Theoretically you can get a prepaid sim card at your first destination and 'roam' internationally in the other countries. HOWEVER this will cost you a small fortune as roaming data can cost a couple to a few € PER MB. Plus there is the real logistical challenge of recharging a prepaid sim once you leave the first country even if its from a provider that's active in each market.
You are far better off EITHER buying local pre paid sim in each country and/or relying on wifi in cafes etc
Thanks for that Lennybruce, I think it will be easier to use the wifi Cafes. It sounds more practical.
You're welcome! Many hotels and such will also have some free wifi. Have a great time!
Actually data roaming has now (since July 2012) been capped at €0,70 per Mb. From July this year that will be further reduced to 45c and next year to 20c per MB
Providers such as Vodaphone have deals I think even on PAYG SIM's that charge you a nominal fee per day for say 25MB. You can probably check on the.au website or the .ie website for details. Then pop into a phone shop here and see what they can do for you.
You can also take a look at the free skype wi-fi app which allows you to connect to hotspots around the world without having to connect and pay for lots of different providers.
Sorry for my outdated information!
But even at 0.70 per MB (or the later lower prices even) one can still run thru a lot of cash as its not too difficult for a regular user to be using 30 - 40 MB per day if one uses the smartphone or tablet for uploading photos, maps and navigation, Facebook, Blendr or Grindr etc.
So actually, a good side-lesson from this thread, especially for 'wired' people is to become a bit aware of your data usage habit prior to traveling: what are you using it on and how many MB's on average a day is it one's usage. I for example burn through about 30 - 40 MB a day. So I know what I can not do (except wifi) when I am traveling to keep myself at €5 per day using my T-Mobile international data roaming passes for example.
I felt bad about the outdated info so I just made a foray into the high street and stopped into a few phone shops.
Vodafone seems like your only solution and its relatively good while you are in Holland and not terrible when you are in Hungary or Ireland. The data sim card costs €7.50. Then you can either pay as you go for €0.33 per MB or you can buy a day, week or month databundel ( vodafone.nl/shop/… ) for €2.50 for a day (35 MB), €10 for a week (150 MB now a promotion and get 300 MB), €20 for a month (350 MB now promotion 700 MB) or €50 for a quarter (1 GB now promotion 2 GB).
In the other countries ( vodafone.nl/internet/… ), you can buy 35 MB a day for €7.50 and you can recharge with credit card online. Otherwise the cost is €1 per MB (interesting that not all companies seem to be observing the cost caps that Ronaldo referenced).
But since you can't be calling with the Ipad and only using data, I believe you are still much better off to buy a prepaid data sim card in Hungary and then one in Ireland.
Hope this helps and makes up for my earlier bad haha ...Edited: 10 January 2013, 13:08
Thanks for that Lenny. Above and beyond the call as they say. As this is a common question perhaps we should post it as a Top Question.
I don't have all the details yet but UPC (who I work for) are going to bring out a product which opens up bandwith on their customer's wireless routers. The customer has to opt into this of course but the benefit to them is that they can acces wi-fi from anyone else who also has UPC and opts into the scheme.
It will work similarly to the BT FON scheme if you are familiar with that.
I think that there will also be the opportunity to charge visitors a fee for daily/weekly/monthly use. I can see at least 10 routers from my place so I think that the product could work well.
Thanks Lennybruce, I will only be using the iPad to clear out emails and check bookings etc. We were caught out on our last trip 3 years ago with volcanos erupting and then BA going on strike. Spent quite a bit of time in Internet Cafes trying to reschedule flights. Hopefully having it with us will help when those unplanned things happen.
i imagine high porn usage would drain the bank account.
My experience with Vodafone has been that you can't recharge online without a Dutch bank account.