Why I Love T-Mobile when Traveling

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When I was in college (waaaay back in 2003), I picked Sprint as my mobile carrier because it was cheap. As I joined the workforce, I switched to Cingular, which became AT&T, and I stayed a loyal customer there for the next 12 years. But last year it was on a trip with my wife where I realized what I was missing. She had switched from Verizon to T-Mobile and as a result she got unlimited foreign data. This perplexed me at first. How can she get free data when I have to keep paying AT&T $30 for some small pittance of data which usually doesn’t come with any ease of access? I had purchased a Skyroam mobile wifi device, which I had found easy to use, but the service was hit or miss and at $10/day, it wasn’t that much cheaper.

So when the time came to upgrade to the latest iPhone, I took the plunge and joined my wife’s T-Mobile plan.

I can safely say this is the best mobile provider when it comes to international travel.

Seeing where I am, what’s nearby, and how to get to all of my destinations when I am abroad is a huge lifeline. In fact, I would call out some big examples of why you should switch to T-Mobile if you plan to travel abroad:

  1. Directions
    • Unless you enjoy using paper maps and getting lost on outdated tourist maps, getting from point A to point B is the most common reason I’ve used my data plan abroad. Whether you use Google Maps, Google Travel, Ulmon Travel Maps, or another app, knowing where you need to go can make your trip far less stressful!
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  2. Transportation/Travel
    • In Jakarta, Vienna and Mexico City, I did not want to rely on the local taxis (language, cost and safety, respectively) so using my phone to summon an Uber was both a way to overcome each of those three challenges while still getting to my destination.
    • On our trip to Cinque Terre and Rome, we intentionally did not buy our tickets in advance because I knew how strong the Italian rail system is. But we needed to adjust on the fly to identify the right train to take – and pulling up rail schedules saved us from having to wait for hours at the train station.
    • 2017-10-03 19.02.22
  3. Lodgings
    • If you’re staying in an airbnb like I did in Seoul a couple years ago or my recent trip to Hong Kong, staying in touch with your host is a better way of managing arrival time and any unpredictable schedule changes. Because I had access to my app, I was able to arrange getting into my Hong Kong Airbnb several hours earlier than expected, which freed up that time for me to explore Central and get some lunch.
  4. Things to Do/Eat/See
    • You all know my blog posts always lead with things to do, eat, and see. And figuring out what to do, eat or see nearby when wandering through random neighborhoods led me to the delightful Polygon Café in Hong Kong or the delicious bitterballen at the De Hallen market in Amsterdam.


*Please note that I do not receive any financial incentives for recommending T-Mobile. Just thought I’d make that clear in case some of you are thinking I am a paid shill. I am, as evidenced by the ads, but just not with any telecom companies.


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