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So what about phones?

Let's face it, living in the 21st century means you're going to need to be able to use your phone. Unfortunately the US is still quite behind when it comes to international data. Check with your provider because some plans have relatively affordable international plans. For most however, you're shit out of luck. Don't worry! Both the UK and Ireland have super easy options. 

 
 

option 1: provides most accessibility

Check with your current cellular provider about unlocking your phone. Basically what that means is your number and SIM card is disconnected from your phone meaning you can simply put a new SIM card (and with it new number). Once you get to your new city you can buy a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) SIM card, which should only costs about $10. Make sure to check around with different providers to find the best bang for your buck. Also be honest with yourself with what you are going to need to use your phone for. PAYG phones can be super cheap and convenient since you don't get stuck with a contract or extra data but it can also get expensive if you keep topping up. 

 

option 2: Provides connectivity and freedom

If your phone can't be unlocked don't worry! You can still get  PAYG phone! Almost every shop can sell you the trustworthy 2006 style flip-phone for $20. Of course you can't add data to your plan but if you just need to be able to stay in communication while your out and about this is a great (and cheap) alternative. Plus it allows some ability to disconnect from the alluring world of social media. Final perk: It's a bit safer. Since most phones are paid outright in Europe phone theft is very common. Having an old flip-phone will substantially decrease the chance someone tries to steal your phone.

 

**PRO TIP: If you do get an international SIM card, note that you will have limitations on your data usage whenever you travel. So if you plan on being gone almost every weekend in a different country, make sure to really think about which option is going to make the most sense for you. 

 

option 3: cheapest option

Just use WIFI to connect. Both London and Dublin are very connected cities which means you don't even need to get an international phone at all. You can use the app Whatsapp to text and call for free, all you need is Wifi. If you have an iPhone you can still connect to other iPhones the same way. You can download maps to your phone through Map.ie or Google Maps which will allow you to navigate the city without issue. Hell, Dublin's buses even have WIFI so you can connect almost whenever you need! Check out our resources page to learn a bit more about free apps that can keep you connected while you're away!

 

**PRO TIP: MAKE SURE TO TURN YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE BEFORE YOUR PLANE TAKES OFF AND KEEP IT ON AIRPLANE MODE UNTIL YOU LAND BACK IN THE STATES.