Best US Cellular Carriers for International Travel

Are you the type of person that can’t go anywhere without your phone? Well, it’s understandable. In today’s world, the phone is more than necessary, even if you are traveling.  So, in this article, we’ll show you some of the best US carriers to chose from for international traveling – so you can get as much as possible for your money, without spending a fortune on your bills.

If you’re not interested in carriers, we’re gonna show you some alternatives, like SIM cards or Google Fi – and the pros and cons for each one, so you can make an informed choice before you go on your perfect vacation.

Related: The Dirty Little Secret About Using Data While Traveling Abroad

Best US Cellular Carriers for International Travels

1. Verizon

Verizon Logo - Best Phone Plan for International Travel
Verizon Logo

The most popular option on Verizon is the Travel Pass plan. This one is great for infrequent international travelers – it allows you to use the same amount of talk, data plans or text messages as you would in the US. All you have to do to activate this plan is to add it to your current plan through the Verizon app.

You will have to pay $5 per line, for each day you use this plan in Mexico or Canada. There is a list of 130 countries where you have to pay $10 per line, for each day you use this plan in these countries.

Here are some pros for this Travel Pass plan that you should know about:

  • You no longer have to unlock your phone – you are still on the Verizon network;
  • Easy to add
  • Great coverage
  • Your number stays the same

Of course, as with anything, there are some downsides to this plan that you should consider:

  • It can be a little pricey, especially on long-term usage
  • There are many places that still aren’t covered

2. T-Mobile

t-mobile logo
T-Mobile Logo

With T-Mobile, things are easy. There is the T-Mobile Open Plan for unlimited data – lets you keep your unlimited data plans, text and talk when you travel to 210 locations in the world. However, you should know that even though you have unlimited data, they will limit your speed at 128 kbps – so you will be stuck at 2G.

Here are some pros that you should know about this Open Plan:

  • Free 2G data
  • Greate international coverage

And those are some cons that come along with this T-Mobile plan:

  • Expensive international calls – unincluded in the plan

3. AT&T

AT&T Logo
AT&T Logo

There are several plans available with AT&T: Unlimited&More, Unlimited&More Premium and Share Plus. With the first 2, you can use all of your talk, text and data plans you’ve already bought in Canada and Mexico. With the last one, you can use them only in Mexico.

Here are some pros about the international plans from AT&T you should know about:

  • Easy to add to the current plan through your account
  • No need for an unlocked phone
  • You can keep the same number

But you should also be aware of the following cons that come with these international plans:

  • There are many places that are not covered
  • There is a $10 fee per day that can add up in a long term vacation

4. Sprint

Sprint Logo - Best Phone Plan for International Travel
Sprint Logo

There’s the Spring Global Roaming plan that you can add to your current one when traveling. This plan covers 185  locations around the globe. However, the speed for the data plans is only 2 GB and voice is not included in the plan, costing an additional $0.20 per minute.

Here are some good points to consider before traveling:

  • Good deals for Mexico and Canada
  • Coverage for 185 locations
  • Good deals for Japan

And, as per usual, there are some downsides that you should know about the Sprint Global Roaming plan:

  • Expensive rates for China
  • Bad coverage inside US

Best Alternative Choice for Carriers for International Travel

5. Google Fi

Google Fi is not a mainstream carrier alternative but it’s growing in popularity with travelers. With Google Fi, you can use the cell towers of US carriers like Sprint, T-Mobile, and other carriers – and has coverage in 200 locations. You have unlimited texts and $0.20 per minute on voice calls unless you’re on WiFi – then they are free.

Here are some pros to consider when thinking about Google Fi:

  • Same treatment for both domestic and international calls
  • 170 locations coverage
  • Monthly subscription – no contract

As per usual, here are the cons that come with Google Fi:

  • Not always great coverage
  • Difficult process


Can I use my cell phone in a different country?

You can use most phones in any country, but to be able to make phone calls, use data plans or text people you will need an international plan or an alternative to carriers.

Do US Carriers have international plans?

Yes, they do! They’re all different and have several pros and cons, so if you aren’t already subscribed to a carrier and you travel a lot, we suggest you read and inform yourself well before choosing one.

Are there any alternatives to US carriers?

Of course! If you are a traveler and don’t want to mess with contracts and carriers, there’s always Google Fi, Wireless Internet or SIM cards.

Best US Carriers for International Traveling – Plan Your Vacation Ahead

Is your to-do list ready for your coming vacation? Do you have your GPS? If the only thing that is missing is a way to communicate with the people you leave at home, we hope we helped you make a decision. Whether you’ll go for an additional option to your current plan from a carrier or opt for an alternative, you’re sure to find your answer within this article.

So what option did you choose? What was your experience? Do you have any suggestions? Talk to us in the comments down below!

Next Read: Best Android Voice Translator Apps to Make the Most of Your Trip

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