet from their cell phone.

Why use an international SIM card?

It is all a question of needs that are related to each traveller. But here are some reasons why it is interesting to use an international SIM card:

  • Have a phone with you at all times to manage the daily routine of your trip: make a reservation for accommodation, call a taxi, contact someone you have booked an appointment with and can’t find in the crowd, let someone know you’ll be late because the train is out of order, have access to a GPS to help you find your way around the road, research museum visiting hours, receive and send important emails at all times without having to look for a WIFI connection, etc. In short, it is convenient to have access to a telephone line and an Internet connection at all times;
  • Do not depend on a good WIFI connection to call via Skype or Messenger or surf online. Connections are not good everywhere;
  • Have a landline phone number. We therefore avoid having to give it back to everyone as soon as we change countries and have to buy a new local SIM card;
  • Avoid wasting time searching and going to telephone company branches in the countries you visit to buy a card, change or reload it, etc.;
  • Being able to receive calls from loved ones at any time can be reassuring if there is an emergency;
  • It becomes a good alternative to travel packages from telephone companies when you no longer have a telephone line in your home country.

A good thing the international SIM card

As you have seen, the international SIM card remains a very interesting option that is relevant to consider in several cases. However, if you have a telephone line in your country and you are already paying a monthly fee, check with them about the cost of their travel packages. For example, with my company Telus, I realized that the travel package was advantageous for text messages and Internet use, but not very advantageous for calls. In my case, if my objective was mainly to make calls, the international Explod SIM card would allow me to save a lot of money.

On the other hand, if you no longer have a telephone plan in your country and you need to make or receive calls and use the Internet a little bit if necessary, taking an international SIM card makes sense. It will allow you to be reachable at all times and to have access to a telephone line and an Internet connection if necessary. I think it is important first to assess your initial needs and find out what is best for you. Each situation is different and you are in the best position to know what you will need. The international SIM card is an interesting option available and I am sure it will delight many of you.

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