Before You Go
How are you going to be using your devices while on the trip?
Will you be texting? Call your cell carrier and ask about an international messaging plan.
Will you be using email? Call your cell carrier and ask about an international data plan.
Will you be making phone calls? Inquire about an international calling plan.
If you are planning on watching any movies on the trip or playing any new games, download them locally onto your device before you go. Watching movies filmed in the place you are is great fun! You can’t stream movies in Europe like in the US so bring them with you. And downloading them while you are gone will wipe out your data plan. You can stream them from your Cloud if you have wifi but it can take a long time and be continually interrupted. Never download a movie using a data plan … Having them on already on your device allows you to hook your device up to the TV and use the TV as your monitor so the whole family can enjoy watching!
You get the idea. Providers can offer international plans at a flat rate but they are not for unlimited use. You get so much data download, for example a number of MB, and if you exceed that, you get into the expense zone again. We are talking about 3G/4G internet anywhere … not the use of wifi. You would need to learn how to monitor your usage which will depend on your provider. The duration can be for a specified number of weeks with a specific start date. The particular plan for you can vary depending on where you are going, who you have as your cellular carrier and whether your device is GSM or CDMA. They don’t eliminate the calling charges, just makes them cheaper.