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Sim card advice for EUROPE

2 Sep 2013 jessica asked


ive been really struggling with what sim card is best for overseas.
im going all through europe and UK with an iphone. i hear good and bad things about the contiki one and the woolworths one.
any one had any experience with any international sims? if so please help me out! i only really want to use data and have some money incase i need to txt or call in an emergency.


  • Read the responses 5 responses so far
  • 2 Sep 2013 kaylakelly said


    I am wondering the same thing and have no idea what to do about it.

  • 2 Sep 2013 Juicyjothy said


    What country are you from? if from the States you’ll need to check if your phone is CDMA or GSM.
    GSM would be ideal because thats what they use right across europe. Are you going to be calling home alot or are you making calls locally within the country that your in? Go for a travel sim if you will be calling home alot and go for a local sim card from a local provider if you will be making local calls. SIM cards are free in the UK. check out or visit a store when you arrive.

  • 3 Sep 2013 jessica said


    im from australia. i wont be calling home a lot. ill be using skype and facebook and email and may send the occasional txt incase of emergency.

  • 4 Sep 2013 Jenn said


    I’ve found that buying a local pre-paid sim when you arrive is cheaper and less hassle. There are vending machines at arrivals in Heathrow where you can buy them for about 10-15 pounds, then add credit to it at a newsagent. I’ve found both O2 and T-mobile the best when it comes to international calling/sms and data rates. At the moment with O2 I think you can buy add-ons to whatever credit – ie. if you plan on using more data you can get 500mb for 10 pounds(I think). And you could just use wifi where available.
    When you get to Europe, it’s the same thing – just find one that works across most of Europe rather than just the country you are in. Or you could just buy one in each country – depends where you are going. Some smaller countries it might be hard or not possible.

    Just do some googling of foreign telcos – like Australia there are many out there, some cheaper some more expensive.
    As you said you’re mostly after data, so a pre-paid sim with a data add-on seems best, as well as wifi.

    I used the woolies one earlier this year. It was a hassle to set up and the customer service was extremely poor (apparently woolies were having ‘technical difficulties’). I found the coverage pretty average and only worked properly in bigger cities (London, Glasgow, Paris) otherwise it was very low or emergency only.

    I used a travelsim a few years ago before smartphones and wifi were so readily available – and was travelling throughout asia and europe. It seemed okay but could be very expensive for those longer phone calls or texting – and again reception was low outside of major cities. But everything is cheaper now and much more accessible.

    I haven’t been on Contiki before, so haven’t used the one they offer – but from what I can see, the only benefit is that it is free for people to call you – many travelsims charge both the person calling and those being called. This seems to only charge the person calling you (as it would for normal international calling). The data and call rates seem more expensive than some travelsims.

    It’s all up to what your comfortable with. If it’s your first time travelling, and you’re not too worried about money a travelsim, woolies card or the contiki one might be easier when it comes only having one sim card that you only have to set up once. Honestly, though, I prefer just buying a local pre-paid sim card – much cheaper in the long run and I just break it up and chuck it when I leave.

  • 27 May 2014 elizadumais said


    I have done a ton of research on international SIM cards and I read a million different things. After reading a different PC Magazine review, I found that offered me the best deal I had seen. You can save up to 90% on roaming (compared with your home carrier) with a single SIM-Card that has global coverage. The set-up is a basic pay-as-you-go plan (without contracts), which is exactly what I was looking for, since I didn’t know exactly how many hours I would use and did not want to pay more than necessary. It was a big stress reliever as far as having to make international calls.

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