While using your UK issued mobile phone in the USA is easy, it’s not always cheap. If you need to be in contact with home at an affordable rate, it’s worth considering the purchase of a local SIM card.
On my recent visit to the USA, Telaway offered me a solution that allowed me an unlimited phone, text and data allowance for the duration of the trip.
While there’s some up-front cost to pay for the SIM card from Telaway, using a local SIM card is liberating, allowing to you to use your phone whenever and wherever you like without any obligation to wait for a good WiFi connection or to pay an extortionate rate for a phone call.
The only relevant disadvantage is the inconvenience of locating an unlocked phone – not much of an ask though for most smartphone users I’d imagine. Fortunately, Telaway uses a T Mobile/ EE/ Orange network, but if you’re with another provider then you’ll need to source an unlocked phone.
This approach requires first either getting an unlocked phone or unlocking your current one – if it’s not already unlocked, and then buying a new SIM card online from Telway. This isn’t a very difficult process but I’d only recommend this for travellers taking longer trips and/or anticipating a lot of phone calls or data usage. For shorter trips, it may not be beneficial to do so.
As a rule your Telaway SIM card should work automatically as soon you replace your SIM card from home with the SIM card that Telaway will have delivered to you before departing for your trip. Note: be sure to put your home SIM somewhere safe, you will be needing it when you go back!
The main benefits of using Telaway are:
- Your UK phone number will be diverted to the US SIM card – you won’t have to miss that important phone call and there’s no extra cost for this fantastic service.
- Unlimited means exactly that. On a 10 day trip to Florida, I was able to share content to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. as usual without having to search for a WiFi network.
- There are no nasty phone bill surprises when you get back home. It’s all done and paid for, you simply swap your SIM card back to the original SIM and continue as normal.
I should mention that unfortunately my switchover wasn’t quite so smooth due to a mix up with the US number that had been supplied to my SIM card. My initial response to resolve this was to contact T Mobile however this was to no avail. What I should have done was to contact Telaway directly. The issue with my SIM card was solved within a couple of hours and my UK number was diverted for me – contacts could call or text me on my usual UK number and speak with me as normal on the US SIM card. Impressive. Let me add that the issue was NO FAULT of Telaway but was in fact on T-Mobile’s part.
Overall, it would be hard to find a reason not to purchase a Telaway SIM card for my next trip to the USA. The benefits of being accessible really made the difference to my phone – I confess, whilst I’m not necessarily a social media addict 😉 I appreciate being able to jump online at my convenience and not worry about roaming charges and supplying my contacts with another temporary phone number. It’s also great to be able to accept calls, respond to texts/ WhatsApp and voicemail messages as usual without worrying about the additional cost – and being able to get rid of the niggling notification that usually stays on my phone until I’m back home!
Have you used a Telaway SIM card? How was your experience?
Many thanks to Telaway for providing a complimentary SIM card for the purpose of this review.