This is a question we are often asked. How do you get 4G/5G internet while travelling? What phone plan / mobile and data offer do you use abroad? Do you have a good plan to call and stay connected from abroad?
We are in the 21st century and the question is legitimate, who is not at least connected? When we leave travelling, being reachable may be necessary and all the more so to reach someone in the event of small glitches on the road (hello, travel insurance), to hear from the family or to post photos of the trip on their favorite network. So many reasons, which make these essential questions before a short stay or one long trip.
This is the first thing to do because, yes, you probably already have a package and a number in France (or Belgium, or Switzerland for our neighbours) and some operators offer as a basis in their offers a more or less interesting coverage abroad and depending on the country.
For several years now, whether you are in France or in Europe it does not change anything for calls / SMS, operators were forced to offer the same service by roaming all over Europe, a good thing. But for data and for travel outside the zone, it is more complicated. You often have to go read the small lines.
Each package with each operator therefore has a international offer… or not… (before you leave, remember to activate the option on your online account if you haven't already). On their websites, you can find all the information as well as the fee schedules.
For our part, we were already subscribed to Free Before leaving. And luckily, it's the French operator the most generous in terms of roaming abroad with 25GB of data in most countries and even unlimited calls/texts in some. From the United States for example, we can therefore call France without limitation as well as numbers on site, practical!
With our two packages at €19.99/month 25GB of data each, so we end up with 50GB per month. Which is pretty good for everyday use. By using WiFi whenever possible, we sometimes even manage to save enough data to upload a YouTube video or two.
On site, depending on the agreement between the French operator and the local operator, the network may therefore vary. Free uses for example AT&T in the USA and Mexico. If in the first the coverage is generally very good, in the second, you should only expect to have antennas around cities of a certain size. It's hard to predict in advance, so it's better find out about coverage on site depending on where you are going...
Practical info: for long-distance travel, Free is the only French operator not to limit its offer after "too much time" spent abroad.
This second option is taken once there in the country you are visiting. Mobile telephony and internet are present in all countries in the world. It is therefore possible to find a dealer when arriving on site andbuy a prepaid sim card for a given time. No need therefore to have an address on site and to take out a subscription. It is without engagement and once the Sim card is in your pocket, you can easily recharge from your phone or from a retailer on the way.
Prices vary wildly, of course. depending on the country, this can range from simple to triple for a similar offer. In Mexico for example, with the operator cel, it takes about 25€ for 8GB of data to be used within 30 days. In the USA, it is rather double although the trend is down with new offers appearing regularly.
Compared to France, the offers are generally more expensive. Indeed we are one of the countries where the prices of mobile telephony are the lowest.
The advantage is that you can choose your operator according to local coverage. To return to the example of Mexico, taking a Sim Telcel card, we then have much greater coverage only with AT&T!
Practical info: having a phone with two sim card slots can be really useful to keep access to your French number or use another dedicated phone (you know your old phone lying around in the bottom of a drawer) Also remember to bring a Sim card adapter !
Last option, subscribe to an international data plan, and from anywhere! Yes it's possible thanks to the eSim. Little developed by operators in France, this technology makes it possible to completely dispense with a physical Sim card and therefore to be able to take out a subscription directly from your phone compatible (if it is not, don't panic, you can receive a normal Sim card too). Before leaving or once there, it doesn't really matter... Holafly offers its services for practically all countries in the world.
Just surrender on the website to view the offers and subscribe. We can do it in advance by entering the travel dates or once there, it's almost immediate (as long as you have internet access to put the eSim into service: airport, hotel, café, etc.).
In some countries, data is unlimited for a certain number of days (your choice). For example in Mexico again, it goes from 19€ for 5 days to 99€ for 90 days. In other countries such as Central America, the offer is fixed at 47€ for 6GB of data and 15 days of use. In short, just look at the country of destination in the list, to see the available offers. On the other hand be careful, no sharing connection possible with unlimited offers. This will only work on the phone where the eSim is installed.
The advantage ofHolafly apart from what we have just seen, it is that the network goes through several operators (depending on the country) and uses the one who captures the best depending on where you are. A little less risk of having made the wrong choice of local operator therefore, even if it always depends a little on the region where you are...
Another advantage, we keep our French sim card in his phone. Most newer phones have the option Dual Sim/eSim. This allows to always stay reachable on his number but to use the eSim for internet (and calls via WhatApp, Skype, etc.). Basically after setting the parameters, the phone handles everything on its own. No risk of ending up with an exorbitant roaming bill!
Depending on the destination and the time spent abroad, the offers are more or less economical compared to what is found locally. For those who don't have a lot of travel time, this avoids wasting any. Also ideal for a world Tour, Where the offer makes sense.
-5% reduction at the house of Holafly with code “5WINDOWS”
Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. it's up to you to find what suits you best and compare the offers. Holafly is a really interesting alternative not to be neglected, especially for the ease it provides and its advantageous rates in some countries. For having tested an offer in the USA, we were surprised to have networks where Free (AT&T) did not pick up. The speed can sometimes seem a little limited for heavy users but more than enough for ordinary mortals. It's just a shame that connection sharing with another phone, tablet or computer is not possible with unlimited offers, which at the same time is understandable...
We also tested the After-sales service (in French) who goes through whatsapp and who is very responsive. It is a good point when you don't speak the language of the country visited!