Traveling to Scotland need data

Jun 18th, 2016, 08:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Traveling to Scotland need data

Hello, I'm traveling to Scotland and currently have MetroPCS (TMOBILE) in the US. I'm concerned about not having access to my smartphone for things like maps while I'm there. I'm wondering if someone can tell me the best thing to do...hoping it's not too expensive All advise is welcome! Oh, my phone will be unlocked when I travel.
lshemanski is offline  
Jun 18th, 2016, 08:46 PM
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In the US,T- Mobile offers plans with free data while traveling in some 200 other countries. So start by asking about the data plan you have and see if it will cover you in Scotland.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 19th, 2016, 01:47 PM
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Why not buy a road atlas. You can pick them up really cheaply....
ESW is offline  
Jun 19th, 2016, 02:02 PM
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< Why not buy a road atlas. You can pick them up really cheaply.... >

... £1.99 in Aldi today.
dotheboyshall is offline  
Jun 19th, 2016, 02:31 PM
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I have T-Mobile and it worked fine in the UK last year. My plan includes unlimited low speed data in 120 countries.

A road atlas is useful if you are driving. If you are using public transport the maps app on a smart phone is infinitely more useful. It will tell you the time of the next bus, exactly where to catch it, and when to get off.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 19th, 2016, 02:42 PM
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I don't even own a smartphone and somehow manage both at home and in Europe to find actual maps.
Christina is offline  
Jun 19th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Of course it is no problem to find maps, either on paper or online. But if you are using public transport a smart phone is a wonderful tool. I have yet to see a paper map that includes the times of buses or metro trains.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 20th, 2016, 04:18 AM
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I have t-Mobile and used the free unlimited data in London and Paris for the first time in November. After a lifetime of paper maps, I found getting around with Google maps an absolute joy.

When you have a tool that puts all of human knowledge in your pocket, it is nice to be able to use it wherever you are.

That said, I just looked at the website for metroPCS, and it doesn't look like it comes with the t-Mobile unlimited data internationally. I believe there are ways to download maps and use GPS without using data, but I have not done this and don't know the details.
Nikki is online now  
Jun 20th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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We were in Scotland two years ago. I had looked into getting a UK SIM card and data plan, but ended up just roaming with my Italian international plan.

Right now, I'm going through the same debate in preparation for a trip to Northern Ireland in a few weeks. The two companies that seem to have best coverage in rural areas are Ee and Vodafone. Both have reasonably-priced no-contract pay-as-you-go (PAYG) plans.

I still haven't decided, but if I get one, it will probably be Ee, because Vodafone doesn't allow wireless tethering with its PAYG plans, and I might want to create a hot-spot for other devices. (One the places where we're staying for a week has no wifi.)

You should pick the plan that has the best coverage for where you'll be going. If you search for "wireless coverage maps UK", you'll find several. I forget which one I used, but after identifying Ee and Vodafone as having good coverage, I checked the coverage maps on their own sites, which went down to the street address level.

It doesn't make any sense to portray Google Maps and paper maps as opposing choices. It's like making a confrontation between an axe and a kitchen knife. One's good for chopping wood and the other's good for chopping an onion. A few weeks ago, we used a paper map to decide the best route from Urbino to Pennabilli, but we would never have found our B&B in Pennabilli without Google Maps.
bvlenci is offline  
Jun 20th, 2016, 09:19 AM
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It also depends on where you're traveling in Scotland. Some years ago (9 years) we traveled to the Isle of Skye. Nowhere on the island did we get any coverage. The locals said it was difficult. Unfortunately I can't remember which kind of SIM card I had for that trip.

So the islands, especially the outer ones, and the far north of Scotland might present connection problems.
Mimar is offline  
Jun 20th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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You can download Google Maps to use them offline. You will lose the real time traffic info though.

Your best option is probably to get a PAYG sim when you land and make sure it has enough data. Check out the coverage map that Which? did for mobile phone providers in the UK and pick the one that offers the best coverage for the area you will be in:
sparkchaser is offline  
Jun 20th, 2016, 10:28 AM
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What is it this thing of which you write? Atlas? Paper? These concepts are strange.

And they don't tell you when you make a wrong turn.

And yet, somehow BigRuss and his (then) missus-to-be navigated their way around the unmarked and unlettered roads of the Eastern Highlands by just folding and refolding some really thin wood product with squiggly lines on it . . .
BigRuss is offline  
Jun 20th, 2016, 10:31 AM
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We used to use paper maps but the domestic tranquility that came about from using a GPS made us ditch dead trees for 1s and 0s and we haven't looked back. We still use a paper map for planning and for walking in the town/city/country, but for the actual trip, it is a GPS.
sparkchaser is offline  
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