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Aust. Travel Sim or buy French Sim?

Old Jan 26th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Aust. Travel Sim or buy French Sim?

I will be travelling to France and the Netherlands (for a shorter period of time). I am very confused with the choice of what Sim to purchase and the actual costs of the sims. Do you suggest I buy a travel sim here in Aust. or wait until I get to the airport in Paris and try to manage my way around the language and buy a French sim before leaving the airport. (I have to make a phone call prior to leaving the airport, so need one up and running by then). Do you know the costs of both these choices?
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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I can't advise which is better as I've never bought a SIM card in Europe. However, I know that if you buy one here the call costs vary widely but can be quite affordable if you shop around. You do however, pay for incoming calls with many plans so if friends from Australia call then you're paying and they're paying. Last time we travelled I bought a Gotalk Global SIM card and wished I hadn't. Would choose a different one next time. Try Australia Post as they are agents for a number of providers.

For contacting back home, I find text works well as it overcomes the time differences. So nice to wake up in the morning and find a new message.
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Old Jan 27th, 2012, 12:56 AM
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Are the calls you are intending to make within Europe or also to Australia? Are you going to be receiving calls from Australia?

If the calls are purely within Europe then a PAYG French Sim is probably the cheaper option. If calls to or from Oz are involved you will need to do some googling and compare prices carefully.
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Old Jan 27th, 2012, 02:26 AM
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If wanting to ring back to Australia from France we purchased a Telstra card at the airport. This worked quite well for the occasional phone call home. I also used my Optus prepaid for text messages.

Whilst visiting Italy last year we found the Tim card excellent but you must be careful to get the correct plan loaded. Not sure if it is good for France.
We also contemplated the Lebara sim card it looked quite good and I have seen it recommended here on Fodors.
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Old Jan 27th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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I bought a SIM card in Paris, think it was the Orange network. I didn't make much calls from it, just used it for texting but it was easy to buy top-up cards; not so easy was trying to top it up when there's no English option on the phone... When I used it in Barcelona though the rates went up so perhaps buying a new SIM in the Netherlands might work out better.

If you're just making one phone call, how about using Skype or Gmail Talk? There'll be computers to use in the airport. Or buy a calling card.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Thankyou, I will be mainly texting back to Aust. with the occasional phone call as well. Probably only the occasional phone calls to other phones in France/Netherlands but will be again texting travelling companions while in France in particular to their mobiles.
If I bought a sim in France would i be able to buy one with a prescribed amount of euro on it/minutes on it or would i have to keep topping up. I would rather not have to keep topping up as unfortunately i do not have any French language. Learning phrases, but definitely not up to a conversation.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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In the past I have bought a Lebara SIM in Germany although I've never used or bought one in France. They are extremely good value for calling overseas once you are in Europe and there are English-speaking operators so you can communicate easily with them when you are topping up. I know for Germany you can get one sent to a German address from their website (because (some?) phone providers in Germany have this rule that you need a German address, some even insist on seeing a 6-month rental contract or similar), so you could probably nominate the hotel you're staying at somewhere along the line if the rule is the same in France. Also it can be quite tricky to find them as not everywhere stocks Lebara SIMs, so I'd look at pre-ordering one if you like the idea of them.

Lavandula
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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OK, looks as though you need to have a French address to get one of their free SIMs, which is maybe not so practical for your particular situation:

https://www.lebara.fr/sim-gratuite

I still think you're better off with a French SIM than a TravelSim, though, whether Lebara or otherwise.

Lavandula
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 01:15 AM
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We used a travelsim in 2010 and found it quite good. It is easy to top up and the instructions are in English. I bought it at Austalia Post before we left. I have since used the same one in NZ so once you have it you don't need different ones for other countries.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 01:26 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ice-please.cfm
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:08 AM
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If all you need is voice/SMS, Lebara offers one of the easiest and lowest cost solutions. Call cost from France to Australia is 0.01€ per minute to a fixed line with a 0.15€ connection fee. Calls within France cost .15€ per minute with a .15€ connection fee.

Lebara SIMs are widely sold in France (the last one I purchased was at a magazine store in the métro) and they are available at CDG. Many of us, including those from Australia, have had them sent to us free. Just fill out the application on their website including your country with the city.

www.lebara.fr
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Thankyou again, looks like I'll try to order the Lebara Sim as Sarastro has suggested. I will look at the ekit site first though. Thanks heaps.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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Well, I feel you take the travel SIM in Australia and after reaching Paris airport you take a French SIM. It’s better to have both the SIM’s with you as, you will be traveling to France.
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