Photo by mossieu eric
You are travelling to California for a vacation. You want to use your phone for calling back home or to tell the people about your experience online. If you do not do anything and go with your own carrier your phone bill can easily destroy the charm of your vacation. To save yourself from it you got only two options. One to wait up till some free wifi spot and use online services for your communication or you can easily buy some local plan according to your needs and stay active all the time.
Choosing the second choice may again get a bit confusing as there are so many things you can do. The first thing you should check is your own phone. Is it unlocked or not? If you so not know about it, ask your local phone provider for it. If it is, you have saved some bucks to spend on fun. What you must do is to buy a local SIM card from California and replace your old one with it and you are good to go. Just do not throw the old one yet, you are going to need it back at home.
If by luck you have a locked phone, then you cannot just swap SIM’s this way. You have two options again in this. Either you can get your phone unlocked by paying some bucks to either your cell phone company or at some local store. It is going to cost you from $7 to $50 depending on your choice or provider. The other option may be getting some cheep bundle like available here at Walmart. You can get these ranging from $30 to $150 depending on your choice and you will be having a new phone with a new number. Mostly it’s an Android phone, not as good as yours, but can perform most of the functions you need. If you want to use internet on your own phone this new buddy of yours can help by installing a small app they call Hot Spot on it. In case you do not know about this application this link can help you out.
Now there is only one confusion left that is to get connected with which carrier provider. There are a lot of players in this game like straight talk, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin, AT & T, each one claiming to be the best. But believe me, you do not want to just go with the cheapest one, especially if you want to travel all over the California because they have different availability in different areas. Like if you are planning to stay only in urban areas, then T-Mobile may suffice your needs, but in some rural areas and suburbs it may drop to throttling 2G speeds. AT&T being the oldest have better coverage but it’s a bit expensive. The best thing is to ask some locals about which carrier are they using or to ask some store manager if you really want to use your phone as you are paying for it.
This blog is powered by TheCaliCamp – surf camp for adults based in Southern California. Inspired by our guests and our own adventures.