Buying a SIM card is not usually a hassle, especially when you only have one or two countries to think about. You buy a local SIM card in the city center (Buying SIM card at the airport is always expensive), and you’d have access to calls and mobile data on the go. But when you are traveling around Europe, it’s always best to look for SIM cards that cater to the whole continent. While there are a few options available, what’s best for you depends on your convenience and usage.
I’ve been looking for a single SIM card that I can carry with me across the world and something that is reasonably priced, and I guess my search ended when I came across the TSIM SIM card. While they have a Europe SIM card which is quite handy, if you are only traveling in Europe, they also have a Global Sim Card which is very convenient for frequent travelers like me.
Read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa through Italy
My Experience Traveling with TSIM in Europe
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how well this SIM is gonna work in the countries I was visiting since I was starting my trip in the Balkan region. Balkans aren’t the same as the rest of Europe. Transportation isn’t all that good especially between countries, infrastructure isn’t top-notch, and most of them are not part of the Schengen region. But to my surprise, it worked perfectly well in all of these countries I visited – Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia.
I was traveling to Europe for 3 months, and I was about to find out.
Read: How to Plan a 3 month Euro Trip
Just one month into my trip, and 2 more months to go – I know that if the SIM card has worked well so far in the Balkan region, it’s bound to be fine anywhere else in Europe as well. It has made traveling solo as a female so much easier for me. I’ll update this post on my experience in other countries as well.
Ordering a TSIM SIM card
- They have a range of products from single country cards to Europe and Global Sim Cards. You chose the product based on your requirements.
- Then you choose the number of minutes/data that you’ll need. Based on what you select here, the price varies. Also, they have an option to select if your phone model is compatible especially on 4G networks.
- Then you provide all the personal, shipping and payment details, and you’re good to go. They also have an option of airport pickup for Mumbai or Kolkatta which I think is really helpful for the last minute. If it isn’t an airport pickup, then the package will be delivered to your given address.
- You’ll be provided with a tracking link once you place the order.
How TSIM Works
The package has a UK SIM card, instructions on activation, and your phone number. Not the best packaging, but it works. Depending on the plan you have chosen, your SIM card would be loaded with as many minutes or data or SMS.
Now minutes could be incoming or local or India minutes. Suppose you choose the most basic plan – 200 Incoming Minutes/200 Local Minutes/200 India Minutes/200 SMS or 2GB data. Incoming or outgoing calls locally or internationally with 200 minutes upper slab is available to you. While 200 Minutes/200 SMS/2 GB would be the upper slab, and the number of minutes or data available can vary based on the country you are visiting. So make sure you check their website for more information on the slabs available per country. It’s all mentioned in their website about Global SIM Card.
Validity of TSIM Card
The best part about the Global SIM Card is that it offers lifetime access. All you have to do is reload the SIM card whenever you want, essentially acts as a Prepaid card, and you can use it as you gallivant across the world. Also, if there’s any excess amount, you can actually get it refunded back to your account. So, you only pay for what you use. Two important things for me while looking for an international SIM card is mobile data so that I can access the internet on the go, and making or receiving local calls say for taxi or Airbnb or something similar.
As a solo female traveler, I bank on mobile data as an additional safety net. To figure out the best mode of transportation while going from A to B, to look up cheap places to eat, or quickly translate or just message on Whatsapp. So, finding the right sim card which provides me uninhibited access to the internet was pretty essential for me. And I can safely say that TSIM didn’t disappoint.
Read: Tips for Traveling Solo as a Female Travel
How to Meet New People While Traveling Solo
While there were a couple of times when it was not working for some reason due to the network being unavailable (which happens with a lot of other network providers as well), it was a lifesaver in many cases.
Making or Receiving Local Calls
I’ve been using ride-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar in Croatia and Prevozi in Slovenia which is considerably cheaper than buses and helps me save up on expenses. And I have made several calls through the sim locally, and to other countries in Europe as well which was really helpful.
It came in quite handy when I had to quickly call to cancel my reservations for a bus from Nis, Serbia next evening, or check with my Airbnb host in Rijeka, Croatia for directions, or call up my Workaway host in Kunova, Slovenia to enquire about the whereabouts.
Making or Receiving International Calls
You can receive and make an international call as well with Tsim. I had a 60-minute call once with a US number, and the call quality was quite good. Essentially, you can make international calls as well for the same number of minutes allotted to you.
SMS is not something I have used frequently with this sim card. But I have sent a few messages for my Prevozi drivers in Slovenia, and I have had no problems as such.
I remember buying a Vodafone sim card in Florence last year when I was traveling around Europe. While I didn’t have problems with calling up or mobile data, I definitely couldn’t use a mobile hotspot when we were outside Italy. Since I was sharing the mobile data with my friend, it wasn’t all that convenient when we were outside Italy.
So, I wanted to check if the hotspot works with TSIM, and I am happy to report there were no problems with it. It works like a charm.
Checking balance is quite easy with TSIM. You can go to this link and you’ll get information on the highest slab available for you. Or else give a missed call to +16316210001 from your phone (You won’t be charged for this). And you’ll receive a message with the details. That’s quite helpful especially when you are conserving data or calls for your trip so that you can plan the usage accordingly.
Either you can drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to their Whatsapp support. For me, it’s convenient to use Whatsapp while traveling, so I have reached out to them a couple of times when I had issues. They are responsive and they helped me resolve my doubts on time. So no qualms about it.
How Expensive Is TSIM?
Well, I think it’s quite affordable and reasonably priced if you compare it with other vendors. Airtel International Roaming Pack costs Rs. 3500 for 10 days with 3GB, unlimited calls, and other benefits. Matrix offers international global cards for about Rs. 2500 for 10 days which has unlimited data and incoming calls.
On the other hand, TSIM has lifetime validity. It doesn’t offer unlimited calls, but I’m mainly looking to make local calls when I’m traveling which probably would only last a minute or two. So, it’s not a deal-breaker for me.
And data-wise, if you can conserve your data, and use it only for the essential apps like Google Maps, Gmail, and Whatsapp, you can make it last longer. I used up about 2 GB in one month so I can make it last for more or less 3 months with about 6GB or 600 minutes which costs about Rs. 3500. Or generously with 8GB data or 800 minutes which costs about Rs. 4500.
Overall, it’s been a good experience using TSIM and I’d suggest it to anyone who’s traveling to multiple countries at once and is looking for a single SIM card that is reasonably priced.
Disclaimer – This post was sponsored by TSIM. However, all opinions mentioned here are entirely my own.