Whether it’s capturing the perfect photo, seizing candid moments with new friends, or updating Mom that Italian coffee is REAL coffee, having your phone abroad is a helpful tool. You want to be basking in the Spanish sun or island hopping in Greece, not stressing over why your texts aren’t going through.


U.S. International Phone Plans

International phone plans are incredibly convenient. You keep the same plan and number as your U.S. plan, saving you the headache of the dreaded “Whose number is this?” text. Your U.S. carrier will rely on data roaming, and fees vary, so it’s wise to check these before embarking on your trip. To keep costs low, make sure to utilize free WiFi! Hotels, restaurants, cafes, train stations, and airports usually have free WiFi hotspots, making it easy to stay connected without paying a dime.

Benefits of using your international phone plan:

  • Very convenient
  • Keep the same phone number
  • Use in multiple countries

Local & International SIMs

Local SIM cards are usually purchased in one country from a local phone store and provide you with a cell phone plan in that specific area. Local SIMs are a smart choice if you are looking for a cost-friendly option and traveling in one country.

Benefits of local SIMs:

  • Usually the cheapest option for SIM cards
  • Available at phone stores, and sometimes mini markets
  • Provide a local number for in-country calls and texts
  • International SIM Card
  • International SIM cards combine multiple countries in a geographical area to provide coverage in a broader region.

Benefits of international SIMs:

  • More countries included
  • Can be bought ahead of time
  • More plans to choose from

TIP: The EU forms a “roaming union,” so if you purchase a local SIM plan in, for example, Spain, you can use it in other EU countries without extra cost. This applies to the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland.


SIM cards control the plan that your phone operates on, connecting you to the network and assigning the phone number associated with the plan. Using a different SIM card abroad can be a more cost-effective way to stay connected, depending on your international plan’s fees.

Traditional SIM Cards
A traditional SIM card is a small metal chip that can be physically removed and inserted into your phone.

TIP: If you need to change a physical SIM card and they don’t do it in the store, the back of a thin earring post can work in a pinch.

E-SIMs, or Electronic SIM cards, are entirely digital and don’t have a physical component. They can be downloaded and set up through your phone without physically removing anything.



Knowing your options and making the best decision when it comes to phone plans makes life easier when staying connected during your summer adventures. Imagine sharing that sunset in Santorini instantly to your story, calling your best friend from a Parisian café, or navigating through Tokyo with ease. With the right plan, you can focus on the experiences and creating unforgettable memories, rather than worrying about staying connected. So, pack your bags, grab your phone, and get ready to explore the world


Ready to start planning your 2024 travels? Contact us and one of our Program Consultants will help you choose the perfect adventure for you!