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Cell phone options when visiting UK

Cell phone options when visiting UK

Old May 21st 2024, 8:36 am
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Default Cell phone options when visiting UK

It’s 7 years since I visited the UK, and last time around I could add a $50 travel plan to my phone plan for up to 30 days.

Now the cheeky buggers want $16 per day (Virgin). That’s over $350!

I’ve briefly read up on SIM cards and/or esims…but I would want my own phone number because of those bloody 2-step authentication texts every time you want to log into anything (like my bank, and a couple of other things). And I want to change my Lloyds bank contact number to my Canadian cell number, which then also has to text you….

what do you guys use?
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Old May 21st 2024, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

Originally Posted by ann m
It’s 7 years since I visited the UK, and last time around I could add a $50 travel plan to my phone plan for up to 30 days.

Now the cheeky buggers want $16 per day (Virgin). That’s over $350!

I’ve briefly read up on SIM cards and/or esims…but I would want my own phone number because of those bloody 2-step authentication texts every time you want to log into anything (like my bank, and a couple of other things). And I want to change my Lloyds bank contact number to my Canadian cell number, which then also has to text you….

what do you guys use?
If your phone is new enough for an eSIM then it's just a second line on your phone, so you'll still get your Canadian texts from your physical SIM. That's what I have - one physical SIM for the UK and an eSIM the US, so I get texts to both numbers on the same phone. And I just toggle between the two for data when I'm in each place.

It's also sent virtually, so you can buy one ahead of time and not have to go anywhere to get it.

HTH.
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Old May 21st 2024, 9:23 am
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

check it out

https://www.giffgaff.com/sim-only-de...pound-goodybag

middle left in the link above click on *see all monthly plans* scroll down to pay as you go plans

start at £10 for 30 days pay as you go

activate the sim before you leave Canada or on arrival in the UK.

calling from the UK to Canada

https://www.giffgaff.com/international

Last edited by not2old; May 21st 2024 at 10:57 am.
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Old May 22nd 2024, 3:23 am
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

I'm not sure if call forwarding will work to an international number, but you could try that. So you'd get a UK eSim and then call forward your CA number to the UK number. That might work for text messages too. Not actually tried that though
My current setup is that I've got a voip.ms account with a Canadian number and I use the Groundwire IP / softphone app. As it's IP based I only need a data plan, rather than voice and data. So I call forward my CA number to my VOIP one and get the calls if I need them.
I have used this in the US in the past, using Nomad eSim for a data only plan for the US. However I was able to switch my phone plan to one that covers Canada and the US for phone and data. But I still have me voip setup as it's very reasonably priced and handy if I'm going to somewhere else, eg on vacation.
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Old May 22nd 2024, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

Ok, thanks for some feedback and ideas…I’m still thinking this one through 😉
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Old May 22nd 2024, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

Originally Posted by ann m
It’s 7 years since I visited the UK, and last time around I could add a $50 travel plan to my phone plan for up to 30 days.

Now the cheeky buggers want $16 per day (Virgin). That’s over $350!

I’ve briefly read up on SIM cards and/or esims…but I would want my own phone number because of those bloody 2-step authentication texts every time you want to log into anything (like my bank, and a couple of other things). And I want to change my Lloyds bank contact number to my Canadian cell number, which then also has to text you….

what do you guys use?
I have an eSIM for my Canadian number so it’s easy to put in a physical SIM card in the UK, and I don’t have to worry about losing the Canadian sim - I use a GiffGaff SIM card which cost me 99p. I switch my Canadian line off whilst in the UK, and vice versa, but turn it back on when I need to log in to bank etc. I don’t get charged to receive Canadian texts in the UK.
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Old May 23rd 2024, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

Originally Posted by sharkus
I'm not sure if call forwarding will work to an international number, but you could try that. So you'd get a UK eSim and then call forward your CA number to the UK number. That might work for text messages too. Not actually tried that though
Call forwarding doesnt forward text messages but you shouldnt be charged for incoming text messages anyway (so your bank 2FA will come through) .
Many carriers dont allow forwarding to international numbers even if you have international calls allowed on your plan.

I can also +1 on giff gaff .... you can have an esim with them but AFAIK you need to activate a physical sim first and then swap out to an esim. A bonus with Giff Gaff is they give you free roaming in the EU too.

Last edited by UKMS; May 23rd 2024 at 7:20 pm.
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Old May 27th 2024, 5:44 am
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

I have a spare phone in which I have a UK sim which I top up when I arrive in the UK. I take my Canadian phone, turn off data roaming, receiving texts on the Canadian phone is free, I can then respond via WhatsApp using wifi if I need to. Something nearly always comes in that costs me but I have found it cheaper to just pay for the occasional call that you have to answer than having the roam like home option which costs a fortune if you are away for any length of time.
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Old May 28th 2024, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

Thanks for your input folks. So it turned out my phone was not eSIM compatible, so I took out my regular SIM card and put it in my daughter’s old iPhone 12, and have now purchased an Orange Europe eSIM and hopefully that will work for everything - data, calls, texts, the lot. It’s a pain in the arse setting up a new phone and downloading all the Apps again and remembering 27 different log ins, but fingers crossed 😁
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Old May 30th 2024, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Cell phone options when visiting UK

I got a 3 Sim on Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0B...e?ie=UTF8&th=1

Unlimited talk and text and I was there for 3 weeks so went for the 30GB one for $30. It was too much data lol
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