I am in the same situation as @aabramson, my livelihood depends on a good, reliable internet connection. Also, my 3 children travel with us and must connect to school online, and require a daily full robust connection as well. Before traveling to ANY place, or renting ANY lodging, our first priority is ALWAYS the internet connection, even going so far as getting screenshots of a speed test at that location. I have successfully worked from South America throughout the US to Europe without my clients knowing I have switched locations. My work is 100% online, mostly working with servers in the cloud, either coding, maintaining, or conference calling with clients using tools like skype, goto, joinme, freeconf, webex, teamviewer, etc… We usually spend 50% of the year outside of our home travelling, we try to sojourn a month at each location, so it’s less hectic, less up ending, and more slow/local travel exploring.
It’s been a huge time saver using FI, just in Europe alone. We last visited 7 countries over 5 months, and would have had to go through the pre-paid SIM hassle at least once a month, which is a lost hour of productivity easily in each country. For a few day trips from our base in Germany into Belgium, it didn’t make sense to get a SIM for just Belgium, for the few days we visited over the course of a month, in situations like that, when you are highly mobile, it’s a time saver and life saver with maps access or whatever. Same for day trips into Switzerland crossing from Southern Germany. If you are a nomad, FI makes the most sense. One bill, no effort. Fi doesn’t have a cost to tether other devices, which is also awesome. Fi also has “FREE to purchase” data only sims for devices, that just use your same data allowance. I have 2 extra sim data only devices on my account, and family plan with another fi service (wife’s). The data only sims cards were free, and there are no extra costs to use those devices or data. Totally love that. My kids have those older unlocked androids and are able to hangouts, data call, duo, allo, telegram, pokemon, etc… without any issues, and without any extra costs, besides the data usage. Their laptops (3), and my backup chromebooks (2) have no issues sharing, connecting and using the service.
I love that I can answer my fi calls on my laptop (without picking up my phone - data), or my wife’s calls on my laptop (data), or either of our calls/numbers on any of our devices (all data), including my kids laptops or data only devices. To us, this is a huge plus, it’s like have so many phone extensions, all sharing the same numbers. My wife also doubles as my secretary and we field each other’s calls if necessary, super handy if you have a team. As for the dial in versus data, it really depends. Lately, since $15 gives you unlimited talk/text in the US, to keep data usage low when not on wi-fi, I’ll take the cell method for conf calls instead of data. We are also very frugal, so it doesn’t make sense to take a 1 hour conf call via data even at only 100mb = $1 versus free on cell in the US. It adds up quickly. While outside of the country it depends, I usually see what the per minute call charge will be, and then figure out the best method to place a voice call, either using data or cell.
All that said, upgraded from Nexus 6’s to Pixel XLs (not even 2 weeks ago we got the phones), and also have not had the pixels outside of the country yet. We were trying to plan Decemebr - April in Europe again this year, but nothing set in stone yet, but can’t imagine it working differently than with the Nexus 6s. We leapfrogged over the 6Ps, thought about the 5xs as we loved the Nexus 5s, still one of my favorite devices, I use 2 of them as data backups since passing the 6s down to the kids, I like them more than the phablet sized 6s and they are great grab and go ready with a chromebook in case of an emergency. Wow, after rereading this, I think I might have over shared. haha - wish everyone the best for their day.