The United Kingdom is a mix of different and engaging cultures that can be exciting to visit. Whether you're planning to visit London, or see the beautiful sights and scenery in Scotland or Ireland, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer there, and a lot of cultures that you can immerse yourself in. That said, if you haven't already, one of the things that you need to take care of before you take off is your phone data!
You certainly don't want to go there using roaming on AT&T, Verizon, or any of the other carriers here in the US. You'll just end up with thousands in roaming charges, unfortunately. That's why using an international SIM card for travel within the UK is so important. For just a few dollars, you can get fast, 4G LTE data anywhere in the EU with a local SIM or international SIM -- ultimately, you're saving yourself hundreds, if not thousands in roaming charges. Here are five of our favorite international SIM cards.
Coming in as our number one choice, we have Orange and their Holiday SIM. This brings any GSM phone you have fast 4G data in thirty different EU-based countries, including the United Kingdom! While the UK is an excellent choice for this SIM card, it will work for most other popular EU travels as well. Unlike many international "travel" SIM cards, this isn't a throwaway card, and will be one that you can top up whenever you're running low on data.
As far as specifics go, your initial purchase will give you 10GB of total data to use for 14 days. There's two hours of talk time, and then another 1,000 messages available. And again, you can top up whenever!
UK Europe ThreeUK SIM Card
Up in third place on our countdown, we have the ThreeUK UK Europe SIM Card. Despite the words "UK" in the name, this one works for European travel all over the EU. With 12GB of data, 3000 minutes in talk time and 3000 messages, you can use data, talk, and text anywhere in the EU! Of course, that includes the UK. With the ThreeUK SIM card, you can top off whenever you need additional data, talk, or text while traveling.
Mobal Europe Plus SIM
Next, we're looking at the Mobal Europe Plus SIM. You get a whole 1GB of free data and unrestricted tethering. This is one of our favorite offers, simply because many carriers and data packages charge extra for hotspot and tethering access.
That said, Mobal also gives you the ability to accept free incoming calls from people in over 130 different countries, including text messages. Outgoing calls and texts is where Mobal charges you, and at rates that start at 30¢ per minute in all countries. Less expensive than roaming charges in the US, but still pricey.
Keep in mind that you can top off whenever you need to!
Internet with legs Trio
ThreeUK has another really nice SIM card for international travel -- the Internet with legs Trio. This one has a little less data than the Europe ThreeUK SIM card, giving you 3GB of data for 90 days. The advantage to using this SIM card is that it will work in any mobile Wi-Fi device, tablets and smartphones alike.
Additionally, 3GB isn't a whole lot of data, but ThreeUK lets you top up as needed. You can even use this SIM card to test it out with your phone in the US, and without roaming charges.
Keepgo Global Lifetime SIM Card
Keepgo's Global Lifetime SIM card is last up, but it's not a bad choice at all. Keepgo tries to give their customers data, wherever they are in the world. That said, this SIM card will provide you with 1GB of data that stays valid for 1 year -- and you can refill as you need it. Keepgo's SIM stays valid, as long as you refill before that year is up.
It only works with GSM phones, unfortunately. And there's no talk or text data available.
Here we've shown you five of the best international SIM cards for traveling to the UK. All of these will keep you well under what you would pay in roaming charges for a carrier here in the US; however, we think the Orange Holiday SIM is probably the best way to go, offering you tons of data, calling time, and text messages for a two-week trip to the UK. Not only that, but they allow you to easily top up when you need more.