This slice is a bit silly but it is about a topic that I’m slightly concerned about…staying connected to family, friends, and the world while I’m backpacking solo around Europe this summer. Many places I’ve researched seem to charge for wi-fi in Europe- hostels too! I’m not really the type of person to hang out at a Starbucks and McDonald’s while I’m traveling so I am a little anxious about being able to cheaply connect while traveling. Also, because I’m traveling solo for a good portion of my trip, I want to be sure that I have a way of getting help and information when I need it.
Normally, while I’m traveling, I have no problems with only using wi-fi when I travel- even when I travel solo. However, I normally have access to free internet at hostels, cheap restaurants, and (in nearby countries) my Venezuelan carrier still works for calls! I don’t think this will be the case while I’m in Europe.
Has anyone used T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan or another prepaid monthly plan? I’m not quite sure if I can just pay to use the Simple Choice plan for two months over the summer or if I am better off getting a prepaid monthly plan and just adding unlimited data to the plan.
I’ve also thought of buying a local sim card while I’m in Europe, but since I’m changing cities/countries every three days or so I’m not sure which SIM card would work in all of the nine countries I’m going to. Does anyone have an experience doing this?
I would really like to be able to use Google maps, check Facebook, use Skype to call home, check Metro schedules, call my hostel for directions if I get lost (or if they randomly relocate like in Sucre), and upload pictures to Facebook and Instagram while I travel. It would be a huge bonus if I could somehow use my phone as a hotspot and then surf using 3G on my ipad (no laptop since I’m trying to do lightweight carry-on only).
Please help me! Am I being overly paranoid? Is there plenty of free wi-fi in major European cities after all? Have you used a prepaid US cell plan to get service in Europe?