On our very first cruise, which ended up being a 50 day cruise (read about it), we visited many places in Europe, and we had the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries. This is because it worked really well everywhere we went, except Russia (though we could have paid a lot extra to get Russian coverage) and was reasonably priced also. If you want to know about how to set up your own internet on a cruise ship, read this.
If you don’t have a Sim card when traveling
- 1 If you don’t have a Sim card when traveling
- 2 We needed high-speed data access traveling through Europe
- 3 Why did we want data and the Best Sim Card when we were away?
- 4 Here we will explain the options for Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries
- 5 The choices that you have.
- 6 What we recommend
- 7 Getting the Sim Card if you don’t live in the UK
- 8 About Three and their services
- 9 How to purchase the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries
We noticed that one of the primary concerns for many people on our cruise, was, “where is the nearest free Wi-Fi?”. Many people spent valuable travel time inside port terminals, reading emails, updating apps/software or talking to friends and family because they did not have the best value Sim card for traveling in Europe. We did, and you can read about our travels at this link.
We needed high-speed data access traveling through Europe
We wanted and needed to have immediate high-speed data access on our phones, and a hot spot for our computers and tablets while on the cruise. Note, the company we are recommending didn’t allow tethering, so we did something different to get our cruise hotspot. Three UK Phone Pay As You Go plans do not allow tethering. If you would like to tether, as we did, take a spare unlocked older phone and get the dataGO roaming SIM. I will link to that post here when it is written up.
Why did we want data and the Best Sim Card when we were away?
We wanted to have the ability to look up information about what we were exploring on our phones, and let’s face it we couldn’t help but share our experiences on our social media platforms.Having these data cards also allowed us to continue to run our business of Contented Traveller while we were away from 50 days.
Here we will explain the options for Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries
The choices that you have.
Buy a local sim card?
Data is relatively cheap if you buy a local Sim card. However, if you are traveling to multiple countries, you don’t want to spend your time finding the shops to buy the cards. You don’t want to be swapping sim cards in and out when there are better options.
Your Local Provider?
You could use your usual provider with a roaming package. This is ok for a short period and low usage. But this may not be viable if you are NOT visiting one of the “roaming countries”. You will need to find out which countries are covered, or better still NOT covered by your carrier, and exactly what the costs are. Some carriers require you to turn off your phone for a certain amount of hours in the day, and if you forget …well, get a large loan to pay your bill. You can also be limited to a certain amount of days of usage while you are overseas.
Beware this option may only provide data outside the home country, and any calls will be charged at a higher price, and don’t forget many carriers will charge you extra for using emojis.
What we recommend
We have found that THREE (UK) is the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries.
We have been using Three UK when we travel to Europe, which is a number of times a year. The first time we used it, we went into a Tesco’s store in London and purchased it. We didn’t need a passport, but we did need an unlocked phone, which we had asked our service provider to do before we left Australia. We were very impressed because the data card kept working outside of England, and we were still using it in France, Switzerland, and Germany.We have continued to use THREE UK on subsequent European trips.
Getting the Sim Card if you don’t live in the UK
However, because we don’t have access to Tesco’s or Three in Australia, we had to find another solution to obtaining the data/Sim card.
You cannot buy it online from THREE UK, unless you have a UK credit card. Note, Visa, Mastercard, etc. will not work either, unless you have them attached to a UK address.
We, and you have some options to get the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries from THREE UK.
- Get friends in the UK to purchase the Sim card and voucher, and you will get a new phone number. They need to then post it to you.
- If you have a Sim card already they can get the voucher number, and email it to you.
- Use a 3rd party agency to get the data cards for you, which we did. This year we used our sim cards with DATA in Greece, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, France, Spain, England (where we did top it up again), Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Estonia. It did not work in Russia.
I will explain how to get the THREE sim card from the UK, Australia and the US, as each method is a little different. But more about why we are impressed with this service.
About Three and their services
What are Pay-as-you-Go add-ons?
Pay-as-you-Go add-ons use credit to purchase bundles of calls, texts, and data in feel at home countries without being charged roaming rates. You need credit to buy add ons. Note, if you don’t buy the ‘Add-on,’ you will be charged at casual data roaming rates outside the UK – this will burn through your credit. See Connection process of your Sim card further down in this post. Most add ons last for 30 days, but then you get a text reminder so that you can top up. We used the Three UK Prepaid Europe SIM with up to 12GB data for 42 countries for 30 days, and it worked out brilliantly, with us topping up when we extended our trip.
• Unlocked phone
• Use 3rd party to get sim card
• You have to put credit on sim card
Which countries does THREE UK work in?
If you from the UK, you are in luck because Three now works in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore.
Why do I need a 3rd party?
Because you must pay with a UK credit card online, and chances are if you live in the US or Australia this won’t work. Note, Mastercard; Visa etc. has to be registered to a UK address.
How to purchase the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries
If you are in the UK
Go to Tesco’s or a THREE shop. Have an unlocked phone.
If you are in Australia
Get someone to buy your Sim card from THREE or TESCO in the UK, and send it to you in Australia.
Through DataGo, we purchased two preloaded £20 All-in-One-Add-On, which had 12GB Data, 300 Minutes, 3000 Texts in 30 days. We used and highly recommend DataGo in Australia, who had the THREE sim card to us within two days, and postage was FREE.
We did have to top it up as we decided to extend our trip from 29 days to 50 days when we are traveling in Europe. As we didn’t have a spare voucher, we had to physically go into a THREE shop in Weymouth, UK. We could have rung up Datago in Australia, and they would have emailed us a new voucher number. Now we have spare vouchers in our wallet for when we need them in Europe. They only last 90 days, so it may be time to head back to Europe.
If you are in the USA
You can buy the THREE UK Sim cards through Amazon.
Sorry Australia, Amazon won’t ship this to us.
Depending on your needs, here are 3 options
Three UK Prepaid Europe SIM with up to 12GB data for 42 countries for 30 days
Connection process for your Sim card
• Insert new SIM into handset (salesman had pin to open iPhone and installed SIM)
• Call 444 and wait for the message from Three UK to notify connection is ok.
• You now have zero balance.
• Select Top-up with a voucher and enter the 16-digit number printed on the receipt. Once you’ve entered the voucher code, your account will be topped up.
• Don’t hang up as they will tell you your account now has a balance
• You can then follow the voice instructions to convert your top-up into an Add-on.
1. You need an unlocked phone
2. Get the THREE sim card from DataGo in Australia, Amazon in the US, and from Tesco’s or THREE in the UK
3. Get your credit
4. Select your add-ons.
5. Go to Europe.
This post contains affiliate links. We do use and believe in both THREE and DataGO, so if you do purchase through us, we will make a small profit. This was the Best Sim Card to use in Multiple European countries for us.