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Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Darwin, Australia
4 posts
1 review
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Phone home...to Australia from Europe

I am about to do my first long overdue trip to Europe - Barcelona, Paris and UK - and will need to make 10 minute phone calls back to Australia every couple of days and send the occasional email without spending more on the mobile than on the fares! I will only be in each country for about a week and reluctant to have to get a new sim and number for each country. Phone is unlocked Galaxy S Duos and provider is Telstra (Australia). Have done a bit of research and asked everyone I know especially the young ones.... So many options but nothing that stands out as a real winner. Each option that has been recommended seems to come with its own issues or is recommended by one and criticised by another eg Travel sim, Go Sim work well/don't work at all, Vodafone good/terrible, phone card OK but staying in apartments with no phone on site etc etc. Would ideally like to have something sorted before I leave as don't want to have hassles once I am away. Don't want million dollar bill but absolute cheapest not the main issue - reliability and ease of use is the main thing. All advice gratefully received.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,297 posts
814 reviews
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1. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

No need for a SIM, just use wifi. You can email and use Skype for calls.

Sydney, Australia
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863 posts
130 reviews
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2. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Hi

I've asked his very question recently and the overwhelming opinion is that indeed It is best and most cost efficient to buy a new sim in each country for a million different reasons which I won't bore you with now.

The only other option mentioned was getting a sim from Lebara which covers most countries, however still roams outside of the original country of purchase.

I think I will buy a new sim in each country. It only takes five minutes to pop into many stores to grab one.

Good luck.

Spain
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick
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3. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

The multiple SIM cards works for me. Also in Europe you can get a calling card (I like Europa) for around 5 euros which gives you cheap local and mobile calls.

Darwin, Australia
4 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Thanks everyone for advice, really appreciated.

Jean-Pierre D - forgot to mention that unfortunately Skype is not really an option for the family member back in Australia, but email is Ok and will have access to wifi.

Mullos1962 - do you have any good info for/against Lebara? Had come across that brand and keen to hear other's experiences.

keenvisitor - Had also heard about phone cards and had thought would be good backup if all else fails, so thanks heaps for recommendation re Europa

Also wondering if Telstra will actually function overseas? Don't know much about how it all works...except that it is obscenely expensive!

Australia
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1,357 posts
44 reviews
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5. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

bmbeam ... a friend of mine was in Europe last year, she spent 3 weeks driving all over Europe through many different countries. She bought a travel sim from Australia post and it worked brilliantly everywhere they went. I'm not exactly sure about all the charges or top up options etc but may be worth looking into.

I'm going over there myself in Oct and will probably get one myself.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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10,049 posts
206 reviews
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6. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Have you considered getting a couple of prepaid SIM cards before leaving home and loading them up before you leave. You can top them up as necessary over the internet via a credit card. This way you will be sure of how much you are spending on calls. If you don't use all your credit up you can use it up when you get home.

The inconvenience of buying local SIM cards and registering them may be a disincentive to their use.

I have a Vodafone 365 prepaid SIM card for use when I pop across the ditch and being valid for a year it proves to be cost effective and convenient. It can be used worldwide as well.

Edited: 26 April 2013, 04:45
Perth, Australia
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2,005 posts
29 reviews
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7. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Check out Travelsim which you can get from Australia Post

Sydney, Australia
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25,179 posts
60 reviews
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8. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

I have used Travelsim and it works OK. On another forum someone just reported back about the new Woolworths SIM cards and it is both cheaper to buy and cheaper to make calls. Worth a look.

I carry a smart phone and use it in the hotels (where we always have free wifi; we don't stay if it isn't free) for some things including checking on restaurants and opening hours, face-time on the iphone (and you can get Skype to ordinary phones these days, for a very small fee) and the small laptop we take away is also used for emails, blogs and of course, keeping up with tripadvisor.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,297 posts
814 reviews
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9. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Maybe you are not familiar with Skype. I always use Skype all over the world to call any landline or mobile phone all over the world. Skype is not just used to call a computer, it is used to call phones. About $0.02 per minute, hard to beat. And all you need is wifi which is generally free and easily available.

Darwin, Australia
4 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Phone home...to Australia from Europe

Thanks all for advice. As mentioned Skype not an option for the person I need to keep in touch with.

Heard about new global sim from Cover-more but guess it is too soon for anyone to have much experience with them? Was also wondering about Woolworths Mobile Global Roaming SIM? Anyone had experience with that one?