Best International Cell Phone Plans for Travelers

One of the few blogs that a frequent on a regular basis is the Snarky Nomad who recently posted an article titled: Why every International traveler should switch to T-Mobile immediately and it really caught my attention for two reasons. First he was talking about an aspect of cheap cell phone plans which this blog is all about and second he discusses International travel which is something I’m interested in doing much more of over the next several years or so.

So far my feeble world travel experience has only consisted of Canada and Jamaica, so I’m not exactly anywhere close to having the kind of travel experience that Snarky Nomad has. However, based on those trips, I can say that my mobile phone carrier at the time, AT&T, ended up charging me exorbitant amounts in International roaming charges, enough to make me extremely irate. And from what I’ve heard from others, these high International rates are not uncommon amongst the big wireless carriers, that is except for one.

As Snarky Nomad points out in his blog article, T-Mobile seems to be offering a really great deal on its International mobile phone plans. Basically it comes down to the basic $50 per month plan which has a $0.20 per minute charge for International calling but texting and data is free as part of the plan.

To be honest, the voice calling feature on any phone plan these days is probably the least used function of our phones, which is no doubt quite ironic. This got me thinking that one of the main reasons for wanting unlimited data while traveling is so that you can access many of the useful travel apps like maps for instance. With that in mind, who cares if there is voice calling charges, especially if you can use a calling app like Google Hangouts Dialer that takes advantage of the unlimited data plan. Coupled with a voice calling app, a world traveler doesn’t need to worry about racking up huge roaming charges, they can be content in knowing that they just pay the monthly flat rate.

Although some things to take note about T-Mobile’s Simple Choice International plan is that it only covers 120 countries, so if you’re off in a really obscure African country than you might be out of luck, but otherwise most places that people travel seem to be covered. You can view a list of all countries that T-Mobile’s plan includes here.

Regardless, this is a pretty solid deal and another step up for T-Mobile in its assault on the likes of AT&T and Verizon. The wireless wars continue to prove hugely beneficial to customers. And since we know that roaming charges on other companies’ networks can be quite costly, it’d be interesting to see how this type of unlimited International data effects T-Mobile’s bottom line. That said, for now the $50 per month Simple Choice plan seems to be one of the best International cell phone plans for those nation hoping world nomads out there.

If any readers currently use T-Mobile while traveling abroad, please let us know what your experience is with data coverage and data speeds in the various countries you’ve visited in the comments below.

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