Our family travels. A lot. We’ve gone through so many phases of cell phone plans, trying to find the best one that will suit us while we are at home in Canada, and while we are on the road. We’ve gone with Telus, Virgin, Rogers, and Roam Mobility and of which ended up being really expensive when we were abroad.
We’ve also switched to local sim cards in the countries we’ve visited all over the world to avoid roaming rates. A solution that works well EXCEPT it means that you need to buy a sim card in each new country. The problem here is showing up to a new country with no cell phone service until you are able to get to a telecommunications store. That can cause problems, like when we were stranded in London with no cell phone data to look up how to get unlost!
We’ve done it all, and no solution has been perfect for us. Canadian cell phone plans are EXPENSIVE compared to the rest of the world and when you want to add an international plan to your domestic rates, your bill is going to skyrocket!
So, what is a traveling Canadian to do for a cell phone plan?
Well, we’ve researched (and tried) it all. Just recently, we found a solution that we absolutely love! Google FI!
We ended up going with an American cell phone plan in order to escape the ridiculous international rates of Canadian plans! Google FI works in over 200 countries around the world! Wow! That works for us. The basic plan is $20 USD which gives you unlimited text messages all over the world.
I’m a digital nomad (that means I work wherever I am in the world as long as there is internet) so data is super important to me. After being hosed for so many years for data on a Canadian plan, I’m super happy with the Google FI set up. Data is $10 per gig. If you only use .7 gigs you would only be charged $7. After you get to 6 gigs (or $60) the rest of the data for the month is FREE up to 15 gigs. At 15 gigs you get slowed down, but data is still free. Most months when I am traveling without wifi, I go over the 15 gigs but I never go over paying $60 for data.
If you travel a lot and need a reliable cell phone plan that works in over 200 countries with great data rates, check out Google FI.
Use this Google FI referral link to get a $20 credit.
How to get this plan as a Canadian:
When we called Google FI, they told us we could have the plan as Canadians but we would need to be able to activate the plan while in the US. Here are some ideas on how to do this.
- Get the Sim mailed to a place that holds packages for Canadians in a border town. We live near the border so were able to ship the sim card to a business across the border and then we hopped down to activate it.
- Get the Sim shipped to a friend or family member in the States. Your friend can activate the Sim card and then mail it to your Canadian address.
- Get the Sim shipped to a hotel on your next US vacation or business trip.
We did run into a tiny snag when signing up for the SIM, we could not use a Canadian address for our billing address. Here is the workaround… Use the American address where you are shipping the SIM as your billing address. Once you get the card and activate it, log into your account and change the billing address to your Canadian address. It worked for us and now we have used our Google plan all over the world!