As an international tourist, it is impossible to roam around without being connected. In this information age, the idea of not being connected to the world seems pretty primitive. Besides, there is a huge risk of not being in touch with your loved ones as well as the emergency service providers like hospitals and police. After all, many unfortunate events might take place, which is why international tourists should buy a local SIM card.
Moreover, you would never want to miss the opportunity to share your travel memories with the world or at least with people close to you. All in all, you have two options to use your mobile phone on international trips — either buy a global/international SIM card or a local SIM card. Today, in this article, you will learn about several reasons to opt for a local SIM card in your destination country.
1. Local SIMs are Cost-Effective
Getting a local SIM card makes you save a lot of roaming charges and extra fees when you are out of your home country. A local SIM card and its plans are mostly much cheaper than the international roaming tariffs. Even if you are using an international SIM card, it is still way more expensive than any domestic one.
If you are from northwest Europe or Northern America, you will find that the local SIM card plans in Asia, Africa, and South America are way cheaper than any local SIM card in your home country. The call rates, data plans, and incoming calls are quite lucrative on these SIMs, as they are meant to serve the local population and want to stay in the competition. On the other hand, international SIM cards are meant to bank on your need to stay connected when you are traveling internationally.
2. Local SIM is Easy to Obtain
In many countries, there are no mandatory SIM registration rules. In the countries where you need to register yourself to get a SIM card, the process is simple. You only need your passport and stamped VISA as documents to buy a local SIM card. In every country, besides the SIM itself, getting top-ups is very convenient too.
You find local SIM cards and their top-ups at any official outlet of the service provider, kiosks, grocery stores, mobile stores, and so on. Try doing the same with your international SIM card or your home country’s SIM card, and you’ll regret it. Only in a few countries is the SIM card obtaining process difficult and lengthy. It is simple and quick in most.
3. You Get a Local SIM Phone Number
Getting a local number proves to be of huge advantage not only to you but to the people who want/need to contact you in your destination country. Imagine if you are using your home country’s SIM card in your destination one. Then, if somebody from the destination country like your taxi driver or hotel staff tries to call you on your home country’s mobile number, they will be charged a lot.
Moreover, you will also be levied for the incoming calls from the local numbers as you are in roaming. This way, it will be expensive for you as well as the local people who call you. A local SIM card mostly has free incoming calls, free local minutes and data, and so forth. It makes it easy for other locals to call you when you have a SIM card from their country. Moreover, the signal strength is also good.
4. Local SIM Card Has No Long-Term Contracts for International Tourists Who Buy Them
Most countries have special local SIM cards for tourists called the tourist SIM cards. These are meant to be used for a short term, say 7 days or 14 days. You can choose the SIM card and plan validity as per the duration of your stay. This way, you don’t need to tie yourself to a long-term contract and keep on reloading after the validity gets over.
Even if you buy a local SIM not meant for tourists or short-term visitors, there is no need to get into a long-term contract. After all, your stay will be short, and you will discard it after leaving the destination country. There is no stress of keeping the SIM alive for a long period.
5. Tourists Likely Get the Fastest Internet Speed
International SIM cards don’t have fast-speed internet data. If you use your home network SIM card in another country, the data speed still won’t be as fast as in your home country. Moreover, the data tariffs will be very expensive too. Hence, a local SIM card in your destination country will save you from all these hassles.
You will receive high-speed internet at a very reasonable price. If you are in an Asian country like the UAE, China, India, and so forth, the data price is cheap, and the speed is high. UAE’s Etisalat network has the highest internet speed in the world. You can not get the same speed of internet with your home network or an international SIM card in that country. The same applies to other countries as well.
6. Your Local Number is Use and Throw
Once you get a local SIM card as a tourist, you don’t need to worry about keeping it for a long time. You utilize it until you stay and then toss it away. This SIM card is of no use to you after you leave the country. This has many benefits too. You save yourself from having spam text messages, spam calls, and even spam emails associated with your number. There are no unwanted calls and texts on that number after its utility is over. Therefore, it serves you as a use and throw number.
7. Local SIM Cards, After International Tourists Buy Them, are a Memorabilia
If you visit many countries frequently, you can keep the local SIM cards as a souvenir. They make an excellent memento, like a postage stamp or airplane boarding pass. The unused and deactivated SIM cards can’t be utilized anymore, but they can continuously serve you as a reminder of the trip to the country. You can make a chain of those SIM cards or keep them in a box and relish the memories of the country whose SIM card you picked up. Even if you have no other souvenir from that country, the local SIM card of that country will serve the purpose.
From the above points, you might have realized how important it is to buy a local SIM card, especially if you are an international tourist. When you visit a different country, relying on your home network SIM card or an international SIM card is a very costly affair unless you are wealthy. Relying solely on local Wi-Fi networks is also not a rational decision. Thus, it is recommended that whenever you are planning to visit a country, get a local SIM card delivered to your home country beforehand. Alternatively, buy the local SIM as soon as you land in the destination country.