Although the world is more digitally connected now than it ever has been before, finding an inexpensive connection for your mobile phone when crossing international borders is still a cumbersome process. You either have to contend with expensive, often murky roaming charges, or spend what can be a long afternoon trying to track down a local provider for service. The TravelSim card however eliminates the need for either of those sub-optimal choices, providing you with pay-as-you-need international mobile and data service.
What Is A TravelSim?
Physically, the TravelSim is your basic mobile phone SIM (optionally Micro SIM) card. Functionally, the TravelSim allows you to make calls and send text messages from over 135 countries in the world at national flat rates. Data service is also included in most countries with incoming calls, plus texts, free. The TravelSim is sold online through through their website with two packages available, either 35 or 85 Euros depending on how much initial air time you want.
TravelSIM International SIM Card with 5 USD airtime
How The TravelSim Works
The TravelSim is a callback service routed through Estonia. Once you’ve got the TravelSim inserted into your phone (which must be unlocked for the service to work), you make calls as you normally would – with one extra step. Instead of being connected directly to the person you’re calling, once you dial, you’ll receive a phone call from the TravelSim service. You then wait on the line for a second or two before hearing the familiar sound of ringing as you’re connect to the person you’re calling. The additional process adds under 5 seconds of time to an ordinary call and is fairly seamless, once you get used to your phone calling you back before connecting. (Admittedly, it took me a few times.)
Text messages are sent as you would with any regular phone service. To activate data, you’ll need to follow these steps to configure your phone.
Benefits Of Using TravelSim
For starters, the TravelSim is available in a lot of countries from Madagascar to France and is a pay-as-you-go service. Once you’ve added credit to your card on TravelSim.com, it’s good for two years. Anyone can get in touch with you through your dedicated phone number, which will have a +372 country code, since TravelSim is based in Estonia. Having (inexpensive) mobile service upon arrival in a new country can be one of the most comforting things a traveler can have, especially if you need to contact your hotel or have a mother who still worries about you.
Additionally, TravelSim gives you a phone number that’s actually usable without costing you twice your plane tickets. Hotels and hostels often want a contact number, as do the friends you make on the road. The TravelSim can’t replace regular mobile service at home but it’s not designed to do that. Ideally, you swap out your home SIM with the TravelSim before your next international flight or train ride to seamlessly close the gap in coverage between arrival and accommodation we all face when showing up in a new country.
Great post! Thanks Anil!
Seems like this is a great option for emergency or low use. As a note to others though, if you are planning on staying for more than a couple weeks in a particular country outside the EU and/or are planning on sending some texts, using data and making some local phone calls, I would recommend you do your research and get a local sim. TravelSim would be too expensive for everyday local use while traveling.
Its great though for someone like an IT support guy who works “on call” and travels around the world though 🙂 Ill probably have to get TravelSim myself
I agree, TravelSim is best used for emergencies or the time from airport to hotel, since it’s when you need a connection/phone number most usually but are least likely to have one.
how would the data plans work, do you know?
also, having the +372 country code would mean, anyone wanting to call you, will have to make an international call to Estonia, even if they are in the same country traveling with you, right?
Yes here are the data plans:
2. Yes, it’s best to give you a way to call until you get a local sim – or to use data for Skype (Vibr, etc.) calls.
Great product i always have this problem when i travel is very hard to find internet service that is not expensive