Under most circumstances, you should NOT use your Verizon service when traveling internationally. Having said that, there are very few occasions when it actually does make sense to use your Verizon service when you go overseas. But first, let’s explore what Verizon offers its customers for international cellular service.
Verizon offers a plan called TravelPass for travelers wanting to use their phones outside of the US. This plan essentially lets you use your phone as you would back home for calling, texting and data. The plan activates and charges you whether you make or receive only one text or stay on the phone all day. The cost is $10 per day plus tax so in reality, closer to about $12-$13 per day depending on your state. Some states, New York for example, add a 25% tax to telecom services (plus other taxes). While this is expensive, if your trip is only 4-5 days and, roaming with your Verizon service may make sense.
However, if your trip is longer than 4-5 days and especially if it is say 3-4 weeks or you rarely use your phone, roaming with your Verizon is a terrible idea – unless you have money to burn.
Luckily, all Verizon smartphones are unlocked. That means that if you remove their SIM card and put in a different SIM card in your phone, totally take Verizon out of the billing equation.
Here are several SIM card options:
Free Talk Abroad SIM Card
Yes, the SIM card is free. You only pay for calls, texts and data. Simply add call/text credit or a data package and you can use this SIM card virtually worldwide. This is a very good option for users who need to make the occasional call/text or use data. Again, Verizon’s solution is unlimited but that is like going to an all you can eat restaurant just for a coffee!
If you don’t already have this SIM card, you can find out more or get it here – the price is right – FREE!
Local SIM Card
You can get a local SIM card for some countries but not all. We have local SIM cards for Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, China and a few other destinations. Local SIM cards will give you a local number and usually, lower rates than SIM card that work in multiple destinations. Nowadays, since many people use their phones more for data and use data based apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage, having a local number is irrelevant. (Spoiler Alert: In a few years, a local number will be totally irrelevant as all calls, messages and texts will be through data)
International Data SIM Card
This has quickly become our best seller as it is very easy to use, very affordable and offers tons of calling and data capability. We offer three versions, a 5GB version, a 12GB version and a 12GB version that lasts for 365 days. For the very savvy traveler who travels often, we recommend the 365 day version. If you travel once a year, then the 5GB or the 12GB version is fine. Discover more at International Data SIM Card.
Again, unless your are like this guy, there is no reason to roam with Verizon. In fact, when you are roaming with your provider, you will get every single phone call whether you want it or not. Many travelers, especially those on holidays, specifically want to get away from it all and do not want to be interrupted by telemarketers or non emergency calls. With a different SIM card, you will have a new number but also the option of having a new US number as well as having the option of keeping your usual number if need be.
In sum, there are plenty of options out there and virtually all of them are better and more cost effective than Verizon’s. Sorry Verizon, time for you to hear US!