Do I need an international travel plan? Whenever I travel internationally one of my key concerns is communication. How can I communicate with friends and family back home? How can I communicate with friends or businesses in Italy?
Every time I have gone to Italy I have spent hours researching the most reliable and efficient way to do this. The past few years I have taken my iPhone to use as a camera and to communicate via Skype or Whats App.
In addition, I took an old Blackberry (and I mean old) which I would use for calling local numbers in Italy. For this Blackberry phone I would purchase an Italian SIM card and was able to make and receive calls in Italy. Several problems occurred with this habit. One, I had to take two phones and two chargers. Two, whenever I had a voice message or text from the Italian provider like Vodafone or TIM on the Blackberry, it was in Italian and molto frustante. And to make matters worse, the red END button didn’t work on the Blackberry, so to hang up I always had to insert the phone into its case.
I am thrilled to report that just recently I have discovered a new plan that makes life much simpler. Actually, Victoria De Maio, my friend and travel companion on my upcoming Sicily trip with #2SicilianGals, gave me the heads up about Verizon’s new International Travel Plan. She shared the number ( 908) 559-4899 with me and when I called them, I was excited to learn that yes, their plan was exactly as how she had described!
The pleasant and efficient Brandi from Verizon’s International Roaming Department explained it all and set me up in about 15 minutes. She informed me that this has only been in effect since the beginning of 2015.
Basically here is the plan I selected. Since I will be in Italy for a month this works perfectly. For $40 I am covered for 30 days, beginning with the day I arrive in Italy. This allows me to use my iPhone to make 100 minutes’ worth of calls from Italy to the USA or anywhere else. In addition I can send 100 text messages and receive unlimited amounts, since it is free to receive text messages. I also have 100 mb of data, and if I need to, I can increase for an extra $25. Other travel plans are available as well, depending on what works best for you.
Mostly I am interested in using the plan for the phone and text messages, but it is nice to have it for data in case I absolutely have to look something up or check email when I do not have Wi-Fi. Even if I needed to use Google Maps it could come in handy, but I have learned the hard way that the Google Maps app definitely uses up a lot of data plus battery power on an iPhone.
Brandi even took me through the settings program on my phone, specifying what I needed to enable or turn off, and then she sent an email, detailing all this information again.
An international travel plan is a key component when traveling overseas. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A little research can make a world of difference.
Have you experienced frustration in figuring out how to stay connected while traveling internationally? I’d love to hear your stories, so please leave a comment.
Ciao and Grazie.