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Orange Holiday, Vodafone, TIM

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To you experience travelers out there, which of these is the best for an unlocked phone if coming from the us? We will be in Europe for 18 days,  12 on the cruise and the rest in Italy. I know we can do WhatsApp, but I like the idea of having data in the event of no WiFi or spotty WiFi. I’ve read mixed reviews on them all,. Thanks. Oh and the $10day plan would be too costly over the course of the trip for us.

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Besides the $10/day plan, see if your carrier has one plan that just transfers the benefits of your plan for a month for like $60.


I doubt you will really be using the phone as much as you think you will. WiFi is not uncommon in Europe.

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I've used TIM to get a tourist SIM for my iPad.  I bought an ATT/T-Mobile compatible version of the iPad, but I never activated it for cell.  When I would go to Italy, I'd stop by a TIM store and get a SIM for it.  Worked just fine.   I didn't have to worry about finding a good wifi signal with having TIM also.  My old RAZR was with T-Mo so I could just use it for calls wherever.  Now that I have an iPhone, it's through T-Mo also  so I don't have to buy an international package for data (my RAZR didn't do data).   



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The providers you mentioned are all reliable and have been mentioned by CC members here and on other of our port boards. I've used 3 (Three) in Italy (works in UK and elsewhere in Europe to call/text/go online wherever) and was simple, easy to use. I was overseas for an extended period when I had 3 and it was easy to top-up the account when I needed more data but it was a good value and didn't run down too quickly. I compared at the time and the rates w/Vodafone seemed to more or less even. I wasn't keen on spending too much time running around shopping for a card because I hadn't purchased it prior to leaving the U.S.; it was easy to do comparison shopping in Italy or England or wherever. To top-up requires only visiting their website and takes about a minute. Easy peasy.


A lot of the time though, there's wifi accessible and so you may not ever really need the card, as Bruce stated. Plan on sending messages and making whatever calls only when you're on wifi and you'll be fine. Maps can be downloaded at those times too and then accessed offline. Google maps can be used offline too. It can also be a relief to not have the phone pinging while out and about, quite freeing. If you find you need something, a wifi signal usually isn't too hard to find these days. Should you be far from a wifi, it's quite possible you may be far from a mobile signal too and might not have cell service either when out and about, depending upon where you are.


Think about it and decide what works for you. But as to any of the above services, you can't go wrong in terms of how well they work. Mostly it will come down to which one offers a bundle that best suits your requirements and budget gigs/euros etcetera.   


Do unplug when you can though 😉 



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