How Travel SIM Cards Can Make Your Next Trip Even Better

Keep in touch from abroad with an unlocked device and a travel SIM.

Quick answer: Used with an unlocked phone, a travel SIM card allows you to purchase international plans that can help you keep in touch from abroad.

If you’ve ever traveled internationally, then you’re likely aware that most U.S. phone plans don’t extend to other countries. But that’s not to say there aren’t other ways to keep in touch with loved ones from overseas. In fact, using a travel SIM to purchase the airtime you need while out of the country is fairly simple. We’ll guide you through the process, step-by-step.

Woman browsing on her smartphone while traveling on a train

SIM cards explained

Before we discuss how to get a SIM card, let’s answer one important question – what is a SIM card? Put simply, a SIM card is a small chip that contains unique information and allows your phone to communicate with a carrier. Without a SIM, your phone wouldn’t be able to place calls, access mobile data, send messages, or perform any of the day-to-day functions you enjoy without a Wi-Fi connection.

Check phone compatibility

If you’d like to use a travel SIM, it’s important to ensure that your phone is SIM-compatible. This means that your device must A) be unlocked and B) use the GSM standard.

Many devices can be purchased unlocked. However, those that are bought through a carrier typically come locked. Simply reach out to the original carrier, and they’ll unlock it for you.

As for the GSM standard, if you purchased an unlocked phone, you’re good to go. Phones purchased from T-Mobile and AT&T are also GSM compatible. Devices purchased through Verizon or Sprint may not be, so it’s important to ask your carrier whether there’s a SIM slot before unlocking your device.

If you brought your own phone using the convenient BYOP program available from Net10, that means you probably have an unlocked device that’s SIM-compatible.

Buying a SIM

Where you purchase your SIM will ultimately depend on where you’re traveling.

Now that you’ve confirmed your phone’s compatibility, you can purchase a travel SIM. Where you purchase your SIM will ultimately depend on where you’re traveling. One popular choice is simply browsing the prepaid, no-contract carriers that operate in your destination. These carriers typically offer low-priced monthly plans, and most sell SIMs to ensure that your device is ready for action.

You can also choose from a variety of service providers that offer SIM cards and service plans specifically for international travelers. Common choices include GigSky, OneSimCard, and WorldSIM.

Get wireless savings without compromise

Here at Net10, we offer flexible plans to fit your needs with additional deeper discounts for AUTOPAY, and nationwide coverage on one of America’s largest and most dependable 4G LTE networks. Plus, when you choose Net10, there are no contracts, no extra fees and 30-day unlimited plans starting at just $35. Find out how you can use your unlocked phone with Net10 today.