European Travel

We tried Apple Maps while walking in Rome, Florence, and Venice. For walking directions, it seemed identical to Google Maps. But perhaps we were lucky, as well. And we only used it a few times for driving directions.

120 countries and counting.

Tripit and Flighty are my go-to travel apps. I also use Hotel Tonight for last minute booking, Been to track my travels, Express VPN, Google Translate, and any apps for the airlines I am flying.

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Thanks Chris, I just checked and Sky Mobile charge a daily fee of £2 every 24 hours you use your phone abroad, but otherwise, data and calls are on my standard plan.

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Take a look at eSimDB to find good eSIM card deals.

Rome2Rio was rather helpful for a trip last summer. I also downloaded some of the airport specific apps, which was clutch when a flight was delayed and the connection was at risk, knowing exactly where we needed to go, before getting off the plane.

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About two thirds of the way down the page is a section entitled: " Wireless carriers that support eSIM activation on prepaid plans for international travelers".

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The support is still rather bad from visitors’ perspective. eSIMs are still mostly supported on postpaid plans here across Europe, and very rarely on prepaid, though there are, of course, exceptions.

For example, giffgaff in the UK supports eSIMs as of recently but you need to activate the physical SIM first and then use their app to transfer the number to the eSIM; and, for example, they are supported on prepaid on just one of the three networks where I live but, again, you need to have an active physical SIM first and then initiate the exchange in their store.

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What is misleading in this list is the fact that these providers mostly support eSIMs on monthly plans only and very rarely on prepaid, making this not a viable option for visitors.

Some more information on where eSIMs are available on prepaid can be found in the eSIM section on this wiki (cc @Synchronicity), though this may not be fully up to date:

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Doesn’t the section two-thirds down the page address that?

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It does but it seems only partially; the examples I listed above are not on that list (giffgaff in the UK where you can relatively easily buy a SIM and transfer it to an eSIM, then carriers in Croatia where one of them does have eSIM support on prepaid, so there are perhaps others missing there too).

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The thing with getting a SIM in order to transfer it to an eSIM is that you sometimes have to activate a SIM before you can transfer it to an eSIM. And if you do not have the option to stick a SIM into your iPhone, you probably are not able to activate it. This for sure is the reason why Apple has not listed those prepaid providers that still send a SIM before exchanging it to an eSIM. Our German Telekom still does this SIM to eSIM dance (if you are using their prepaid options). Vodafone does not: you get an eSIM right from the beginning. You will only receive a SIM if you request one. Which may be the reason why Apple does list Vodafone only. I find Apple’s list to be very helpful to be honest.

It also may be an option to look into special providers like

or

https://www.getnomad.app/

Credits: Travel to USA - how to handle SIM for iPhone?

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IMO, Apple should have waited to roll out eSIM-only phones in the US until it was feasible to do so for at least all or most Western countries. Even Canada, Mexico, and the US Virgin Islands are still getting the latest iPhones with a SIM slot, which makes international travel more difficult for Americans with newer phones.

So far I’ve seen no real advantages to my eSIM-only iPhone from a user perspective, other than a possible improvement in water resistance.

When I’m flying anywhere, I find Flighty to be the best flight app that I’ve ever tried. It’ll tell me things about my flight long before the airlines ever do, including expected delays, cancellations, and gate changes.

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For the Netherlands Apple Maps is fine when driving with the car, but if you are walking Google Maps is better, also for public transport Google Maps is better. But for public transport you can also use 9292.nl/en - Travel planner & e-tickets train, bus, metro, tram & boat, or specifically for the train Home | NS. Both also have apps in the app store.

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If you are in US and have a phone locked to the carrier it’s a bummer. Either you have to pay $10 to use it abroad for 10 days in a billing cycle. After 10 days there are no charges beyond 10 days within that billing cycle and it resets every billing cycle.

But the advantage is that you carry the same plan with data abroad.

I live in Amsterdam; you can also use Bolt for taxis (Uber also, mostly little bit more expensive)

But to be honest, using public transport is also a viable option in Amsterdam. Tram in centre, going to other parts metro or bus. Google maps has an option to plot the trip and you can choose walking public transport car and also taxi to compare.

Google maps better for navigation then Apple Maps but Apple is improving…

Enjoy!