Cell phone Question - Europe

We’re off to Europe in May. Three days in Barcelona and a week in Normandy. If I want to maintain the ability to receive and send calls and text messages while I’m there what’s the best/simplest way to make it happen?

Who is your cell carrier and what type of phone do you have?

I have Verizon, and they have a simple option that basically costs you somewhere between $3-10/day depending on the country. It covers all phones on your plan, and for a week it’s a pretty reasonable price.

Same. Verizon.

I have the same with T-Mobile at absolutely no extra cost with my plan.

Call them and ask about roaming. For 3+7 days, getting local SIMs may be overkill.

My Spanish Vodafone plan includes voice and data roaming in the EU (legally required) and the US (demanded by the yelling hordes of customers) at no additional cost.

Last time we went anywhere, AT&T had something similar- international roaming or something like that.

Rogers in Canada also has “Roam Like Home” and deals with assorted carriers in various countries. I assume your carrier would have something similar. Almost every modern smartphone is compatible with overseas services.

Thus I found I could get regular service from places like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, even India (but not Dubai or Egypt or Tanzania). $10 a day is pretty cheap. The only gotcha in our fine print was “to a maximum of $100 - per billing cycle”. That meant if my billing cut-off date fell in the middle of my trip, I could end up charged $100 up to that date and up to $100 after, depending on number of days. Still, it beats the hassle of chasing down a SIM card at your destination, topping up the card for each location… especially, some data plans can be confusing. Data was probably as valuable a resource as voice or text.

Another point if you consider SIMs is whether your phone is unlocked. In Canada, phones sold for over a year have been unlocked - will accept any carrier’s SIM card. Not sure what the USA rules about unlocking is. (Rogers used to charge $50 to unlock your phone - when the contract was up.) better be darn sure your phone is unlocked before you decide you’re buying a SIM.

IMHO a SIM is great for a longer-term stay, say a month-long vacation or a study-abroad course; or if you are far more technical (in which case you wouldn’t be asking here).