Do you own a dual sim phone? More aptly, do you know what one is and how to make the most of it? No? Me neither until my first solo trip. But don’t worry, I’m about to fill you in. A dual sim phone, like the name suggests, let’s you use two sim cards, with two separate numbers, in one mobile device. You can make/receive calls and send/receive texts from either number and you can switch between the two seamlessly. There are plenty of reasons those in the know choose to invest in a dual sim phone. One of the most common ways people take advantage of dual sim phones is to help keep their work and personal lives separate – you can give out one number to clients/your boss and another to family and friends but only have to carry one device – handy. And there are variants of ‘one number for one set of people and an additional number for others’ that would also fit the dual sim user M.O.
For those of us without this necessity, we probably never even looked for this specification when choosing phone models and probably don’t know or care if our phones have this functionality. But as I’ve recently learnt, more fool we. Dual sim phones are a frequent traveller’s best friend! During my first solo trip to Curacao, I took full advantage of my phone’s dual sim capacity and I haven’t looked back. There are a ton of ways to profit from your dual sim phone while travelling and I’ve listed my favourites for you below.
It’s no secret that if you roam too far from your homeland, your network service provider will try and bleed you for the privilege of staying in touch with family and friends while you are away. Although a lot of countries are now covered in roaming plans, chances are, at some point in your travels you’ll land somewhere that falls outside of this. If your network is anything like mine, that means £6 a day to use your phone plan as freely as you do when at home. For long periods on the road, that can quickly add up and you’re not always guaranteed good, free hotel WI-Fi.
Enter the dual sim phone. By getting a local tariff, you can dramatically cut the costs of using your phone plan abroad while still remaining contactable on your primary number. I spent 23 days in Curacao, which, if I had used my regular data plan at £6 a day, would have left me £138 out of pocket – I’m not about that life. Instead, I invested in a local sim (Chippie) for £25 which gave me 2GB data that I could top up during my trip which I got at the airport arrivals kiosk. The texts and minutes were only to local numbers but I was ok with this because, WhatsApp. Also, because my primary number remained active, family and friends could still get in contact with me easily.
With a commitment to free WI-Fi and minimal use of my data when out and about, the 2GB lasted my whole trip and kept £113 in my pocket.
Better network coverage
Another great function of a dual sim phone is that it lets you take advantage of the local network coverage. Although your usual network provider may have a presence in the place you are visiting, if you’re far enough afield, they might not be the top dog for coverage locally.
You may find you experience spotty coverage with weak to no signal in even built up areas let alone when you venture out a bit more rural. With a local sim you get local coverage which could mean better signal and faster streaming.
If you’ve got a post 2016 smart phone, then you know that getting to your battery and sim is a mission onto itself. Gone are the days of flipping up the back cover for easy access to these things. More likely than not, you need to dig out the box your phone came in and hope the little pin they gave you for this purpose is still in it. If not, you have to hope your DIY hair pin doesn’t break off in the process and leave you stuck.
The battle is hard enough as a one off exercise while at home, but imagine having to do this multiple times a day while you’re supposed to be enjoying your vacation? It has the potential to drive you insane. But not if you have a dual sim phone. Not all dual sim phones are created equal, but if your dual sim is a smart phone, then swapping between sims is as easy as pressing a button on your quick menu.
You also don’t have to worry about potentially losing one or both of your sims while out and about either which brings an added bonus.
Hopefully I’ve made you a convert to the dual sim phone for your future adventures. If you’ve confirmed you don’t already have one, a quick Google search will let you know the best options for you so you’re prepared when it’s time for your next upgrade. My dual sim phone is the OnePlus 6 if you were wondering, but there are plenty of other makes and models to choose from.
If you already have a dual sim phone, take it for a test run on your next vacation and let me know how it goes – I promise it’ll change your travel experience forever!
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