Using phone and data overseas is a recurring issue for me – and surely it is for many other business and leisure travelers.
I’m a Verizon Wireless customer, so as it stands, these are the solutions I see when trying to connect overseas:
- Pay the absurd fees Verizon Wireless (my carrier) charges and go bankrupt.
- Use a SIM card and have the hassle of having to buy it when I get over there, and then having to swap it into my phone and out, and never have the luxury of my own phone number. Or, buy a pre-paid phone.
- Use a paid WiFi hotspot.
- Never use data and rely solely on hotel internet (not so convenient)
A few weeks ago, I reviewed XCom Global, a mobile hotspot device that, for $15 a day, you can receive unlimited WiFi via a small portable hotspot you can carry with you. Combined with a $30 shipping charge, it’s not cheap, but provides reliable service that doesn’t have many restrictions.
Verizon Wireless Has Added a New Global Plan
Luckily for Verizon Wireless subscribers, Verizon has introduced a new global bundle plan.
For $25 a month, you’ll get 100MB of data, as well as a discounted rate of phone calls, at about .99 cents a minute (approximately, depending on the country).
Here’s where it gets better, and where the bundle comes in: For $15 more (so, a total of $40), you get:
- 100 minutes of phone calls
- 100 sent text messages
- Unlimited received text messages
It’s not too bad to be honest, and much cheaper than paying the $25 basic plan and paying per minute, per phone call. While XComm is only $15 a day, combined with shipping, for shorter trips, it may not be as cheap as this Verizon plan, if Verizon is your preferred carrier. The $40 charge is per month, and while it includes 100MB of data, you can receive additional 100MB installment for an additional $25 (which will continue to bill the more data you use).
By using this new bundle fully, you’re definitely saving money over the traditional plan, so the extra $15 is worth it for sure. For me, I’ll be adding this plan to by monthly bill, though will be disabling it during months of no international travel.
I’ll be trialing this new Global Bundle on an upcoming trip to London, so stay tuned for a review of the service, and whether it’s really worth it.
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