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Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

Brisbane, Australia
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12 posts
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Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

I'm travelling to France in October 2014 and need to use my iPhone and iPad for Facebook updates, GPS travelling, as I'm hiring a car and also I need to use the phone for making hotel bookings etc. What is the best thing to do? Get a pre paid sim with phone calls and data for both devices like I do at home? Any suggestions?

Saratoga Springs, NY
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1. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

Yeah, a prepaid sim is the way to go. I'm probably going to stop at Bouygues by St Michel, since it's near my hotel. There are other carriers too, like Orange and Lebara. I hear you can buy sim cards at a Tabac, but I haven't done it. The store I liked last year is closed now.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

Do you think I would be able to get a sim at the airport?

Saratoga Springs, NY
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3. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

I don't remember seeing stores on my way out. I remember seeing a currency exchange counter.

There might be one, but I don't know. Some people had success getting Lebara to send them a SIM card, but in theory they only send them within France.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

Thanks Tracieknits. I'll look into getting one now Still 3 months before I leave :)

Saratoga Springs, NY
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5. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

You can always try ebay, but they might be crazy overpriced

Le Bugue, France
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6. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

Lebara has no problem mailing a free SIM card overseas. I've received one twice here in the USA. You can also pick up a SIM at a Relay store at the airports, though there's no guarantee you can get a Lebara one, IME.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

There are Relay shops at CDG who often have SIMs but they are often out of stock and unlikely to offer any help setting up. You can order a Lebara SIM before you go and if you are creative with the order form it will get to you in Australia. Or have it sent to your hotel. Or take Tracie's advice and stop by an Orange shop once in Paris.

Penticton, Canada
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8. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

if all you are going to do is what is on your list all you need is a wifi connection with facetime and/or skype installed - to talk/video your friends.

then buy skype credits to make landline calls to anywhere in the world for about 4 cents us. and all you need is a wifi connection.

for GPS you can download an app that does not require a data plan - all you need is to have your GPS connection on.

then put the phone in airplane mode to stop roaming.

for a GPS app, it is a good idea to post in the Travel Gadgets forum.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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9. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

So far I have found one location where you can reliably find a Lebara SIM. At the métro entrance at Gare de Lyon, there is a small mobile phone shop called X Phone. This shop stocks and sells Lebara SIMs for 15€. The SIM has 5€ of talk credit.

Lebara SIMs offer 3G data down load but for GPS usage, you will want to download in advance the maps required for your travels. Downloading maps real time can use vast amounts of data and would be very uneconomical.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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10. Re: Internet and mobile phone whilst in France

<<So far I have found one location where you can reliably find a Lebara SIM. At the métro entrance at Gare de Lyon, there is a small mobile phone shop called X Phone. This shop stocks and sells Lebara SIMs for 15€. The SIM has 5€ of talk credit.

Lebara SIMs offer 3G data down load but for GPS usage, you will want to download in advance the maps required for your travels. Downloading maps real time can use vast amounts of data and would be very uneconomical.>>

My recommendation would be to order free Lebara SIMs which currently are shipped with 5 Euros credit.

When filling out the order form, enter your country in the same field as your city (which has no format restrictions). You have nothing to lose...

On arrival, if at CDG, with free internet you can, if you need to, top up with the Lebara online.

It's definitely true that online GPS consumes a lot of data, and also battery...

Downloading maps in advance is fine, until you miss a turn...and you do have to turn off GPS locator in between "checking".

Personally, for extensive GPS traveling, I pack my Garmin. You can enter addresses, etc., in advance from home, no worries about battery or data.

Yesterday, driving into Boston, even though I received a message on the Garmin (which I hadn't used in a while) that my maps were out of date, the Garmin provided a FAR better route than GoogleMaps.