We’ve had many questions about what we’re doing with our cell phones and plans while we travel the world. The standard response most nomads have had to do is get an unlocked phone and purchase a sim card (usually prepaid) in each country as they land and pay as they go. That sounds doable, but also sounds like a hassle to find a decent and competitive phone company and sim card on arrival before being able to use my phone. Luckily for us though, we have an international friendly cell phone plan, from Google. I’m including a link below to get a discount if you want to sign up.
A couple years ago we switched from Verizon to Project Fi. It’s literally the only bill we’ve continued with since selling our house. We no longer pay for water, trash, electric, gas or internet. We cut the cable over a decade ago, and have never had a phone phone.
Project Fi is a mobile virtual network operator by Google, providing phone, messaging and data services using both Wi-Fi and cellular networks belonging to Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three. We have a two phone plan with decent Moto x4 phones and are paying $35 for unlimited talk/text and then exactly how much data we use (at $10/GB). We’re pretty light on our data and only use around 2GB/month together. Project Fi automatically switches between networks depending on signal strength and speed. It automatically connects to Wi-Fi hotspots with data encryption through an automatic VPN. Phone calls transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. With all networks combined, Project Fi covers 170+ countries around the world.
The nice part is that international data is the same price as domestic, 10$/GB. Plus I can use my phone as a hotspot and use date on the go to get my work done. (I publish this very post from the passenger seat of the van as we drive through Iowa using my hotspot). They’ve recently added a feature so that if we use a bunch more data than usual (over 10GB), they’ll cap our bill at $100. We do need to pay for international phone calls though (texting is still free), but since the plan uses wifi for calls when it’s available, we’ll be able to place free calls from home or anyplace with wifi! There are likely other competitive plans that could be set up by purchasing a sim card in each country, but it will be great to hit the ground with everything ready to go wherever we go.
Here’s the code to get $20 Fi credit when you start a phone plan with Google’s Project Fi. Redeem it here: https://g.co/fi/r/D2R0FJ
If you’re interested in switching or trying out Project Fi follow the link and get $20 credit (full disclosure, we’ll get the same $20 credit if you sign up). You don’t have to be a nomad or even an aspiring nomad to sign up for a great cell phone plan!