Australians are known for traveling. Traveling around the world and exploring new places gives us new experiences. But you always need a good travel SIM Card for your mobile before traveling. Good travel SIM Card means that SIM Card which has good phone plans while roaming without affecting your budget. This ensures that you enjoy your trip without the fear of bill shock. In this article, you will know about the best phone plans for travelers.
Mobile Plan Options for Overseas
There are multiple mobile plan options when you plan to go overseas. They are as follows:
- Pay as you go phone plans
- Roaming packs
- A travel or global SIM Card
- A phone plan
You can use any of the above four options for your mobile. Remember that the most convenient option also means extra costs. You can always think of using the free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop. But it is always slower and at a higher security risk than the roaming mobile plans. So, choose wisely and accordingly.
Some Good Mobile Plans for Roaming
Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are the major cell phone network service providers in Australia. They have very good mobile plans for roaming. However, some Mobile Virtual Network Service Providers (MVNOs) also have travel plans. They are Woolworths Mobile and Australia Post.
The table below shows a list of network service providers with their plan types and plan rates.
|Network Provider||Plan Rate||Plan Type|
|Telstra||USA $3/minute calls, 75c SMS, $3/MB
‘International Day Pass’: New Zealand $5 extra per day to use your current plan, $10 for other countries
|Postpaid & Prepaid|
|Optus||$1.50/minute calls, 50c SMS, $1/MB data for Zone 1 countries||Postpaid & Prepaid|
|Vodafone||‘$5 a day’ to access your current plan inclusions in 55 countries (free use in New Zealand)
$1/minute calls, $1/MB data, 75c SMS
Postpaid & Prepaid
|Australia Post||$25 including $5 credit, 25c calls, text, and MB data||Prepaid Travel SIM Card|
|Woolworths Mobile||$29 SIM starter pack including $10 credit, variable extra packs to add on||Prepaid Travel SIM Card|
Apart from Vodafone and Telstra, all the others service providers have ‘Pay As You Go’ plans. Vodafone has ‘$5 a day’ mobile plan for roaming. Telstra has $5 and $10 per day for prepaid and postpaid mobile plans.
Roaming Mobile Packs
Following is the process to activate roaming on your mobile which runs on the Telstra network services. Download and install the Telstra mobile app on your mobile phone. Now, buy a travel phone pack. Telstra has launched a new facility for roaming called “International Day Pass”. Using this facility, you can use your current Telstra mobile plan overseas for $10 per day. It costs $5 per day for New Zealand. $10 per day plan is available for famous locations like the US, Canada, Brazil, China, much of Europe and Asia.
Telstra prepaid users have a little different roaming rule. The prepaid plan rates are as follows:
|Telstra Prepaid Roaming Plan||Data Offered|
More about Telstra Mobile plans
Following is the process to activate roaming on your mobile which runs on the Optus network services. Download and install the Optus mobile app on your mobile phone. Now, buy a travel phone pack. If you do not wish to download the Optus mobile app, then activate the pack online on ‘My Account’ page.
Optus Travel Pack costs an extra $10 a day on top of your existing mobile plan. This mobile plan offers unlimited calls, unlimited text messages, and 100 MB data for Zone 1 locations. Zone 1 locations are North America, New Zealand, most of Europe (including Russia) and Asia. You can also get 250 MB data pool during whole five days by purchasing five of these ‘$10 days’ in advance.
Optus prepaid users have a little different roaming rule. First, you will have to recharge a minimum of $20. This pack is called as the ‘Travel Credit Add-On’. After that, all the plan rates and rules apply in the same way as mentioned above. You can also track your data usage during your trip via Optus mobile app or online web portal.
More about Optus Mobile Plans
Vodafone has the most lucrative offer of all the three service providers. It has $5 a day roaming plan for your mobile. You can access all the features of your mobile plan during your travel overseas. This feature is applicable for 55 countries. They are North America, Brazil, South Africa, some of Asia, and almost all of Europe.
Prepaid users of Vodafone can also access the roaming facility. This feature is applicable to a few countries. They are the USA, most of Europe, and some of Asia. They can recharge by texting specific codes to a particular number. The particular number is 1511. The codes are as follows:
- 3 days, $25: 100MB, 30 minutes of calling, 30 SMS OR 200MB data only
- 7 days, $35: 250MB, 60 minutes of calling, 60 SMS OR 500MB data only
Travel and Global SIM Cards
Travel and Global SIM Cards are those SIM Cards that prepaid in nature. You can easily insert it into your unlocked mobile and pay for what you use. Australia Post and Woolworths Mobile offer travel and global SIM Cards.
Australia Post Travel SIM Card
Travel SIM Card by Australia Post is the most famous travel SIM Card.
- Its cost is $25 and includes some starter credit and free express shipping
- Relatively low rates of 25c for a megabyte of data, per minute of calling or per text message
- These plan rates apply to more than 200 countries
- 24/7 customer service with a smartphone app. It controls and monitors your usage. You can also recharge and troubleshoot via this mobile app. It includes an offline mapping for handy navigation.
- The SIM pack is a tri-cut one: nano, micro, and standard SIM sizes
- Free Travel SIM to Travel SIM texts, making it easy for couples or friends to go overseas and contact each other
Woolworths Mobile Travel SIM Card
Travel SIM Card by Woolworths Mobile is the second most famous travel SIM Card. You will get a new mobile number once you activate the travel SIM Card. Its base cost is $29. $10 credit is included in the base cost. Apart from that, all the pay as you go plan rates applies in the same manner. Woolworths Mobile Travel SIM Card is applicable in New Zealand and Europe.
- Europe Pack: 500 MB for $40, 1 GB for $50, 3 GB for $100
- Europe Combo Pack: $40 for 200 MB, 200 SMS & 200 minutes
- Global Pack: 250 MB for $40, 500 MB for $60, or 1 GB for $99
- New Zealand Pack: $40 for 200 MB, 200 SMS & 200 minutes
More about Woolworths Mobile Plans
What about a phone plan from the country I’m visiting?
There are so many network providers with so many mobile plans. It can really take a lot of time to decide your option. However, purchasing a native prepaid phone plan in the country you are visiting can be a good option. You can select either a prepaid or postpaid plan. Getting a native prepaid phone plan in the country you are visiting is more affordable in terms of rates and inclusions. All you need is your home address, ID check, and a local credit card.
If you are visiting New Zealand during your trip, then visit a comparing website. This mobile plans comparing website can suggest you the best phone plans out there. You can easily compare them and apply it to your mobile. Generally, NZD $30 a month plans offer you 1 GB data, call minutes and unlimited texts.
There are five big telecommunication networks in the United States. They are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. These are in descending order of subscriber base. They all have online web portals and physical stores. You can check their mobile plans online. The term ‘mobile’ is synonymous with ‘wireless’ and ‘cellular’ in the USA.
There are five big telecommunication networks in Canada. They are Rogers, Telus, BCE, Shaw, and RuralCom. All the mobile phone plans in Canada are province dependent. It means that one network may not work in all the regions. The ‘Big 5’ has a wide are of network range and works in almost all the provinces. Multiple departmental stores and convenience stores are available. Generally, CAD $40 a month plans offer you 1 GB data, unlimited voice minutes and unlimited texts.
There are four big telecommunication networks in the UK. They are EE, O2, Vodafone, and 3. Many MVNOs also have numerous mobile plans with good options. It is suggested to stick with the major network providers than MVNOs. It is because the former have a wide area network and good plan rates. Generally, £20 a month plan offers you 1 GB data, unlimited voice minutes and unlimited texts. UK mobile plans operate in most European countries without any roaming charges.
Mobile Phone Roaming: Is it worth it?
Traveling overseas without getting a roaming mobile plan is a traditional way. But it can cost you a lot of Australian dollars in your monthly budget. Just imagine a minute call to cost over $1 per minute and a text to cost at least 50c. It will be very expensive. So, the best method is to get a good roaming mobile phone plan. You can save some dollars and enjoy your travel without worrying about extra mobile expenses.