How To Switch Out (and Store) Your SIM Card When You Travel

One of the benefits of having an unlocked iPhone is that you can switch out your SIM card when you travel. International phone plans are expensive, and it’s often much cheaper to buy a new card and a local data plan than to pay a daily or monthly fee or per-use rate to your carrier.

So how do you remove your primary SIM card when you go abroad?

  1. Grab your phone and a paperclip.

  2. Turn your phone off.

  3. Find the SIM card tray on the right side of your device.

  4. Insert the paperclip into the tiny hole in the card tray, press gently, and pop the tray out.

  5. Remove the SIM card and store securely.

An easy way to make sure you can switch out SIM cards quickly — as soon as you land stateside, for example—is to carry a paperclip on your keychain or clipped to your wallet.

My preferred spot for storing my primary SIM card is taped inside the cover of my passport. A tiny SIM card is likely to disappear if you throw it in your suitcase or purse, and while your wallet (and your luggage) is easily lost or stolen, your passport is one of the few things you must keep track of while you’re abroad.

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(If your passport gets lost or stolen, you have bigger problems than a missing SIM card.)

Of course, if you have to turn over your passport for any reason, tape your SIM card to the inside of your wallet’s coin pocket or another spot you’ll have eyes on often.


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