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Advice on phone plans? 1 year in Europe


by @larsheather | 1yr  | 8 comments

Weโ€™re Americans planning to be in Europe for all of 2020 - approx. 90 days in each country, and alternating Schengen and non-Schengen. Our destinations will likely include four of these: Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Romania, and Spain.
Can anyone give us advice on cell phones? We would prefer to keep our current (U.S) numbers if at all possible. We donโ€™t anticipate making many local calls, but will phone the U.S. about once a week. Weโ€™ll use our phones for internet quite often.
Any advice for our situation would be very much appreciated!
Thanks,
Heather and Lars

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@miguelelsuizo | 1yr

Hi Heather and Lars,

A local prepaid SIM card should be the cheapest option in most cases.

Personally, Iโ€™m not yet living the nomadic lifestyle, but Iโ€™m working on it. At the moment, Iโ€™m still living in Switzerland, my mobile phone provider is Salt: I pay 69.95 CHF/month (69.39 USD/month). This includes unlimited data, unlimited calls and SMS/MMS in/to Switzerland, EU, USA & Canada. I donโ€™t know however, if itโ€™s available without a Swiss address. Their homepage has an English version (sorry, but I couldnโ€™t include the link).

If you still have an American address, Google Fi might be an option for you. With them, you can phone for the same price in 200+ countries and territories.

A similar service, working in 140+ countries, is Flexiroam.

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@alanhalley | 1yr

Iโ€™m an American living in Brazil. I have a U.S. phone number from Google Voice so anyone in the U.S. can place a call to me and my phones, iPad and computers ring wherever I am (it is somewhat annoying when they all ring at the same time!). I spent three months in Europe last year and bought SIM cards for my phone in Antwerp, Lisbon and London. Each card cost me $25 or so for a month of data. I donโ€™t make phone calls on my phone. I had a free WiFi connection almost every night.

And I use WhatsApp to stay in touch with my Brazilian and European friends/clients/colleagues. Itโ€™s free for messaging. Calls, too.

It is pretty easy to travel the world and remain connected these days. The local telecoms are the only hassle, with their myriad rules to try to protect their monopoly. Hence I had three SIM cards in three months as I traveled around Europe last year. Iโ€™ll do the same this year unless I find a more accommodating telecom. :grinning:

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@jackgopack | 1yr

Hello Lars and Heather! This is unfortunately a common dilemma, having experienced it firsthand last year travelling almost 6 months. We kept our Verizon number by simply suspending our account while we used Google Fi via the cheap but beautiful and amazing Moto X4 Android One (can easily set entire phone up for 2 completely different users). Many here recommend just getting sim cards upon arrival. We found this to be often much more complicated than not. We wanted something that just simply works immediately upon touch down in many different countries and FI did not disappointโ€ฆ nor did it break the bank at $20/mo + 10/gb. If youโ€™re an iPhone couple, you can now use the FI sim but with less functionality (no free wi-fi calling to US and T-Mobile connection onlyโ€ฆ no Sprint or US Cellular). In closing, Iโ€™ve seen people recommending tossable digits dot com for various phone issues but Iโ€™m not familiar at all with it. Hope this helps. Jack

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@lricci | 1yr

I have my US plan with T-Mobile. When I call the US, I pay for $5/day plan that allows 24 hours of international calling. For family and informal calls, we use Skype. They also have a $50/mo. international plan, but I havenโ€™t needed more than a few $5 daily plans, so I havenโ€™t looked into it. We had Verizon and they were awful. Every time we went abroad, there was some lame excuse that we didnโ€™t set up our international calling correctly. After a few multi-hundred dollar bills for international roaming (not calls) I went shopping for another provider. T-Mobile has been great the last two years.

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@larsheather | 1yr

Thanks for sharing your experience with Verizon. Sounds like a nightmare!

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@nerdontour | 1yr

Hey Heather and Lars!

Iโ€™m Polish, who spent summers in Europe. Similarly, I mostly use my phone for internet connection and the mobile operator market is changing so fast that every time I come back to Europe I choose the current best offer.

Recently, the EU forced all mobile operators to allow โ€œfree roamingโ€, which on paper means that whatever you have in your base country, youโ€™ll get everywhere else in Europe. In practice, all operators retain to Fair Usage Policy, which in short means that after 4 consecutive months, theyโ€™ll look back and check if you used your plan more in your base country or abroad. If abroad, theyโ€™ll charge you extra fees.

Most EU markets are controlled by big telcos like T-Mobile, Vodafone or Orange, but they focus on selling long-term contracts with some โ€œEuropean planโ€, but Iโ€™d avoid it. Their offer is usually very complex, expensive and youโ€™ll still be restricted by Fair Usage Policy of the country, where you signed-up the contract.

The only viable option, in my opinion, is to buy a pre-paid plan, thatโ€™s usually for 30 days and in case itโ€™s not what you expect, buy another one.

Iโ€™ll be travelling between Poland and Italy a lot this summer and the most convenient offer I found so far will be Lycamobile. A virtual operator focused on international customers. They offer quite big data quota in addition to the EU phone calls, that Iโ€™ll need for my work.

Lycamobile is present also in the USA. Check their plans and compare them to what youโ€™ll get with their European card with a new number. You can also buy a new Lycamobile every 3 months in your new โ€œbase countryโ€.

As for calling to the US, Iโ€™d use Skype, VoIP or Hushed app on your phone. Thatโ€™s in most cases cheaper and faster than calling via regular telephone infrastructure. Thereโ€™s also a way to โ€œconnectโ€ your current American mobile number to Skype in order to receive calls, but youโ€™d need to double check it with your current provider.

Hope that helps :smiley:

PS. Please check details on how Schengen zone and travelling visas affect your allowed stay. All the countries you mentioned are already tied to the Schengen rules.

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@larsheather | 1yr

This is really helpful information! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer in such detail. Youโ€™ve put us on the right track!
Happy travels.

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@nerdontour | 1yr

No worries! Safe travels and hope to see you on the track! :vulcan_salute:

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

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Can Americans with EU Passports Travel to EU during COVID-19?


in France by @fqlx | 27d 26 days ago | 1 comment

I'm a dual citizen of America and France with my resident based in the America. Can I travel to the EU using my French passport?

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How to ship bikes from US to Europe?


by @ld | 6mo 5 months ago | 3 comments

Hello,
Iโ€™m preparing to travel again to Europe, but this time I want to bring our bikes. 2 road bikes. Iโ€™ll be traveling from USA to the Milan or Rome airport.

Iโ€™d appreciate hearing your thoughts, experience and tips on traveling with a bike. I plan on being fairly stationary with our location and staying in one spot for 2-3 months, then (hopefully train) to another spot for 3 months, etc. So itโ€™s the initial international flight Iโ€™m most concerned about. But realistically, I think a regional flight will be inevitable with the bikes, too.

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General range of cost?

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How to find Bangkok apartment rentals <$1,000/mo?


in Bangkok, Thailand by @vesko89 | 10mo 10 months ago | 1 comment

Hey all,

i am trying to find a monthly based condo in SUKHUMVIT in BKK becaue i am staying 1-3 Months in BKK. But somehow its nearly impossible to find a nice one. Except Air BnB 1000$+ โ€ฆ

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Greetings Vesko

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Best American phone carrier for nomads


by @tylertringas | 12mo 11 months ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m surprised this isnโ€™t anywhere on the forum yet. But just a pro tip for Americans about to start a nomad adventure. T-mobile offers unlimited SMS & data in 120 countries for FREE with any of their (already pretty cheap) plans. Itโ€™s ideal if you plan to be back in the US for any part of the year, but I honestly would consider it even if youโ€™re going to be entirely out of the country.

You get bumped down to much slower 3G speeds, but itโ€™s free and works as soon as you land. Can be super helpful before youโ€™ve sorted yourself out with a local SIM. I usually keep my T-mobile SIM in my iPhone all the time and then buy a local SIM and drop it in my pocket wifi for both laptop and iPhone when needed. I keep my local US number and just use it (itโ€™s like $0.05/min in most places) for important clients calls so they donโ€™t have to bother with Skype.

Iโ€™m not affiliated at all, just a happy customer. Anybody found a better deal worth mentioning?

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SIM to use in Eastern Europe


by @itinerantdev | 1yr 1 year ago | 6 comments

Over the next few weeks Iโ€™m visiting:

  • Prague 4 days
  • Bratislava 12 days
  • Berlin 7 days
  • Budapest 60 days

I am British and was assuming I would use my giff gaff sim as that has free EU roaming.

But I have been in Mexico for six weeks and giff gaff emailed and said if I didnโ€™t use my sim in the UK soon they would start charging their normal expensive roaming rates.

Soโ€ฆ Can anyone recommend a pre-pay data only sim/package I can use in all of these countries? Ideally which I can pick up in Prague?

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What's the best warm destinations in Europe in the winter?

 

by @jammingsloth | 1yr 1 year ago | 33 comments

Planning ahead for the winter. Iโ€™ll be in Spain in the Fall and want to go someplace warm for the winter in or near Europe, but not Schengen. Was first thinking Cape Town, but the internet is slow and it is very far. Was also thinking:
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Morocco?
Turkey - maybe a little chilly.

Any other suggestions?

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Nomad in Europe and buying a car


by @tobi | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Weโ€™re nomadโ€™ing around Europe, living in places for a few months at a time. It would be super convenient to own a car for this, but we havenโ€™t found a good option to buy and keep one without being a steady registered resident in any country. Every time we move weโ€™d have to basically change number plates et cetera.

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Suggestions for home base for 10 months in Mexico or Panama next year?


in Mexico by @we_are_escaping | 2yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Weโ€™re researching places to use as a home base next year, and are leaning towards Mexico or Panama for 10 months (with 1 week โ€œvacationsโ€ to explore surrounding countries)

But, I want to settle some place where the infrastructure is good enough for fast, reliable internet - fast enough to run live webinars without worrying that Iโ€™ll be S.O.L due to internet issues when itโ€™s time to go live.

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Tax Planning advice (Primarily contracting for US company)


by @kartman92 | 2yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Hello nomads,

Due to a recent US work visa rejection (H1B), Iโ€™m considering turning to freelancing and being a digital nomad. My former employer (US based start-up) wants me to continue rendering my services as a contractor/freelancer (so I have a confirmed major client and Iโ€™ll probably take on other minor clients on the side). From the get go I want to get my taxes right and I was hoping you seasoned nomads can assist me. Some of the key aspects of my case are:

  1. I hold an Indian passport and as long as I donโ€™t stay in India for 182 days Iโ€™m considered non-resident (No taxes on foreign income as long as services are not rendered in India, otherwise 30% tax).

  2. I may have to visit the US occasionally, so having a tax-residency in a country with a US tax-treaty may be beneficial (I maybe incorrect here).

  3. Iโ€™m willing not to be a perpetual traveller and put down roots in a low tax country that offers easy tax residency with low-taxes.

  4. Will incorporating in a tax-friendly help my case? Or will just perpetual travel be enough to completely avoid taxes?

P.s. If any of you offer sound tax advice for a fee and are aware of international taxation laws (especially US tax laws), do let me know.

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by @raz | 2yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

The ideal bank will have an easy on-boarding as a European student studying and living in Sweden for a year and is merciful when it comes to sending GBP into the account.
Can anybody recommend a good Swedish bank? :raised_hands:

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by @ileitch | 2yr 2 years ago | 12 comments

Hey!

Iโ€™m wondering how many developers travel with a MBP 13" vs 15"? I currently use a late-2012 13" for iOS development, but Iโ€™m pondering the 15" because Xcode is so resource hungry. On the downside, it is rather heavyโ€ฆ

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/vermont-pay-10-000-move-110056645.html

Hello All,
Saw Vermont rolled out an incentive to get more remote workers to live there, Does anyone plan on applying and If so why? Reason Iโ€™m asking is I work for an organization in Tulsa, Ok that wants to also bring in Nomads, and would love to hear your thoughts on what such a plan should look like

Any help would be Awesome!
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Hey there, i wanna spend one month on a greek island in August. Just need a view by the sea in a small village. Anybody has advice? By the way, i am a translator, so i need Internetโ€ฆ

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by @adrienbetweets | 2yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Hi all

What do you guys use for receiving both sms & calls on a European phone number?

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Also, I looked into Google Hangout but it doesnโ€™t support European phone numbers.

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Best European Ski Towns?


by @matthewhallca | 2yr 2 years ago | 9 comments

Looking to spend around 6 weeks somewhere in Europe this winter skiing and working. Donโ€™t need a big tech community but care more about it being affordable and having at least half decent skiing.

So far I have heard good things about Les Deux Alpes, France and Bansko, Bulgaria.

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Where is the best place to open a bank account in Europe?


by @julien | 2yr 2 years ago | 7 comments

Hello the community,

I am thinking about opening a business bank account in another country outside of France.
I live in Paris and I work as a freelancer. The taxes on my salary are very expensive (around 85%). I would like to know if there are better options for bank accounts within Europe.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Regards,

J

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Anyone here resident in Portugal with incorporation elsewhere in the EU? Need some advice


in Portugal by @solardive | 3yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone!

Currently looking at ridding myself of the 9-5 and becoming a freelance consultant. Iโ€™m not planning to go full erm, โ€œtax optimisationโ€, as I believe in taxes as a concept, but I would like to pay less of them so I can get my business off the ground with more peace of mind.

Iโ€™ve decided I want to apply for the Portugal NHR (Iโ€™m a EU citizen), but I donโ€™t want to incorporate there. Anyone here has experience with being a Portugal tax resident and running a company elsewhere? If yes, where and why did you choose that country/place? Is it a a lot of hassle?

Thanks!

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Where to pay taxes if self employed non-resident of the UK, travelling Europe?


by @jadi4nd | 3yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Hi, I know there are a few posts around this topic but none of them quite answer my questions.

I am British and currently a resident in the UK.
Next year I am going to become a non-resident and spend over a year traveling mostly around Europe, moving every few weeks never staying anywhere longer than a month. (My first venture into becoming a digital nomad!)

I am remote, self employed, software developer working mostly for one client based in the UK.

Where am I liable to pay taxes?
From what I have read I will not be liable to pay taxes in UK, can anyone confirm this?
If not the UK then where if I am moving every few weeks?
If possible I want to avoid starting a company as this seems unnecessarily complicated for my work setup.

Thank you in advance for any help :slight_smile:

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Which is the warmest city in Europe with the highest number of tech jobs?


by @omarmohameddev | 3yr 2 years ago | 8 comments

I am currently living in Cologne, Germany, with my wife, but we are looking for to continue our slow-nomadism path towards a warmer city, possibly close to the sea, where I can easily get a new job and offer a set of well-know, tech companies/startups. Any idea?

I was considering Madrid and Valencia, but also Nice looks very attempting even if I am scared that there are not enough tech companies could become hard find/change job in the long term.

Thanks everyone in advance!

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Health Insurance for Europeans?


by @patrickheneise | 3yr 2 years ago | 4 comments

Hi there, Iโ€™m currently looking at Allianz Global and IM Global as a health insurance for long-term travel in Asia. Any experiences with those two or are there better options for European residents?

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