Two years with Google Fi around the world

Travel with Google Fi

Since switching to Google Fi (from Verizon) two years ago I've traveled to over 35 countries (listed below) throughout North America, Europe, Oceania, Africa and Asia where I've had reliable phone service and fast data with little fuss.

I feel truly connected, from the heart of New York City to long Australian roads and navigating through busy streets in India. The beautiful world around me changes, but my phone seamlessly remains at-the-ready whenever I need it.

The international phone plan works in 200+ countries; there's no sim card swapping or unexpected fees — just truly global phone service, uninterrupted.
Well, the only exception was Nepal. Maybe they'll add them soon?

In short: I highly recommend it, especially if you travel internationally — let me explain why.

The basics of the Google Fi international phone plan:

  • $20 for unlimited talk and text
  • $10 for each GB of data (4G in many areas)
You can save $20 when you sign up by using my Google Fi promo code: TDW3EE.

Details

  • Billed month to month, pause or cancel whenever you want.
  • Data is billed down to the nearest .01GB. Use just .22GB and pay just $2.20.
  • Past 6GB data is free, so max of a $60 charge. I only usually use about 1GB or so.
  • Calls when you're outside the US are 20 cents a minute.
  • Customer service, via chat or voice, is quite personable and professional.
  • Now works with all phones, even iPhones.
  • You can easily port your existing number (even your Google Voice number)

Why I love Google Fi for travel

For me the most impressive and valuable aspect of Google Fi is the simplicity. As soon as my plane touches down in a new country, before we even reach the gate, I have service and can send a WhatsApp message to my host saying I've arrived, get directions somewhere or read the inevitable text from Aaron telling me the beer won't be as good as he's got in California. He's usually right... sometimes... damn it Aaron...

At least I don't have to research and be delayed by finding a local sim card in every new country I get to; I also don't have to wander around unfamiliar streets for an hour or more just to find a Wi-Fi hotspot when I need to be connected.

I can spend my time enjoying where I'm at and make plans on the fly instead of wasting time and money on cups of coffee that really just serve as a ticket to use a cafe's Wi-Fi — not to mention having to be left hanging around waiting for a message to get back to me.

Data and text cost exactly the same in the United States as they do when you're in Dubai, Berlin, Bangkok and everywhere else, and often with 4G speeds. Coverage has been excellent, even in seemingly remote Moroccan beaches and long desert roads in Nevada.

Phone calls placed while you're outside the US, however, will cost 20 cents per minute. Not awful, and you can still get around this by making calls for free when you're connected to Wi-Fi (the dialer experience is seamless). I'm usually texting anyway, I'll save my long calls for when I have Wi-Fi and the rest are mostly the one or two minute "I'm on my way" kinda thing.

It's true that you may find cheaper data rates in some countries by getting a local sim, but if you're like me and not sticking around in any one place for that long, Google Fi is hassle-free and the no-brainer way to go. If you did stick around somewhere for a while and wanted to switch your sim to something local then pausing your Google Fi service without any penalty is always an option.

Use Google Fi for travel, be happy

After more than two years of travel with Google Fi I'm very happy. Even tripping around the United States I find it fast, reliable and less expensive than my Verizon days. Google Fi even offers some discounted family/friends plans and always seems to be making updates on their coverage.

For more info and to go sign up you can use my Google Fi promo code to save twenty bucks on your first bill, it's TDW3EE. Happy travels!

Countries I've traveled in since switching to Google Fi in December 2016: United States (including Hawaii), Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal (only place I didn't have service), India, UAE, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, The Republic of North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Czechia, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Wales, Ireland, Morocco, Cyprus

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