The Best International Phone Plan for Travel
One of My Best kept secrets to staying in touch while traveling the world is My phone network Provider. I do believe I have the Best International Phone plan and I am happy to share it with you. I always see questions in my post about what sim cards I recommend for certain countries. when I reach new countries. For the most part, I do not buy local Sim Cards to use while Traveling. However, there are some countries where it is unavoidable. I will tell you more about my experiences Below. Let me introduce you to Google Fi Wireless. What makes this Blog post different than the rest of the information out there is I’m actually a real-world user. I have used and still use This plan on a daily basis. So let’s get into my experience and address some of the questions that you may have.
Google Fi Wireless is the Best Phone plan for International Travel
- Google fi Wireless price for One phone line is $65+ tax and Fees with the UNLIMITED PLUS PLAN
The Price Alone is a reason to Be happy for me. When I was using Verizon my Bill was Coming out to over $120 a month. Now with tax and device Insurance, I’m paying around $87 a month.
- Unlimited Calls, Text, Data
While in the USA Calls to Mexico, Canada, and anywhere else in the USA The calls are Free. No additional payment for minutes like long-distance Calling etc.
- Unlimited Hotspot Tethering
When I want to, I am able to turn my phone into a Hotspot device. This can come in handy if I wanted to make a Live walking video. I can stream from my GoPro using my device as a hotspot. It also comes in handy if there is something I need to do on my computer while I’m on a long trip riding a passenger. I can just turn on the hotspot button to get internet to the computer.
- Free 100GB of Cloud storage
Even Though they give you 100GB of cloud storage for free, I went ahead and signed up for the 2 TB cloud storage. You can sign up for another 100GB at the time of this blog post for $ 1 or $2 dollars extra a month. I think the 2TB is an extra $7.99.
- Data, Calls, and Text when inside The USA, Canada, and Mexico.
While you are in any of the 3 countries there is no additional cost for phone calls. You can be in Canada and Mexico and call back to any of the 3 for Free. The same goes for any of the 3 countries.
- Data Outside the USA is Free in over 100 Countries
In every country I have been to so far besides Cuba and Ethiopia my phone has had free data from the minute my plane landed. Cuba and Ethiopia don’t allow outside Cellphone service to work.
- Free Wifi Calling to USA numbers, Canada and Mexico.
While I was In Ethiopia I needed to call home daily. The problem is I would have been charged a hefty fee because I was needing to use an Ethiopian Data card. So what I did was put back in my Google Fi Sim Card put my cellphone in airplane mode and turn on the Wifi and now I have Unlimited Free Wifi calling to the USA, Mexico, and Canada.
- Built-in VPN and Spam Blocking
When you are at the airport or connected to Wifi that does not belong to you, you can turn on the built-in VPN with a click of a button. Then you will see a lock display on the top of your phone letting you know that your connection is now secure. This can help stop hackers from getting ahold of your sensitive information.
The Built-in Spam Blocking does a great job detecting spam calls and my phone will never even Ring. If A spam caller did somehow get through then when the call ends I can click the spam button and mark them for future calls.
- No contracts or Activation Fees
What’s great about Google Fi is there are no contract fees. When I had Verizon I would use Google Fi as my overseas sim card. Then When I came back I would put my service on hold until I went on another Trip. That is when I got smart and decided to get rid of Verizon altogether and just use Google Fi Wireless every day.
- E-Sim Card and/or a Physical Sim card
You can use both an E-Sim Card and 1 Physical Sim card at the same time. This makes it great for someone with a business phone that wants to be able to carry around just one phone to make and receive calls from both Cellphone lines.
Save Money with Google Fi Wireless
When you sign up for Google fi Wireless use the code number below to receive a free $ 20 USD credit. There is a limit on how many times it can be used so act fast.
Google fi $20 Referral Code: D37NA1
Here’s a referral code to get a $20 credit when you join Google Fi Wireless! Redeem it at https://g.co/fi/r/D37NA1
My Real-Life Experience with Google Fi Wireless Phone Service Abroad
I’ve been traveling internationally for a long time now. Now more than ever since I have this Travel Blog and Youtube Channel. Years ago I was buying sim cards in other countries when I arrived. After I came back to the USA I went back with Verizon and they would charge me $10 a day for a travel pass outside the country. They would also cap the data at 0.50GB. That means I could not even watch a youtube video without it taking all my data for the day. Using Verizon outside the country was a horrible Idea. Right away I started looking for the Best Sim Card for international travel.
That is when I came across Google Fi, Now known as Google Fi Wireless. I already had a phone so they just sent me a sim card in the mail. It had all the features I wanted and worked as advertised. There have only been a few countries where my phone did not work. One of them is Cuba. I don’t think there is any phone service that will work in Cuba. I had to purchase Wi-Fi cards there to use the internet. Also while I was in Ethiopia my phone did not work. I had to buy an Ethiopian sim card to get data there. I was able to use the Google Fi Free Wi-Fi calling feature when I needed to make a phone call back to the USA. Also, one time while I was in the Dominican Republic it did not work. From what I read they were going through some type of agreement but I believe it is back working there now.
Warning, I have heard about people that live outside the USA trying to use Google Fi and their service getting cut off. I’m not sure what exactly caused their service to be stopped but I heard if you stay excessive amounts of time away from the USA then it can happen to you. I personally went down and stayed in Rio De Janeiro Brazil for 2 months and never had any issues with my phone at all.
I Recommend Google Fi Wireless for traveling internationally
I recommend Google Fi because it does everything as advertised. It’s not that expensive. As a matter of fact it actually just went down in price and they now give us more high-speed data that only slows down at 50GB. Which is almost impossible to go over unless you are streaming all day every day. I like it so much that I got rid of Verizon and use Google Fi Wireless as my Everyday phone service even while in the USA.
Google Fi has The Same Coverage as T Mobile and US Cellular
One thing that most people don’t know is that you have the same coverage as US Cellular and T Mobile. Another cool feature is that it will switch you to whichever has the strongest signal. That also includes Wifi, If your Wifi signal is stronger than the Cellular signal then you will be on wifi Calling.
The Best International Phone Plan for the Military
Since you risk being deployed out of the country, Military personal will want something that will work outside the country without costing them an arm and a leg to pay the bill. Google fi wireless has Unlimited Highspeed Data at 50GB untethered. After 50 Gb then They will slow your speed down until the next billing cycle.
Google Fi Wireless has free Calling and texting to and From Canada and Mexico
Besides Google Fi, there are no other USA carriers that do this. Why I need to note that Google Fi does charge you roaming fees if you are not making a Wifi Call. It’s important to be connected to Wifi so you don’t get charged extra. This alone puts it over T Mobile, Verizon, and At&t. At&T has free calling to and from Mexico but charges you $10 dollars a day if you decide you want to look at Instagram or Facebook. You will also need to pay a roaming charge if you are in Mexico and calling home. I think it’s important that your phone should work anywhere that permits it. Especially if you are someone that Travels for Business and pleasure.
Also, Recently I went and purchased the Samsung S23 Ultra and one of the cool things is that they say the phone is made for Fi, Which means that my phone gets to switch to whichever network is providing the best coverage from my understanding. While I’m talking about the Samsung s23 ultra let me mention it is the best phone I have ever had in my life lol. You can check out the specs below on Amazon if you don’t already know. I have both a link for the phone and the case I have for it.
T Mobile has Free Wifi onboard some Airplanes
Now I think this is definitely something to consider when you are looking for an international Cellphone plan. T Mobile gives you an Hr of free data when you are up in the air. I think that’s pretty cool but It would definitely be nice if it were more than 1 hour. On some flights, I have received free Wifi and on others, I got free wifi for watching a video Add. So I hope to see T mobile give us real travelers that are on airplanes for 16hrs flight time a more usable wifi experience.
Does your Phone Need to be Unlocked for International Travel?
If you are planning to use a Simcard from another carrier then yes Your Cellphone will need to be unlocked to work abroad. The only carrier that I know of that unlocks the phones before you actually pay them off is Verizon. I believe they unlock your phone automatically after 60 days. With any of the other carriers, you will be out of luck unless you paid for your phone upfront or with a credit card or buy now pay later type of service.
What is the cheapest way to use your phone overseas?
It depends on the features that you care about. Almost every place I’ve been to the people there use Whatsapp for calling and texting. In Ethiopia, they liked to use telegram when I was last there. Google Fi doesn’t work in Ethiopia anyways besides the Wifi Calling, but my point is if you are only concerned with data then you can’t go wrong with Google Fi most of the time, Unless you are in Cuba, Ethiopia, and a few other countries.
Another option would be to buy a Local Sim card. This can be a good option unless you are planning to switch countries in a short timeframe. The fees from other USA cellphone carriers will just cost too much and they limit the amount of data that you can use. I think Verizon gives you up to 0.5 gigabytes for 10 dollars a day. That is not enough data to watch one youtube video.
How to use your Smartphone as a Hotspot Device when Traveling internationally
This will depend on the type of phone that you are using. I have a Samsung 23 Ultra and I use Google Fi Wireless. I will be able to use my phone as a hotspot when abroad by just swiping down and pushing the mobile hotspot button. I have done this a lot especially when going live on my youtube channel with my GoPro and other cameras. I think it all comes down to what sim card you are using. This will determine if you will be able to use your smartphone as a hotspot device.
How do I know if I can use My phone internationally?
The first thing you will want to do is find out if your network provider offers you service abroad. Then you will want to make sure that you are on the correct plan if they have one available. You will want to know what the charges will cost you upfront instead of being surprised when the bill comes.
How to receive Text messages overseas with extra charges?
If you have Google fi then you have free Texting according to Google fi Wireless. If you don’t have Google fi I recommend just using Whatsapp for texting and calling. Of course, you will need some type of data or wifi for that. WhatsApp also has Video chat available and so does Google Meet. If you have an iPhone then you should be able to use facetime and iMessage for free.
Why you need an unlocked backup phone Before traveling
I recommend anyone that is traveling internationally to take at least 2 phones with you. Preferable smartphones so that you can use apps such as Uber and receive emails and other valuable features that we use every day. The last thing you will want to happen is accidently drop and break your phone or even worse have it pickpocketed or lose it. If you have 2 phones it should also be easier for you 2 track down your phone by asking google assistant. iPhone also has there own features for locating its devices also.
Check out these cheap backup phones that you can get before your trip.
How to avoid being charged for Travel Pass?
When traveling out of the country, if you are not using a service like T-Mobile or Google Fi Wireless I recommend that you leave your phone in airplane mode to avoid being charged the Travel Pass. The best way to avoid a Travel pass altogether would be to sign up for an international travel plan.
Conclusion of the Best sim card for International Travel
So I think I’ve told you everything I know about the Google Fi Wireless Service and why I think it’s the best sim card for international travel. I give T mobile the next runner up if you wanted more of a traditional cellphone provider. If you have any experience with Google fi Wireless service or have any questions please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks