Travelling and data isn’t as expensive as it once was. There are many different options available to a traveler to get setup whilst in the country they are visiting or even beforehand. Here’s how:
Nearly every city airport will have a phone retailer once you exit baggage claim. If you are in need of a physical Sim, this is the place to start. The employees (that speak English most the time!) will have travel options clearly listed and will help you install and setup the Sim. Alternatively, you may find vending machines with Sim cards. In Bangkok airport you just need to scan you passport and pay and boom, you are provided with a Sim. If you want to check beforehand, google the airport and “Simcard” to see if mobile providers are present.
2. Existing Mobile Plan
Relying on your exising mobile plan can be a risky option, usually it’s a very expensive option that isn’t reasonable at all. Instead, check for add-ons. Many mobile providers have add-on packages for short periods of time that provide minutes and most importantly data for a more reasonable rate. Your existing mobile provider will link up with their sister network company and you will be able to use like normal. No fiddling around with Sim cards.
The easiest option for a new Simcard is an e-Sim. A relatively new feature of newer phones that is as simple as downloading an app, making a purchase, and setting it up in a few minutes. An e-Sim is an electronic Sim and requires no physical sim to be put in your phone. The world is moving in this direction, and if you have a newer phone, this is the way to go forward.
3. Normal Retailer
Sim cards are pretty easy to come by once you are at the destination. Most city centers will have a mobile shop or corner shop selling Sims.
4. Rely on Wifi and Downloaded Maps
Maybe you aren’t too worried about needing data or calling minutes. We took this option for 3months travelling Europe and it really wasn’t too bad. Most restaurants these days have free wifi and your hotel at night can get you caught up on the digital world. Another unknown feature of Google maps is that you can download a local area and use the compass feature without data and navigate fully offline. See here for instructions.