In today’s day and age, traveling abroad doesn’t have to mean isolation from your friends, family, the internet, social media, and e-mails. While, some travelers welcome this “down time,” others need the internet connectivity to make sure their business runs smoothly while they are traveling across the world. This is where T-Mobile comes in. If you are a T-Mobile customer, then most likely you can travel abroad and have free internet (at lower speeds).
I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for over 15 years, and I love their products, plans, prices, and customer service. Since, I started traveling few years ago, having internet while abroad became a necessity for me. Luckily, my mobile phone provider is T-Mobile, and they have one of the best, if not the best, international plans.
T-Mobile helps you stay connected when traveling abroad with its Simple Global plan. I love the Global plan that T-Mobile offers because it provides free internet (at low 2G speeds) while I’m traveling in Europe, and I get to avoid data roaming charges. This is all included in my Simple Choice North America plan at no additional cost.
Why Travel Abroad with T-Mobile?
T-Mobile offers unlimited message texting and data (2G speed) in 210+ countries at no extra cost if you have any of the following T-Mobile plans: T-Mobile ONE, Simple Choice, New Classic, or Select Choice. The T-Mobile Essential plan allows unlimited texting when traveling internationally, but no data.
Voice calls are available at $0.25 per minute on all T-Mobile plans. And, the T-Mobile ONE Plus plan offers free data at speeds a bit faster than the standard 2G, but of course still slower than the standard high-speed LTE. You can always check on their website what countries are included in the Global Plan at no extra cost.
T-Mobile Provides Two Options for High-Speed Data Abroad
If you plan to read the news online, check email, or do some light browsing, then most likely you won’t need a high-speed internet package. However, if you need to use the GPS on your device for navigation, upload photos on Instagram/Facebook, or watch videos, then you can opt-in to purchase one of the two International High-Speed Data Passes T-Mobile offers.
T-Mobile Offers the Following Data Passes for Faster Data Speeds:
- 1 GB for 10 Days High-speed International Data Pass – $20
- 512 MB for 24 Hours International Data Pass – $5 (maximum of 2 passes per 24 hours)
How to Sign up for the 24-Hour International Data Pass
You can add the 24-Hours International Data Pass for faster internet with any one of the below options:
- via Call to T-Mobile’s Customer Service
- via your Web Account (tmobile.com)
- via your T-Mobile App (Android or iOS)
For me, using the T-Mobile App is the easiest and simplest way to purchase and add a data pass to my phone or on one of my family members.
Follow these steps to add the data pass using the T-Mobile-App:
- Log into the app (fingerprint scan for me)
- Select Account
- Scroll to the Phone Number (User) in question
- Click on “Add-Ons”
- Scroll and Click on “Manage Data and Add-Ons”
- Under “One-time Data Passes” click on “International Pass” to select it
- Click Continue
- Optional: Next to “Immediately” click “Change Date” if you need the data pass at a later date.
- Optional: Select the new date
- Click Agree & Submit1 of 7- +
1. Step 1: Log into T-Mobile App
2. Step 2: Select "Add-Ons" on the phone number in question
3. Step 3: Click "Manage Data & Add-Ons"
4. Step 4: Select the International Pass
5. Step 5: Review Order and Change Date
6. Step 6: Change Date
7. Step 7: Select Date and Confirm Order
(The steps to activate the data pass will be similar on the Web Account)
Note, the data pass will be activated on the date chosen at 12AM Pacific Time, so pay attention to time zones. For further clarification, if you select June 1st for the data plan to be activated and you travel to Paris, then the data plan will be available at 8 AM in Paris since France is 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
How to Sign up for the 1 GB for 10 Days Pass
The 1 GB for 10-Days International Data Pass is not available through the T-Mobile App or the Web Account. You will have to reach out to T-Mobile’s Customer Service and ask the representative to submit a purchase order to add it to the phone number that will be used abroad.
Only the account holder or authorized person can add/remove features on the account in question. If you are not the account holder, ask the person to authorize you to T-Mobile, which can be done over the phone. It can save you a lot of headache to have direct contact with a customer representative if anything happens when you travel abroad.
To sign up is very easy and usually takes few minutes, the representative will ask for account holder verification, will ask what country you need the data pass for, and will go ahead and charge a debit/credit card or place it on the account card.
The way I do it is mostly through the “Chat” option on the T-Mobile, since I’m authorized account user and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes of time.
Reaching T-Mobile from Abroad
You can call T-Mobile customer service from anywhere in the world, and it’s FREE. So, if you have roaming or device issues, or just want to activate another 24-Hour High-Speed Data plan, just give T-Mobile a call at +1-505-998-3793 – at no extra charge.
If Wi-Fi is available, you can use the “Chat” option in the T-Mobile App (available on Android and iOS). I won’t recommend this as the best option, even though it might be the easiest, because sometimes the T-Mobile App won’t all you access over Wi-Fi due to authentication problems. So, if you don’t have any of the T-Mobile plans that allow free data on 2G speed, you will be charged for roaming.
Protect Yourself from Roaming Charges
To avoid data roaming charges when traveling internationally, take the following options into consideration:
- Get a T-Mobile Plan that will give you free internet at lower speeds while abroad.
- If you don’t have an international data plan, keep your device in Airplane Mode at all times and only use Wi-Fi.
- Disable the “Allow Roaming” feature in the Settings of your device (under Wireless Connections on Android and Cellular Data Options on iOS). This will prevent applications on your device from trying to use data in the background.
- Check if your device allows “Wi-Fi Calling” to be able to make voice calls over Wi-Fi or use a chat and voice app like WhatsApp and Viber to make data calls over Wi-Fi only.
Prepare Before You Travel Abroad
Lastly, before you hit the road don’t forget to install the T-Mobile App and save the T-Mobile Customer Service Number on your device. If you know what days you will need high-speed internet, pre-order a data pass for the selected dates to avoid losing data coverage while abroad.
Also, If you use Google Maps, I would recommend downloading the map of the city you will be traveling to, so you can use the “walking” feature in case you need directions or are lost. And, don’t forget to stay healthy while traveling and have some fun.