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My Experience Using Verizon’s Global Data to Travel to New Zealand/Australia

I’ve been trying to find a good solution for global data.  I’m not a fan of swapping out sim cards,  especially when I’m often abroad for short periods of time.   

I also looked into T-mobile as a solution.   Their plans are global, but T-mobile’s domestic plan didn’t meet my needs.   I am in rural Virginia pretty often,  and my phone service wouldn’t have worked out there. 

When I’ve traveled before,  I’ve used Verizon’s crazy expensive global data package.  It was $25 per 100 MB.  

I’d turn off all background data,  plus leave my data off until I need it.   I’d map out wifi hot spots. 

Usually,  this would run me ~$75 per trip. Plus, I’d miss out on a lot by having my data off all the time. 

This trip, I decided to try out Verizon’s travel pass to use my smart phone and data plan on the go in Australia and New Zealand.

From the website:

Now your wireless plan travels just like you do. For just $2 a day per line in Mexico and Canada, $5 a day per line in Spain and $10 a day per line in more than 100 countries you can take your domestic talk, text and data allowances with you. You’re only charged on the days you use your device abroad. It’s an economical way to stay connected while you travel.

android smart phone

This is a newer option for Verizon and I’ve seen some people slam it for being expensive as compared to a sim card. 

I don’t use sim cards,  but as a price comparison,  I saw them for $30 NZ (~$25 usd)  for a gig of data. 

For my five days in Australia and New Zealand,  I spent $50 for access to my 10 gig plan.   I was a little paranoid while there that the plan would turn out more expensive,  but I kept receiving texts from Verizon each day confirming the plan was working. 

In addition, I had access to texting and phone. 

All in all,  the signal was great except at two points.  One, strangely, was at the Auckland ferry terminal.  This was even more strange (just beyond being a dense location)  because I had really good cell service on the ferry itself. 

It also reduced my usual work related  travel stress.  I didn’t feel the need to get back to my laptop because I could quickly glance at emails as they came in (well,  as many as would with the time zone difference). 

The best part,  though,  is that I can always leave this active.  I don’t have to remember to turn it on,  and I don’t get charged for forgetting to turn it off.   Verizon previously would assume you are going to use global data each month and proactively charge you for the 100mb.

Now, not only does Verizon wait until you are in the country,  it gives you a warning text / period so you can switch it off if you don’t want to use it. 

Also, as someone with family in Canada,  being able to use everything for $2/ day is fine with me. 

I know this cost isn’t ideal for every traveler,  but as someone who prefers sticking with Verizon and doesn’t like swapping sim cards,  it is a great solution. 

Also,  depending on how much country hoping you are doing and data you use,  it could end up being more economical than a sim card. 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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4 comments

  1. So I be good in Mexico City with Verizon new plan?

  2. When I went to Germany I used google voice talked over wifi with no cost. I used verizon as a back up for data.all ill it worked out great.

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