Dear LH, My partner and I are heading to Europe for three weeks – we’ll be in Germany first, then Austria and finally the Netherlands. We're normally happy to hit up wi-fi when it’s available, but we’re going to be cycling for a large part of the trip and want to make sure we’re connected, with plenty of data. Happy to grab a local sim when we get there, but unsure whether we need to do that in each country or the best provider to go with for coverage in all three? Help please! Bike Lover
Image: Karl Baron
You could opt for a separate SIM in each country, but that is going to involve quite a bit of work even just dealing with the paperwork and fiddly small change, not to mention potential APN settings on each device. Frankly, it's just not likely to be worth it when there are options that you can set up from Australia that should work with no SIM fiddling at all.
Straight roaming from your existing telco is one option, although there's really only one contender that stands out in the "value" category there.
If you're an existing Vodafone contract customer, its Red Roaming deal covers all three countries you've outlined at a flat cost of $5 per day, which buys you access to whatever provisions your existing contract has. The big benefit there is that you keep your standard Australian number while travelling, so it's easier for family and friends to call you. The downside is that you're paying five bucks per day for a service you've already paid for, so over three weeks it'll cost you $105 on top of your existing contract commitment.
You noted, however, that what you're after was "plenty of data", and for that, a travelling SIM such as Globalgig could serve your needs very well indeed. The current Go Europe & USA deal offers 3GB of roaming data for $50 through all the countries on your itinerary, with the added bonus of being able to use the excess data back in Australia via the Optus network when you return.
That's a deal with a three month minimum term, however, and like all of Globalgig's products, it's a data-only product, so there's no calling or texting capability at all on offer. (With that said, you should have enough data to comfortably call relatives via an internet service such as Facebook messenger or Skype.)
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