Using verizon international data plan?

Old Feb 27th, 2016, 11:34 AM
  #21  
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Colonna - I appreciate hearing about your experience. While voicemail might be an issue for some, I don't anticipate needing it for our short, 2-week trip. What calls we'll make will most likely be local.

Andrew - many, many thanks for your suggestions. A lot of it is a bit beyond my basic understanding of all of the various services and options, and I must admit, I'm a bit overwhelmed in thinking about it. But I'm going to try to experiment with some of the things you suggest and see how they work out for us. Again, I appreciate your taking the time to explain what some of the options are.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 11:59 AM
  #22  
 
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You might try some of the things I've suggested one step at a time. For example, try installing Google Hangouts Dialer on your phone. Hangouts is more than just a phone calling app; Google makes it look like a "way to chat with your friends" app, but you should be able to use it just to make phone calls. You'll probably need a Google account (if you have Gmail, you have a Google account) to use it.

After you've installed Hangouts on your phone, try making a test call (while on WiFi unless you don't mind using mobile data):

https://support.google.com/hangouts/.../3437917?hl=en

Once you can make a call with Hangouts, you can look at the next steps like signing up for Google Voice, etc. But even if the only thing you do is install Hangouts, you can use that in Europe to make free calls home, whether you go with the Verizon international package or not.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 01:40 PM
  #23  
 
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I travel to Europe, Asia and South America often and always get the Verizon intl. plan (because I need to keep my US number while traveling). In Europe, I used to get a local SIM for an old iPhone as well, but now I find that Verizon's new plan is good enough.

I rarely go through the data in two weeks, except in Japan where I use my GPS 24/7. Just make sure you use whatsapp for texting, Facetime or Skype for long international personal calls, and do your emailing and facebooking in free wifi areas. Even if you do have to spend an extra $40, it's well worth it to keep your own phone number and not have to deal with the hassle of switching SIMs.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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<Simply put, the Verizon international data plan has nothing to compare with T-Mobile's free unlimited data/messaging service.>

Maybe, but T-Mobile sucks in the US!
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 01:47 PM
  #25  
 
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Sorry for the multiple posts. Re: voice mail -- I have adopted a habit of the millennials and always make sure my voicemail is full (at home as well). That way callers will text or send an email rather than leave a message. Also, you will get a notification of missed calls so you can see who has tried to reach you.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 02:25 PM
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crosscheck: <i>Maybe, but T-Mobile sucks in the US!</i>

Not for me it doesn't. T-Mobile has been fantastic for me in the US, and I've driven across the country and back with it. (I used T-Mobile for years; now using Gosmart Mobile which is owned by T-Mobile and uses their network.)

But the OP isn't going to switch so it's a moot point in this thread.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 02:30 PM
  #27  
 
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I have voicemail turned off. Much easier.

T-Mobile has very patchy coverage in the Netherlands. My son can't get a signal in my house - he has to go to the end of the street if he wants to make a call. Obviously he has access to my WiFi.
Their 4G coverage isn't very good yet either.
KPN has the best 4G in the Netherlands
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 03:54 PM
  #28  
 
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Try out the Co-Pilot app for turn by turn directions and maps. It uses no data and is excellent.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 11:27 PM
  #29  
 
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<T-Mobile has been fantastic for me in the US>

Hi Andrew -- It works in some of areas of LA but the coverage is extremely spotty where we live on the westside.

But, as you said, it's a moot point for the OP. She'll be fine with the Verizon plan, which we too used in Italy -- excellent coverage.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 01:59 AM
  #30  
 
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Progol just a couple of things. I really like using Google maps too. Driving into a difficult place can be so less stressful with turn by turn instructions that adjust if you miss a turn. Not that you have to use it all the time but sure nice to have when you want it.

Just to give you an idea, We used 5 gb on an Italian sim in 1 month and 2 gb plus in 2 weeks in Spain.
Google maps chews it up pretty fast.

I partially used it for uploading photos to the cloud because hotel wifi is often just so darn slow. And it's not secure either if you need to do banking or anything.

Could your phone problems possibly have been solved by rebooting the phone?

Also if you go into a shop to buy a sim and get them to put it in for you, get them to show you if they change any settings, then you'll know what to do when you put your US sim back in.

If you decide to buy the package from your provider, make sure it doesn't revert to the regular high prices after you've used up your allowance of data.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 02:08 AM
  #31  
 
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Oh yes we had the same problem with not understanding the Italian dialogue until we plugged it into google translate. We even had a conversation with a mobile phone sales person by using Google translate! Lol you just can't wing it when talking tech.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 03:54 AM
  #32  
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sundried, thanks for the advice. I think we're going to stick with the Verizon plan -- but I'm not understanding why you went through so much data while others are fine with the $40 plan and use GPS.

I won't be using the phone for uploading photos, tho -- we download them to,our iPad each day. Anything more we do (Facebook, email), we'll use the iPad and use wifi.

And about the phones -- yes, we rebooted, did a hard reset, even had Verizon send us new SIM cards, and the problem remained the same. We didn't know to ask the sales person, but the previous year, in Thailand, we had no problems, so we were not expecting any problems having had none the year before. The sales person didn't speak English well enough to communicate, so we didn't know then what we didn't know (if you know what I mean).

Cross check -- great information and reassurance! We are going to stick with Verizon this year and hope that with all the information I've gathered here, we'll ace it. I'm going to look into some of the apps as well.

Images2 - I'll look into Co-pilot -- sounds great.

Thanks all, you've all been great -- lots of good suggestions and ideas, and I feel a bit better now. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions, once I start applying some of these recommendations.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 08:54 AM
  #33  
 
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Progol that doesn't sound like a very pleasant experience you had with your phone, don't blame you for not wanting a repeat.

We used Google maps for gps quite a bit, and we covered a lot of territory, in addition to uploading my photos to Dropbox.
We are just making some decisions about what to do for our own trip to Sicily coming up in May.
That phone thing kind of scares me, though. I bought an iPad mini with data and hoped to use a SIM card in it. I bought Apple care plus so if anything goes wrong I guess they'll fix it for me.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 01:54 PM
  #34  
 
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>>> but I'm not understanding why you went through so much data while others are fine with the $40 plan and use GPS.

That is because GPS has NOTHING to do with the data usage.

It is the real time map downloading that chews up data. I think you are assuming that Facebook, email, and photos are the major user of data. Real time map downloading is also a prodigious user of data.

If you use map pre-downloaded at home as mentioned by hetismij2, then you don't have to use ANY data.

If you allow online map downloading, you will chew up data. You can get an idea by looking at the data usage statistics on your phone using your phone at home for navigation. For driving in semi-populated area, I use about 10MB per hour of driving.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 02:09 PM
  #35  
 
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I haven't tried this myself, but GlocalMe looks like an interesting option for inexpensive sim-free wi-fi, and it appears that you can add up to five devices at once, which would beat $40/phone.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has had experience with GlocalMe.

https://www.glocalme.com/
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 02:12 PM
  #36  
 
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greg Thanks for clearing that up, I think I used the wrong terminology there.
It is the real time map downloading that we like to use, but only when driving into a city etc which can be confusing.

But that is certainly where we used most of our 2 gb of data, as mentioned above.
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 02:16 PM
  #37  
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Greg, thank you! I think I'm slowly getting this data thing!

So, if I have downloaded maps then the GPS is not going to eat up the data when I use the GPS function. It's just making sure I have the maps downloaded right? it looks like Google maps allows downloaded maps and will do turn by turn navigation offline; the co-pilot app does, too and I just read about an app called Navmii and it looks like it has preloaded maps and has had good reviews. This last one looks like it might be a good option. Has anyone used it?
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 02:38 PM
  #38  
 
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[regarding Verizon's international plan, whuch has only 100 mb of data]

<i>I rarely go through the data in two weeks, except in Japan where I use my GPS 24/7. Just make sure you use whatsapp for texting, Facetime or Skype for long international personal calls... </i>

I don't understand this advice. The Verizon international plan includes 100 minutes of phone calls and 100 text messages. Why would you use your very limited data to make calls via Skype and send texts by Whatsapp, when you have these included in your plan? I would at least use them up before turning to apps that use data services.
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 07:46 AM
  #39  
 
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<Why would you use your very limited data to make calls via Skype and send texts by Whatsapp, when you have these included in your plan?>

If I'm traveling for work, I usually go through the 100 texts and sometimes the 100 calls pretty quickly. So for additional calls, if you're in a wifi area for Facetime and Skype, that uses zero data. Whatsapp is the texting app preferred by Europeans and South Americans, also free in wifi areas. I use that for texting with locals -- colleagues/hosts/rental agents/staff/concierges/guides.

I feel as if many of the responses above come from people who haven't actually tried the Verizon global bundle. I use it multiple times a year. If you stay away from data-hungry apps, the 100mg is adequate. I usually go a little bit over in 2-3 weeks, but it's never been outrageous.

But I do dream that t-mobile will one day work where I live, so I can have free coverage abroad...

Here's a FT thread discussing the OP's original Q:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...al-bundle.html
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 07:57 AM
  #40  
 
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progol, Have a GREAT trip..and let me know how navmii works for you. I've never gotten it together to preload maps. The cars we rent always have a GPS and I've always been a map geek, so I like using real maps when I travel. But in Tokyo, I did have resort to Google maps for walking around.
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