Ask LH: What’s The Best SIM Card For European Travel?

Dear Lifehacker, I am travelling to France for a couple of weeks, then getting on a cruise moving from France to Italy, Spain and then Malta. I have my phone with Telstra and I really only require data. Would you please advise which SIM card you would recommend please? Thanks, Deb

Dear Deb,

If you only require data, go with Globalgig. This is an Australian-based mobile virtual network operator that provides service in more than 100 countries — including France, Italy, Spain and Malta. It’s also affordable, with the SIM-only Traveller+ costing just $4.99 per month.

Globagig used to provide different data packages with prices ranging from $9 to $29. It’s since moved to a pay-as-you go model. This sounds alarming for global roaming, but the prices are pretty reasonable. France, Spain and Italy will cost you 15c per MB, while Malta will set you back 30c per MB.

The service will send you an email alert once you’ve incurred $50 in data charges and at $50 increments thereafter. Naturally, you’ll want to steer clear of video streaming and uploading large media files, but for stuff like email and social media, you shouldn’t rack up a large bill.

There’s no lock-in contract so you can cancel as soon as your finish your holiday. The monthly package also includes 250MB of data to use in Australia on the Optus network. This means you can continue to use it for the remainder of the month after returning home, at no extra change. (Unless you go over 250MB, of course.)

To get connected, simply order the relevant SIM card from the Globalgig website. This will then be sent out to you free of charge. Be sure to activate it just before you embark on your trip to maximise the number of days before you need to pay another $4.99.

We’re also going to throw this one over to our readers. What’s your preferred solution for mobile data when travelling abroad? Let Deb know in the comments.


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