Remember me telling you that I’d switched our phones to a pay as you go plan which was so much cheaper than we were previously paying? Did I also tell you that even though we got so much more data than we had before for less money, the 8GB of data we get can only be used in the UK? If we want to use our phone abroad then we can have 500GB a day for something like £5.00.
That doesn’t seem like a huge amount of data when you consider that I use Facetime to keep in touch with home and do plenty of Instagramming and Googling for directions and things nearby to do and see. Anything over the 500GB is charged at £7 per 100GB which would soon add up. It gets worse though – Miss Frugal who’s on Giff Gaff would be charged 20p per MB to use her phone abroad!!!
At those prices, using our current SIM card’s wasn’t an option but neither was having no data so we had to find another option.
My phone’s unlocked so my plan was to get a SIM card to use just while I was we were there. My first thought was to buy one when we arrived in New York but I’m neither technical or patient so I really didn’t fancy the potential hassle of finding a good one to buy when we arrived, setting it up and sorting out some credit on it. You can buy US SIM cards here in the UK so I could have done it all before we left but the premium for that was massive and I would have had to pay a small fortune to buy a US SIM in advance.
My next option was to look at another UK company but because I’m looking at PAYG and not any contract the prices were all pretty similar to the EE charges on my current SIM.
Then I looked at Three and saw their promise that they don’t add any charges for using your SIM abroad in certain countries so I looked into it and found that the US was one of the countries.
They have a ‘Feel at Home’ package where you can use whatever minutes, texts and data you have in the UK in any of the nominated countries with no extra charges. This includes so many countries that I’d say the majority of travellers would benefit from this. I ordered a free SIM from the Three site and when it came, I popped it in my phone and downloaded the app so I could get sorted in advance. It took me about five minutes from start to finish including topping my phone up with £20 and using the credit to buy the All in One 20 pack which gives me 12GB data, 3000 texts and 300 minutes for that price which was perfect for what we needed.
I swapped SIMs while we were waiting to get off the plane at JFK, turned my phone on and it automatically connected to the AT&T network (I think that’s which one it was) and that was it!
I loved having so much data for the time we were away – I Facetimed, I Googled, I Instagrammed and kept in touch constantly with Mr and Master Frugal on Messenger where we have a family chat group and it was brilliant not having to worry about the cost or how much I had left. Miss Frugal had the choice to buy her own data or share my data so she used the hotel WiFi in the hotel (which was a bit slower than 4G) and she used my phone to Snapchat while we were out and about.
I’m going to keep my Three SIM and dust it off whenever we travel abroad because I love it that much – mine is cheaper in the UK but can’t come close when we go on holiday!
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