How to use my iphone in Canada?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by yellowdaisies, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This summer, my mom and I are going on a big mother daughter road trip. For about a week of that time, we will be in Canada. I'm trying to figure out what to do about cell service. It seems that I should just turn off data, and maybe even turn off the phone or leave it in the hotel room. I have Verizon and this is what I found so far. I'm not sure I want to pay $15 to add international coverage when it may not be worth it. We will be in Banff National Park part of the time, and there's no coverage there anyway.

    I don't really know if I need the phone at all. We'll have wifi in our hotels while in Canada. I would like to be able to text my husband and maybe upload some pictures. Maybe I should just do that all on wifi? We both have iphones, and I think texting between iphones can be done with no data, right?

    Can I get a Canadian SIM card and use data that way?

    Thanks! I'm just confused! I haven't traveled internationally since before I had a smart phone (and the resulting smart phone addiction, naturally.)
     
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  3. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    I think using wifi would be the simplest solution here if you don't feel like you need service outside of your hotel (and probably restaurants/coffee shops/etc). Just turn your phone to Airplane Mode so that no data will come through and connect through wifi. Assuming your husband also has an iPhone, you can text him through iMessage. Sounds like a cool trip, have fun!
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    That is exactly what we did when we were in Canada last summer. We don't have iPhones, so we just used Facebook Messenger when we had wifi access for the couple people we kept in touch with. (There was a hurricane headed our way, so we checked in with our parents every so often. :) )
     
  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Ok great! Thanks for the replies. I think I will just plan to only use it on wifi. Thankfully my husband and closest friends all have iPhones. I'm using my regular camera so I don't have to rely on my phone for a camera. This is kind of a shift for me - I think I'm too iPhone dependent!

    It's so odd to me that just driving over the border brings all these issues. But of course, Canada IS a different country!
     
  6. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I live on the Canadian border, and when I'm on my phone sometimes the call will drop because my phone has switched to an international tower. Call your carrier and get international banned while you are gone just to be sure your phone doesn't go roaming without permission.

    Mine does at the mailbox, the elevator, my bedroom and kitchen, but not dining room or living room....ugh best to turn if of just to be sure.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    When are you going? BF and I will be there the week of June 29th. We are flying, though.

    Last time we went to Canada, I didn't use my phone when we were out and about. I waited until we got to the hotel each evening and used WiFi.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Wow, that must be so frustrating! I didn't even think about that happening for people who live near the border.

    We'll be getting to Banff midweek the week after you. We're going to Glacier National Park in Montana before that! Are you going to Banff? We are going there and also Vancouver and Victoria. I've never been any of those places, so I'm really excited! I haven't been to Canada since I was 5 years old, and that was Toronto.
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Depending on the phone, you can pick up a prepaid SIM card that covers you when in Canada
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We are going to Vancouver--flying out of SF.
     
  11. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Thanks! I had read this, but wasn't too sure about it. I have a Verizon iPhone, so I can remove my SIM card. I'm not so sure that I need my phone, though, so I may not bother.

    Awesome. Have a great trip! :)
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    In order to use a SIM card from another country you need an unlocked phone. Verizon phones can unfortunately only be used in the USA or where they provide coverage. The "international plan" is bogus because Verizon phones are on a different frequency and for the most part are useless in other countries.

    Stick to using wifi. It's good to spend some time away from your phone anyways! :)
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My daughter is going to school in the US; when she comes home, she just uses wifi. Anything else is too complicated and expensive.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's worth doing just in case you need a cell phone.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Here is Verizon's unlocking policy.
     
  16. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Interesting! Thanks for the info. I didn't know about CDMA vs GSM. I figured their "international plan" was probably a ripoff in some way... it is Verizon, after all. They're like the Comcast of wireless carriers.

    I agree, I'm looking forward to a vacation from my phone!

    Wow, interesting! I've never lived close enough to a border where people go back and forth often, so these kinds of situations are really interesting!
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    She's not that close--an hour and a half from the border, but 5.5 hours from home. She needs a phone that works for her there and she makes do when she's home which isn't often--only a total of about 3 weeks a year.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The international package is Verizon making deals with international carriers to use the outdated tech they use for towers here in the US for their customers to use abroad.
     
  20. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    I'd disagree. I'd say if you really want to have cell service, it'd probably be simpler to just get a burner phone with a Canadian SIM to use. :2cents:
     

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