Travel

Phone Communication Between Carriers While Travelling in Europe

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 28th, 2018 11:45 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 8, 2014
179 posts
93 upvotes
Toronto, ON

Phone Communication Between Carriers While Travelling in Europe

Good morning fellow RFDers,

I'll be travelling to Portugal for two weeks with my family in July, and there may be times where I split up with my wife.

I'm on Telus, and she's on Rogers. Last time we went to Europe, we each got separate travel data plans (for punitive rates, something like $50-$70 for 1gb) so we could use GPS and Google Maps.

We don't necessarily need data this time around, but I'm hoping to get some suggestions as to the most cost-effective way of communicating between our two phones.

Should we:

1. Get data and email each other
2. See if there are reasonable rates for SMS (texting) travel packages
3. Get European SIM cards while abroad, so we're texting "locally"
4. Get walkie-talkies from Costco or something

Any tips/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
A semi-competent prole, having worked in mortgages at a "Big Bank" for a day or two.
10 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
4980 posts
874 upvotes
Toronto
just buy two sims when you get there. you can call, text and have data for low price.
HEATWARE 18-0-0 since 2006
EBAY 38-0-0 Since 2003

IG: mkdrone_
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
13560 posts
8519 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Use free WIFI and use WhatsApp or similar.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
15669 posts
4729 upvotes
London
Telus Easy Roam / Rogers Roam like Home ?
(international)

Only need to pay for days you actually use data/calling/sms
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 8, 2014
179 posts
93 upvotes
Toronto, ON
marktang wrote: just buy two sims when you get there. you can call, text and have data for low price.
This is what someone I know recommended a while back, but I'm not clear on how this works.

My wife and I each purchase local SIMs associated with local carriers in Portugal - but through what carrier/plan are calls, texts, and data handled? Presumably it's no longer through Rogers/Telus.

In terms of getting Telus Easy Roam / Rogers Roam, and us going the data route, any idea what I could expect in terms of some light WhatsApp usage? I can't imagine it being more than a couple megabytes a day, but I really have no idea.
A semi-competent prole, having worked in mortgages at a "Big Bank" for a day or two.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
4980 posts
874 upvotes
Toronto
uberbaumer wrote: This is what someone I know recommended a while back, but I'm not clear on how this works.

My wife and I each purchase local SIMs associated with local carriers in Portugal - but through what carrier/plan are calls, texts, and data handled? Presumably it's no longer through Rogers/Telus.

In terms of getting Telus Easy Roam / Rogers Roam, and us going the data route, any idea what I could expect in terms of some light WhatsApp usage? I can't imagine it being more than a couple megabytes a day, but I really have no idea.

of course it won't be with Rogers/Telus if you buy a local sim. it will be with whatever network you choose in Portugal. you just buy a prepaid sim with talk/text/data and put it in your phone (if it's unlocked).

if you use Telus easy roam, it is charged by the day. i think it's like $12/day
HEATWARE 18-0-0 since 2006
EBAY 38-0-0 Since 2003

IG: mkdrone_
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
771 posts
333 upvotes
Vancouver
I'd recommend getting a local SIM, I've used Vodafone in Portugal before and they were reliable.
If you want to message/call each other it'll be handled by the local SIM and not your Rogers or Telus SIM's.
Or you could just message/call on an app using data like Whatsapp.

If you do decide to use a local SIM card, make sure your phone is unlocked first.

https://www.vodafone.pt/en/products-ser ... tugal.html
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
19766 posts
4364 upvotes
Burlington-Hamilton
uberbaumer wrote: Good morning fellow RFDers,

I'll be travelling to Portugal for two weeks with my family in July, and there may be times where I split up with my wife.

I'm on Telus, and she's on Rogers. Last time we went to Europe, we each got separate travel data plans (for punitive rates, something like $50-$70 for 1gb) so we could use GPS and Google Maps.

We don't necessarily need data this time around, but I'm hoping to get some suggestions as to the most cost-effective way of communicating between our two phones.

Should we:

1. Get data and email each other
2. See if there are reasonable rates for SMS (texting) travel packages
3. Get European SIM cards while abroad, so we're texting "locally"
4. Get walkie-talkies from Costco or something

Any tips/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
You can get Vodafone tourist SIMs for €20 each at the 2 Vodafone stores at Lisbon airport. The amount of data and calling you get is really good for this price. (Can't paste link, I'm on mobile.)
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Newbie
Apr 13, 2018
19 posts
5 upvotes
Get the WhatsApp app for both phones. Anywhere that you have wifi you can call or text or send photos to anyone else who has WhatsApp and has wifi. Best of all it is FREE! I called my son from Mexico to his home in Ontario, Canada and it sounded like he was standing beside me :-) I use the app to chat with a friend in England regularly. No need to buy SIM cards or outrageously priced travel plans anymore!
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 23, 2008
1362 posts
1473 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
I wouldn't bother with SIM cards that include calls or SMS if your main goal just is to contact each other. Grab two Vodafone data only SIM cards for €15 each. You'll get 30 GB of data for 15 days. Download WhatsApp on your phones and you can talk, text, or even video call each other. Plus you'll have tons of data left for Google Maps or anything else you might need.

Otherwise, pay €20 each and you'll each have 5 GB of data, 500 minutes for calling within Portugal, and 30 minutes to call back home.

You can check out both of those options here: https://www.vodafone.pt/en/products-ser ... tugal.html

And this goes without saying, but still: make sure your phones are unlocked before you travel.

Top