5 Things to Look for When Selecting the Best International SIM Card for Travel

Selecting international SIM Card
Choosing an international SIM Card

More often than not international SIM cards offer a superior choice to using a local SIM card when traveling abroad. In this article, you will learn what to look for when selecting the best SIM card to stay connected during your travels and save money.

Coverage

Obviously a starting point of your selection. Does the SIM card cover the country you are going to? What about other countries on the way to your destination? Will you have a secure data connection during layovers?

Many SIM cards compete only for the most popular countries, but if you decide to get off the beaten path, you are on your own.

Think about the future. Do you like to travel? Do you travel a lot? 

Unless you like buying and installing different disposable SIM cards, check all the destinations you may be visiting and see what your SIM card really covers.

OneSimCard operates in over 200+ countries featuring multiple carriers in many destinations for extra coverage. See all roaming rates and coverage here.  

Phone Numbers

No internet. No problem. 

Many people who exclusively rely on the internet for connectivity may not think much about phone numbers anymore.  A few realize though when the mobile internet is not available, you may still be able to make and receive calls and SMS. This adds a whole new layer of safety.  

Does your phone number require an internet connection for Voice and SMS connectivity? Make sure you can use your number without the internet, as data coverage is not always available.

Local phone numbers

Having a local number can be very convenient when you are abroad.  Just think about how you use the phone number in your home country.

Can you easily add and remove local phone numbers from you international SIM card when you travel? Can your friends and family easily reach you? 

OneSimCard comes with 2 included phone numbers: Europe & USA, Canada, UK or Australia. In addition you can add local phone numbers in 60+ countries

Verification SMS

Many service providers, especially banks, use 2-step verification for account access. This can catch international travelers by surprise when they try to access those services abroad, but instead get locked out of their accounts unable to verify their credentials.   

Does your phone number support verification SMS?  Can you add a phone number that supports SMS verification? 

OneSimCard offers special numbers for receiving verification SMS from US banks and other financial institutions anywhere in the world.

Data, Voice and SMS Plans

Many SIM cards use only plans. Some, like OneSimCard use plans in addition to the default pay-as-you go rates.  

In the plan-only case, it’s a lot easier to overspend.  You may need to purchase another plan if you enter a new country or your original plan expires. Also, the coverage of plan-only SIM cards is usually more limited.

When a SIM offers pay-as-you-go Data, Voice and SMS rates, you have a choice between going back to pay-as-you go rates or getting another discount plan. This can save you more money as well provide more coverage.

A special note goes to unlimited data plans, which more often than not is a suboptimal choice. We discuss unlimited data plans in detail here.

Customer Support

Regular business hours may not be very helpful when you are several time zones away without any internet. Aim for 24/7 support if possible, and an easy way to receive it.

With OneSimCard, for example, your first 3 minutes of a Support call from your primary OneSimCard number are free. It does not matter where you are in the world (and no data connection is required to make that call).

Price

Very low rates may come with a contract, monthly or connection fees attached. Some SIM cards may have a rather short SIM card or balance expiration. Make sure you understand what your international SIM comes with.  

OneSimCard is 100% prepaid. It does not require any contracts or connection fees.

Every OneSimCard features free incoming calls in over 160 countries on your primary European number.  Moreover, your friends and family can send you free SMS to that number as well from onesimcard.com. No matter where you are in the world, all your incoming SMS to OneSimCard’s primary number are free to receive.

We hope this summary helped you to make a choice. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact Customer Support on onesimcard.com or check out our lineup of international SIM cards here. Customer Support is available via chat, phone or email. Talk to you soon!

Happy travels!

Reopening Information and Best Practices for Traveling in the Age of COVID-19

COVID-19 has severely impacted the travel and tourism industry, decimating a sector responsible for generating approximately $2.9 trillion in global GDP. To curb the spread of the disease, most governments had to order a lockdown, and most of us feel like it’s taking forever. Fortunately, the world is recovering, and governments are reopening their borders.

The biggest question lingering in people’s minds is whether the changes put in place will remain, or if the travel industry will ever get back to pre-COVID levels. 

GlobeTrender virtually hosted several industry players to weigh in on the matter. Jeremy Bowen, Cirium’s CEO, the Red Savannah CEO, George Morgan-Grenville, and Paul Charles, the CEO of the PC Agency shed some insight into the topic.

According to Bowel, rebuilding trust tops the list of the challenges faced by the travel sector during this time of Coronavirus. How will the passengers be convinced that it’s safe to travel on aircraft or other modes of transport again? It’s a hard nut to crack and has raised lots of debate.

As a result, various suggestions such as PPE, enforced social distancing, and testing have come up. What’s essential is, whatever precautions are put into place, the passengers must be ensured of safety. 

For most industries, people can keep working from home after the reopening. Travel, however, cannot conform to this new era. The leisure travel industry will return to normalcy as predicted by Bowen.

Traveling in the New Age: Here Are the Best Practices

According to experts, you should stay at home until the global numbers reduce significantly. Even then, the biggest question remains on whether or not travelers will go back to their pre-COVID habits or adopt the new normalcy as part of their lives. 

It is likely that most people will refrain from luxury travel, even as countries open up their borders. Others will take the risk and take the first plane out. Whichever the case, the best practice will be to learn how to live and adapt to the disease.

According to George Morgan Grenville, traveling may get consolidated for the next two years, where people will rebook their 2021 holidays. However, the booking levels for 2021 may not reach those of 2019.

Well, if you may be thinking of planning a vacation anytime soon, here are some things that you should consider.

  • Plan Ahead

The key to traveling amid the global pandemic is having all the facts. Ensure you do some research on the Coronavirus cases in your destination. You also need to evaluate the risk factors as well as those of the people you are traveling with or visiting. 

People who are older than 65 are better off staying at home. Additionally, if you plan on visiting these people, you need to be extra careful since they are at a much higher risk. Similarly, children and people with pre-existing conditions should also consider not traveling for the same reason. 

  • Get Tested

Getting tested will help determine whether you are an active carrier of the disease or not. Unfortunately, some people can be asymptomatic and risk spreading the disease to other people during the trip. You can also get infected as you travel from one place to another.

Ensure that you self-quarantine as you await the results. You should also quarantine upon arrival at your destination. If you develop any signs of the disease, however mild, be sure to consult a doctor before traveling. 

  • Bring Your Medical and Travel History with You

Most border checks will require proof of your medical and travel history before you can enter. As you are packing, ensure that you have all the necessary documents with you. Your medical documents should include updated records of the last two weeks. If you have had a recent COVID-19 test, ensure that you include the results as well.

Before boarding any flight, you will be required to prove that your chances of being in contact with the disease are minimal. Anyone who has been traveling in the last 14 days to a different part of the world may be at risk and you may be denied access to certain flights and borders. 

  • Follow All the Guidelines

WHO has provided several guidelines for people across the globe to follow. If you are going to take the risk and travel anyway, be sure to comply with these guidelines. The most essential one is covering your nose and mouth with a mask and avoid touching them as well. Most airports will not allow you to travel without your face mask.

Regardless of the means of travel that you plan to use, avoid touching people or things, maintain a safe distance from everyone, and avoid crowded places. Ensure that you wash your hands regularly and always bring some sanitizer with you. 

  • Bring OneSimCard

When you are traveling, make sure you have reliable and affordable means of communications. With OneSimCard international SIM card and travel eSIM, you can stay connected with your friends and family in over 200 countries.

Enjoy data from $0.01/MB; multiple discount data plans available.  Local phone numbers in 60+ countries. Low cost calls and texts.  Free incoming calls and SMS in many countries.

You can even order special phone numbers for SMS verifications and much more.

Government Guidelines Across the World

Several governments across the world have been reopening their borders. Popular destination s are now accepting international travelers into their countries. However, it won’t be business as usual, since most of them are placing restrictions on travelers.

The European Union announced that it would be reopening the borders for 14 countries. However, the union extended the travel ban for citizens from high-risk countries including the US, Russia, and Brazil. 

Popular island destinations such as Bali and Barbados are also planning to reopen soon. The Governor of Bali announced that the island would be open for international tourism in September and domestic tourism would resume on July 9th. 

Barbados, on the other hand, opened its borders for tourists from all countries on the 1st of July. However, the island has strict regulations that travelers need to adhere to, depending on where they come from. Tourists from high-risk countries like the US, for example, will need to take a test and test negative within 72 hours of traveling to the island. 

While countries across the globe are taking safety precautions, some have been forced to have some internal measures in place as well. The US is one such country and is considered one of the high-risk countries. As of today,  New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut require travelers from 16 states to self-quarantine upon getting into these States

Different countries have varying measures in place for international and domestic travel. However, as more countries continue to reopen their borders, it is evident that things won’t go back to normal, although the travel industry will soon be back to business. 

Is the Luxury Travel Industry Going To Bounce Back Faster than  Other Sectors?

Unlike other businesses, the luxury sector has started enjoying a constant increase in inquiries. According to George Morgan-Grenville, the inquiries of the Red Savannah have increased steadily in recent months. But this does not deny that COVID-19’s impact has dampened demands from travelers, and the inquiries are still low.

The return of other business sectors will depend on the numbers affected by the virus, and a clear vision of where the businesses are heading. Most business people will be a bit cautious to reopen without a sign that they will thrive again in the COVID age. For this reason, the luxury travel industry will probably bounce back before the other sectors.

Though the travel industry may revive before the other sectors, it will still take years to rebound. As a result, flying will become expensive with time, unless the airlines innovate strategies to lower fares to lure many passengers. Nevertheless, the travel industry needs to cooperate with global institutions and governments to connect the world again during the COVID-19 period.

 

Photo Credits:

Woman wearing a mask by Anna Shvets