US Data Plans Without the Fuss
In the past, when I’ve travelled to the States for short trips with my iPhone, I’d forgone any data and jumped from wifi hotspot to wifi hotspot, going dark in between. I’d have to wait until I was back at my hotel to start posting those awesome Instagram-worthy moments. If I got lost… well… I just hoped that my last viewed Google map was still accessible via cache, and that I was somewhere in that grid.
Seriously, how did people travel before smartphones?
If I was feeling fancy, I’d buy a US roaming package from my carrier. $20 got me 200MB. Not exactly cheap. Plans to Europe were even more expensive and Asia? $50 for 20 measly MB of data. Fuggetaboutit. Wifi and cached and screencapped maps it is. Or was.
When Roam Mobility offered to set me up with not only data but text and calling for my trip to New York, I looked forward to being able to Snapchat with abandon. They mailed me a SIM card lickety-split and I packed it right away in my passport case so that I wouldn’t forget it. I had a few reservations though.
I tried to get a local SIM card when I was in France last year and it didn’t go well. See, my phone is old. Like, iPhone 4, iOS 6 old. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get that damn French SIM card to work. I kind of had a feeling that maybe the same thing would happy with this card.
The first morning of my trip I set myself up at a table at Dunkin’ Donuts and, armed with a paperclip and the super clear instructions, did the necessary surgery to swamp SIM cards. And wouldn’t you know it… it worked! Those damn APN settings that eluded me in Paris were suddenly there. Data was mine!
It was great to know that I always had a map and directions at hand and could tweet whenever and wherever the mood struck me. I appreciated it the most though when I was searching for directions to an open an urgent care clinic where I was could get my toe looked at after a clumsy subway accident. As I was waiting to have my toe stitched up, I was able to contact my friends and family and have them calm me down when I was stressing out. They took my mind off it and that means a lot.
My plan also included texting and calling, which I did have to use once because it was the day of my flight home and I realized I’d never received an email itinerary and couldn’t remember if my flight was at 4pm or 4:30pm and was I connecting through Toronto or Montreal? I’m getting lax.
While I had my plan comped for this trip I would absolutely recommend Roam Mobility if you’re a Canadian travelling to the states or to Mexico. You can bet I’ll be signing up for my own plan on my next trip. You can get talk+text+data for $3.95/day or data only plans for as low as 300MB for $7.95. Suck it Bell. If you’re a snowbird, they’ve got plans for that too at lower rates than I currently pay for my phone plan at home.
So while I got by in the past with free wf I think those days are gone. Though Google Maps may not keep me from continually heading the wrong direction out of a NYC subway station but at least I’m now able to confirm my mix-up before I’m a full avenue away.