Vacation Phone

venice-grand-canal-image-from-shutterstockVacation Phone: a reader asks…

I have a Verizon iPhone and am heading for a vacation overseas. Should I get one of those airport rental phones, or buy a SIM card for my iPhone to use while I’m on vacation, or ??? Any suggestions you have are appreciated!

While you can certainly do either of those options, there is another option for you. Verizon has a phone loaner program, click this link:

woman-talking-on-two-phones-image-from-shutterstockFor vacations less than 3 weeks, Verizon will loan their customers a smartphone or basic phone – for free! You just pay for shipping costs ($20) along with your data and call usage during your vacation. They’ll even temporarily transfer your own cellphone number to it (and transfer it back when you return). For longer than 3 weeks, they’ll rent you a SIM card or loaner smartphone for a fee. If you’re going to a remote area, they can even rent you a satellite phone.


While you’re on vacation, you should purchase a special international short-term plan, otherwise you will get a super-size phone bill after you return. These plans run from $2-10 per day, and let you use your call minutes, texting and data use that your regular plan offers, but overseas. Rates are only $2/day for Mexico & Canada, $5/day for Spain, and $10/day for over 100 other countries. You can apply this plan to your own smartphone if you want to take it (and it’s capable of use in the countries you visit) or to the loaner phone.

woman-reporting-crime-to-police-image-from-shutterstockI’ll tell you that having your own smartphone on vacation with you is great – you have all your apps, calendar, contacts, mail and such. It’s just like using your phone at home. The only real downside to taking your own phone abroad is if it gets lost or stolen. That’s the biggest reason people use the Verizon loaner program. Of course, if your loaner phone gets lost or stolen, you’ll have to pay Verizon for it, but when you get home your smartphone is right where you left it and you don’t have to configure a new phone.

Vacationing overseas with a smartphone can have a few hiccups in terms of what works and what doesn’t (and dialing rules). Be sure to check out Verizon’s terms and conditions before you go, so you know what to do (and what not to do!).

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