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Data roaming in Europe: Which One Should I pick?

If you need an internet connection on your trip to Europe, we will be telling you all about the best Europe roaming plans.

Leoneska Ruiz

June 25, 2023

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Nowadays, roaming has become one of the favorite ways to stay connected to the internet while traveling to different places. That’s why if you are traveling soon, through this article, we will be telling you all about the best Europe roaming plans. So, you can always stay connected to the internet in Europe. 

In addition, we will also be discussing other alternatives beyond roaming, so you will have many options to choose from. That way, you can enjoy your trip the best way and share your experience with family and friends. 

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What is Roaming?

When you travel to another country and you lose the signal connectivity you had with your local carrier, you will most likely be able to connect to another carrier in the country you are visiting, and that happens thanks to international roaming. 

Nowadays, many international carriers, work with alliances with other telecommunication companies to make international roaming work. And the use of this service is different in each company. In some companies, this service is activated automatically, and in others, you will have to purchase specific plans to make use of these services while traveling. 

Roaming allows you to text, call, or use data as usual, but it comes at a price. And in particular, this service is known to be one of the most expensive on the market, but we’ll get to that later. 

Roaming rates in Europe:

One of the things that most travelers look at before starting their trip and activating roaming, is to know what are the prices that they will have available to use the service. International roaming has a reputation for being one of the most expensive services when traveling, mainly because if you use a pay-per-use option, you could have very high bills when you get home. 

That is why below we will tell you a few different operators worldwide that offer this type of service to their users while traveling to Europe. With prices ranging from $1 to $15 per MB usage. As well as complete plans from $5 to $10 per day. 

AT&T USA 

If you are a user of this American company, then you can make use of international roaming while traveling to Europe. AT&T offers its users different ways to activate roaming, either with a specific plan or with the pay-per-use option. In order to activate roaming, you simply need to have an AT&T domestic plan.

First of all, this company has a plan called International Pass, which allows users to have an unlimited internet connection, calls, and messages. Paying only $10 a day. 

On the other hand, if you prefer the pay-per-use option, you can also use it while traveling in Europe. Standard prices are 2.05 USD per MB. And if you want to make calls, it will cost you $1 per minute, as well as $0.5 per text message. 

Telstra 

As a second option, if you are a user of this Australian phone company, you will also be able to activate roaming while traveling to Europe. Firstly, you will have available the International Roaming Plan, which will allow you to make use of your phone services while traveling to Europe. However, you must take into account that in order to use this plan, you need to have a Telstra postpaid plan. 

But don’t worry, if you don’t have one of Telstra’s postpaid plans, Telstra also allows its users to make use of the pay-as-you-go option. With this option, your MB usage will cost $3.00. Likewise, you will also be able to make calls and send and receive messages with a price per minute and message. 

T-Mobile 

This is another American company that allows its users to make use of international roaming on their trips, including, of course, European destinations. Something to consider is that with this company, it is much simpler and more economical to have a plan that offers the possibility of roaming, such as Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus Plan. If a user has any of these plans, they will have specific benefits for their roaming. 

On the other hand, if you do not have any of the plans mentioned above, do not worry, you will still be able to roam with the pay-per-use option. But keep in mind that this option is much more expensive. Per MB used, you will have to pay $15. Likewise, making calls costs 0.25 USD per minute, and the text messaging service costs 0.50 USD per message sent. 

Vodafone Australia 

If you are traveling to Europe and are a Vodafone Australia user, then it is very simple and inexpensive to activate your roaming. For some users with specific plans, there is the opportunity to activate this service for a daily fee of 5 dollars. Depending on the plan you have, you will have different benefits, but in general, everyone will be able to use data, calls, and messages. 

Also, keep in mind that the above option will allow you to reach maximum daily usage. If you exceed that limit, you will be charged from the pay-as-you-go option, which is $1 per MB. 

How to avoid roaming charges in Europe

France Europe. Source: Unsplash

We know that roaming is not an option for many people when traveling, mainly because of its high costs. So, if you want to avoid the high roaming costs for Europe, then we will discuss other options that will allow you to have a cellular internet connection while traveling to this continent. 

Keep in mind that the option you choose will depend on your current needs and those of your trip. However, we recommend that you always select the one you feel most comfortable and confident with. 

Prepaid International Europe SIM Card

First of all, we would like to mention what we consider to be one of the best options, the Prepaid SIM card for Europe. By acquiring this SIM card, you can enjoy cellular data in any European country at much more affordable prices than with other options. 

These SIM cards can be purchased in different ways, either through online stores before you start your trip or, once you arrive in your destination country, through physical stores. However, we recommend purchasing your SIM card in advance in a virtual store if you want to be as prepared as possible. 

Holafly’s eSIM for European travel

As a second alternative, we bring you the European eSIMs. But what is an eSIM card? The best definition of it is that it’s a virtual SIM card. eSIMs are just the new and advanced way to have cellular internet worldwide. This digital SIM allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without using a physical nano-SIM.

It’s also important to know that this virtual SIM card does not require physical installation, as it is built into the phone’s hardware. On the other hand, an eSIM is a device that only needs a QR code to be activated; through this code, the user’s cellular data packages or exchanges are activated. Undoubtedly, it is the evolution of the SIM card we currently use.

As well as the previous option, these eSIMs can also be found in virtual stores, such as Holafly. For eSIMs, there is a broader variety of European eSIM card plans from Holafly, precisely eight. These plans range from one day to 90 days of use, which costs between $6 and $139, depending on the amount.

All options have unlimited data, which, in addition to being used on your devices, allows you to share 500 MB of data daily through Hotspots. Also, the Holafly store has plans for unique destinations such as French eSIM alternatives and many more!

holafly europe esim custom days
eSIM with unlimited data in Europe. Source: Holafly.

Pocket WiFi

Another different alternative that you can count on to stay connected to the internet is the Pocket WiFi. This is a device that shares an internet signal with several devices at the same time. It works like a router that you can take with you on your travels. It is very beneficial if you find yourself traveling in a group. 

However, one thing to keep in mind about this service is that you will always have to carry it with you if you want to stay connected to the internet, so it might be a bit inconvenient for some people

Also, the cost-effectiveness of these devices for Europe tends to be around $40 to $349.99 for about a week. Besides, you will have to consider other expenses such as delivery and insurance that some companies have. So, this option could be a bit expensive. 

Free WiFi

On the other hand, if you have a low budget for your trip and find it difficult to afford any of the services mentioned above, let us tell you that you may be able to connect to places with free WiFi in European countries. 

You can find free WiFi hotspots in many places, be it your hotel, some shopping malls, or a restaurant. As well as in many trains in some countries. However, even though you are not spending anything on this service, you should consider that it tends not to be the safest option of all due to the large number of people who can connect to the network. 

So, we recommend this not to be your first option on the list. You could make use of the free WiFi for simple actions, which do not involve the entry of specific data or personal information. Remember that you will be in unknown countries and have to be careful.