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iPad in Southern France - A Success Story


Jun 9th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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iPad in Southern France - A Success Story

My husband and I wanted to take an iPad 2 to Provence for our end-of-May trip. Prior to leaving we did extensive research to see what would be needed and how service could be obtained. There was a great deal of old information and discouraging information relative to not having the right SIM card, needing a French bank account to get service, having to call to get more data service to a number where there were only French speakers at the other end, etc. But we took the iPad anyway, hoping that we'd find a solution once we got there.

Delighted to report that it could not have been easier. Went to an Orange service store in Avignon, and a very pleasant and knowledgeable English-speaking employee helped us. He had an intro 12 euro package that included an Orange SIM card and 4 euros of 3G data transmission. There was a number to get more data without having to sign up for a plan. But he called for us and we paid for it right there. We got 25 euros of 3G data which was more than enough for the 2 weeks.

Using the iPad was great – we used it for locator services, street maps, web sites on historical places we visited, information on Cote du Rhone wines including Wine Spectator ratings, translation from French to English. Also used it of course to get email from home and to keep up with news from home.

It could not have been easier. Don’t know that it would be as easy in other countries or even in other parts of France. 3G not available in some remote areas – “E” service instead which was slower. But 3G was more reliable and faster than wi-fi which all 3 of our hotels offered.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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I can't wait to use my iPad in Italy this fall. Last fall the only thing we had in SW France was my Kindle, which wasn't great but with 3G did give us some basic browser access. And a mobile phone with a UK number that people were hesitant to call us on. One of the drivers in my purchase of iPad2!
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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That's great to hear! Thanks for letting us know. Did u carry your iPad out with you or just use it where u stayed? I plan on using mine in Paris and wasn't sure about even getting a sim card since the apt has wifi.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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I would think you can do something similar to what we did with Vodafone. Some websites also mentioned a Tre pre-paid SIM in Italy. Either in the airport or in any large city you should be able to find a service store that can help you.

Using the iPad was great, and we'd never travel without it again. Good luck!
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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We carried it with us - slimmer and lighter than any travel guide! Worked even when we were on the train.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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I carried my ipad2 to Spain and used the wifi in hotels. It was great using FACE TIME to call our children in the States. I have the model 32 GB,with WIFI but not 3G, I thought I could get a card (PEN ?) in Barcelona to be connected to the internet, but I could not without bying a plan.

Since I am very ignorant I wonder if someone can let me know what should I get in future trips abroad. ( Or , is it impossible with the model I have?...) Thank you.
I learnt in situ in Spain that I was not able to send emails when connecting with the wifi of the hotels, however I was able to do it by connecting through the webmail of my internet provider. This way I was able to send emails. ...
Thank you...
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Jul 4th, 2011, 06:53 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I am leaving for France on Friday and will be in spending a week in the Avignon area so it's great to hear that you got good service from Orange.
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Jul 4th, 2011, 11:42 PM
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We are in St Tropez now and using our ipad.

I went to SFR and was able to buy a sim card, i think the card was 15€ and then bought the most time i could get for thr month, i think 1G for 35 €. We have been using it non stop for two weeks and are only a quarter the way through it. We have two weeks more and i bet we dont use more than half of it so next time i will buy the smaller package. The reason i bought the big one was because i put 20mg on our iphone and we blew through it in five days!!!

It was also very easy to get it at SFR, no contracts, the salesperson also set it all up for us and its worked perfectly....now if only i could find something reasonable for that damn iphone!!!
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Aug 7th, 2011, 01:16 AM
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Advice Please: New Ipad vs older 3G Apple laptop? or GPS?
We're driving 1 week in the Dordogne area (after a week in Paris, on foot), and hoping to get out of the car and do some hiking. Is leaving the ipod in the car for hikes safe (car vandalism?) and what are the the pros and cons of the laptop vs ipad vs GPS, especially for driving, map functions.We'll also take our new iphone.
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Aug 7th, 2011, 01:29 AM
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ceile, ipad is lighter and slimmer than laptops.we used the in-car GPS for navigation, if it hadnt been in the car, we'd have used our own Garmin.
Not being a "smartphone" user, the iPad took some getting used to (the "kepypad" on the Screen? What is this world coming to?

We had wifi in many places we stayed--some unexpected ones too. And just about any town has SOME sort of wifi (the Fr call it weefee) connectivity. Even some of the places that don't "advertise" it have it.

A sure thing is McDonald'. I never go int them in USA, but using their wifi over one a cappucino (and they were not bad!) gave a hitherto un experienced appreciation for MeekeeDee's. ANd it's a great place to observe Fr culture--teens and families. Ceili, there are McDonalds in Sarlat and Bergerac, and perhaps other areas where you'll be.
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Aug 7th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Mar 8th, 2012, 05:36 AM
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My husband and I traveled Paris extensively and to have done so without the iPad, we would have been lost in more ways than one. The weather was beautiful (like the country) most of the trip except for one day, and we had a delightful time. One thing that made t even more of a pleasure was we'd just purchased a STYLUS-R-US Terminator stylus, which not only prevented the iPad screen from getting messed up, but made navigating a pleasure from fingers. If you haven't seen France, you must go.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 05:44 AM
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DRBB (and others) what provider do you have for your iPad? AT&T or Verizon? We have Verizon so am not sure it will work on their 3G network. Also do they open the iPad to put in the Sim card? I can't figure that part out. TIA.

We leave tomorrow!!! I am so excited.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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I have an iPad 1 and we take it everywhere we travel. Outside of the US, I have relied on wifi to use it and have not had a problem anywhere in Europe, SA or SEASia where we have gone. We were in Paris last summer and it worked fine. Our apt had wifi and tons of cafes and restaurants also offer wifi. I have AT&T as a provider and when I have used the 3G network I just email AT&T and they have a monthly charge and turn it on. This has worked very well while traveling in the US where I wanted to use the iPad driving and without wifi. In the iPad 1 there is a little slot that one opens to put in a SIM card. I haven't done it so can't help u with how that works. Have a great trip!
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Mar 9th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Mar 9th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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I will be taking my IPAD2 32GB but no 3G with me to Paris and hoping will work in our apartment with wifi but if I have difficulty will just go to the Apple Store to ask information. also planning to take a few pictures with it as the camera is so good...have a travel IPAD purse from Magellan to carry it in when taking it outside for pics.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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It's very easy to change the SIM card on the 3G Ipad. Apple told me that there was a pin enclosed in the box to help pop the slot open, but I never found it. They suggested I use a paperclip, and it worked easily. You just stick the paperclip in the slot, and the tray opens up. Very easy to switch out the SIM cards. Love my Ipad, and enjoyed using it both in a wifi zone and on the train!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 03:59 AM
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Does anyone know if there is there an Orange store at CDG or in Bayeux? Thanks.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Mar 10th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Hi, like AGM_Cape_Cod, I also would like to know which IPad (ie: which provider, Verizon or At&T worked with the local SIM card/data plan in France. We are planning to buy the new IPad & just wondering if that is a factor when travelling abroad.
Also, would it be easy to find a store where we could purchase the plan in Nice?
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