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I'm traveling to Europe, can I use my phone on my trip?

Heading across the pond? Here's a few things to know about using your cell phone abroad before you take the trek.

Though Europe has a simpler cell phone infrastructure than the United States, it doesn’t mean you can’t get great service while in the EU.

To have a working cell phone in Europe, you’ll need an unlocked GSM phone. About half of the carriers in the United States use GSM technology, so there's a 50% chance you already own a GSM phone.

AT&T and T-Mobile are the two most popular GSM carriers in the US. If you are currently with AT&T or T-Mobile, your phone will have no issues in Europe.

Now that you have an unlocked (Learn about "unlocking" by clicking here) GSM phone, you can relax. Most airports in the EU will have prepaid cell phone plans available to their countries’ visitors. When you land, simply find the nearest kiosk, purchase a sim card and your cell phone plan. The next step is simple, pop in your sim card, activate the plan, and enjoy having service just like the locals.

If you're flying to the UK, check out all the plans you can purchase before you land. If you find a plan you like, click the blue button to and we'll take you to the carrier's website to get signed up. 

Verizon and Sprint customers will have a harder time in Europe with their phones. This is because Verizon and Sprint run off a different network technology (CDMA) which is not compatible with the technology used in the EU. We suggest you compare the international travel packages offered by Verizon and Sprint or purchase a low cost, unlocked GSM phone to ensure you're covered on your journey.

Need more information? Check out our guide to international and travel SIM cards or compare the best international calling plans.

 

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