Guide : the best mobile plans abroad
Abroad, the cell is now necessary. Travelers need their cells to check an itinerary during a road trip with some friends, to check the flight status after leaving a business meeting, or to check a table at a restaurant for a dinner out during a family vacation. Canadians do need their phones abroad, and they expect to use it as easily as they use it at home. Providers try to meet their expectations with different options, daily or monthly, pay per use… the best depend on the usage.
$5, $10 a day
For those who want to use their phone the same way in Canada and abroad, Rogers and Fido offer them that possibility against a daily fee. Indeed, Fido Roam and Roam like home gives Rogers and Fido customer the possibility to use their Price Plan abroad.
For example a Fido customer who is leaving France for a week, and has a $49 Pulse Plan unlimited Minutes and 6GB, will be able to use what is included his plan abroad for $10 a day. If the traveler go to the US, they sell pay $5. At the end of the month, our traveler will have a bill of $119 (plus taxes): $70 Fido Roam (10$/day) + $49 Price Plan.
It is the same principle with Rogers.
Those offers seem expensive, but it needs to be compared to pay per use; At Fido, a customer would pay between $ 7.99 to $9.99 for 50Mo abroad, so more than $150 for 1GB, plus the minute fees and SMS. Also, both Rogers and Fido would not billed more than 10 days of that roaming in one zone per billing cycle. Let’s imagine our traveler decide to stay a month in France, his Fido Roam fees would not be more than $ 100.
TELUS (with Easy Roam™) offers the same thing but only for the US and for $7 a day.
Bell has also a daily offer, but it is a bit different. For $5 a day in the US or $ 10 in 110 countries, Bell’s customers can have unlimited text/call, and 100Mo per day (20 days billed per billing cycle).
Those daily options are mostly for those who would use their phone the same way abroad than in Canada, those who do not want to limit their usage. It is also for those who have the habit to travel to the US several days in the month. Also, for those who do not want to pay for one day just need to turn off their roaming at midnight. Finally, the user of those daily options can always make calls to Canada without being charged for long distance. They would be international fees if they make phone calls to other destination than the countries they are or Canada. For example, our traveler can call in Franc e and Canada, but if he calls the USA he would pay long distance fee. This is a big difference from the monthly packages.
For those of you willing spend less for a month, there is monthly options. There are for people who do not need to use their phone a lot during their travel.
At Bell, a $60 Travel Pass to Mexico includes 100 minutes, 200 texts ad 200 Mo. Telus offers a $50 Plan, also in Mexico, with 50 minutes, 150 texts and 300Mo. Those packages can be expensive, especially in Africa countries, for example, at TELUS a travel pack for Morocco is $150 for 25mo, 50 minutes and 50 texts. In that case, would a local prepaid card be more advantageous?
A prepaid card is probably the less expensive roaming option for travelers. For example, our TELUS customer can have 10go, 2 hours airtime and 1000 SMS for $14 (100 Dirham) with a Telecom prepaid card in Morocco. The only condition to benefit from those prepaid cards is to have an unlocked phone, and to be ready to have a new number. Having a prepaid card is as good for a one time traveler as for a regular travelers as you can keep the card for at least 6 months before the telephone numbers gets canceled.
Make your choice according to your needs
Finally, the best daily options are for those who go to US whether they leave for one day or 30 days. To respond to those options, Videotron launched a Canada-US without borders plan. For at least $55 per month, a Videotron customer can have unlimited text and talk, 2GO across Canada and USA.
To conclude, your choice of plan has to be taken in accordance with your needs ! You should think about how you will use your phone during your travel : will you need internet data to post new instagram pictures, or to look maps on internet ? Will you just need a few minutes to call your friends and family ? Then you will be able choose the best option for you !