5 reasons you should consider getting a International SIM Card

Clifford Tower in York, England
Clifford Tower in York, England

I haven’t subscribed to a phone plan or had a prepaid phone card for over four years now. The way I communicate with my family and friends is through WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook, and Skype, whenever I have access to Wi-Fi .

So why would I need an international SIM card during my 18-day trip to Germany and England? How did I benefit from Mobal’s international SIM card?

The 18-day European journey was a part business and part pleasure trip. I was traveling solo. My teenage son stayed at home in New York, my husband stayed home as well and worked the evening shift at the hospital, and my daughter was on her way to London for a week for a separate trip, although she and I were planning to meet up in London for two nights. There were too many things to talk about and coordinate while I was away. So when Bethany, my daughter, told me about the Mobal International SIM Card, I was sold immediately!

How to install Mobal International SIM Card

Six days prior to leaving for Stuttgart Germany I received the SIM card from Mobal via FedEx. I inserted the card in my iPhone 6S Plus using the SIM eject tool that came with the iPhone. (You can also use a paperclip if you don’t have an eject tool.) I followed the instructions written online by Apple.

To activate, just follow the simple instructions given by Mobal. I’m not a manual reader and hate technical stuff, but Mobal’s clear instructions were easy to follow.

It usually takes about two working days to complete the activation process, however, mine was activated in less than 24 hours. A confirmation email was sent once the activation was completed.

I received the following after completing the process:

SIM Serial Number
Cell phone number
Instructions to use the SIM card and service ending date

What happened when I started using the SIM card at home and when I arrived in Stuttgart Germany and London England:

I received a message from the local service provider.

And I turned on “Data” and “Data Roaming” on my iPhone.

The fun of sharing photos and text messaging began:

The Mobal SIM Card was put to the test immediately when I was on my way to grocery shop in my hometown, New York. I was able to search online, look for directions to the closest post office, and find an alternative driving routes for my husband when the Long Island Expressway was jam-packed with vehicles on a Tuesday afternoon.

On the day of my departure at the JFK International Airport in New York, I was able to chat with my family until the minute we were asked to put our phones on airline mode. That wasn’t the case when I didn’t have a international SIM card. In JFK, Wi-Fi is limited to 30 free minutes per user, and it isn’t always reliable.

While in Germany and England I had a grand time sharing photos online. Here are four examples of what I shared through Instagram and Twitter:

Instagramming in Germany:

The Castle of Lichtenstein in the Swabian alps.

A photo posted by Claudia Looi (@travelwritingpro) on

Tweeting in Germany:

Instagramming in England:

Tweeting in England:

Sharing photos online through Instagram and Twitter was fun with the Mobal International SIM Card’s fast speed, but that was not the only reason I think it is important to have a reliable international SIM card when traveling.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider getting one:
1. Driving directions

My German friend and I couldn’t find our way back to Rottenburg after visiting Hohenzollern Castel in Bisingen. After losing signal in the Swabian mountains, eventually, the SIM card started getting signal just as we approached Hechingen. We made our way to Rottenburg without getting lost or the need for asking for directions.

Apple Maps

2. Walking directions to the nearest S-bahn (subway) station in Stuttgart

I didn’t know how to get to the closest S-bahn station after visiting the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Thinking it would be helpful, I asked a local, ”Where is the closest train station?” Unfortunately, instead of pointing me to the closest S-bahn (subway) station he directed me to the closest train station.

Big problem: the train station is different from the S-bahn! When I realized the difference it was a little too late.

Fortunately, with the SIM card I was able to use Google Maps and navigated my way to the S-bahn.

3. Keeping up with German airport strike news

There were reports about potential airport strikes in major German airports on April 27, the day I was to leave from Munich to London. The only way to avoid being stuck at the airport was by getting updates and working out an alternative plan of action as soon as possible.

Though Wi-Fi was available in many cafes throughout the Baden-Wurttemberg region, there were still some places that do not offer such conveniences. I was able to check with the airport and tweeted questions to them – allowing me to make the final decision to purchase a new ticket and leave Germany one day earlier than planned.

Keeping up with German airport strike news
Keeping up with German airport strike news

4. Making a call to the airport hotel for pick up

Having a last minute change of plans and leaving Germany one day earlier meant I had to make a last minute hotel reservation. I cancelled my hotel booking in Munich and booked a room for a night at the Marriott Courtyard Airport Hotel in Gatwick London.

Upon arrival at Gatwick, I thought all I need to do was to walk to my hotel. In reality, the hotel wasn’t that close to the Gatwick airport. The hotel airport transfer service was unclear and I was standing at the wrong waiting platform outside in the 35ºF weather.

The Mobal International SIM Card allowed me to make two phone calls to the hotel. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the SIM card while I was alone, waiting at 10:30 pm outside the then deserted airport.

5. Communicating with my sister when we got lost in London

Getting separated from friends and family while shopping or sightseeing is common. It can be inconvenient when you have an appointment to go to or a tour that starts in less than 10 minutes.

My two sisters were separated from my daughter and I, while shopping at Fortnum and Mason. We walked to Piccadilly Circus and told them to meet us at the meeting point for the SeeLondonbyNight tour.

In their excitement shopping for teapots and tea at Fortnum and Mason, they had forgotten the time and the meeting place. The rest was just chaos. But a few phone calls later…

My sister, an expat in Shanghai was in London too.
My sister, an expat in Shanghai was in London too.


… we reconnected and met up just in time for our tour. My trip to Germany and England was fruitful and eventful. The Mobal International SIM Card came to the rescue in these five occasions.

If you are looking for a way to stay in touch when traveling, you should check out Mobal. The company takes 90% of its profits and directs them into transforming a township in Malawi, Africa.

Note: Stuttgart Airport and the Marriott Courtyard Airport Hotel do not have free Wi-Fi.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Claudia Looi for providing us with this review.

About Claudia Looi
Claudia Looi is a writer and world traveler. Drawing from her over 10 years of experience in the travel industry, Claudia’s writes with an insider perspective, conveying stories for travel enthusiasts and new travelers alike. She has visited over 40 countries and has lived overseas for several years. When not traveling, you can find Claudia enjoying a cup of macchiato and working on her coffee site, CoffeeSphere.com. Read more of Claudia’s works on www.travelwritingpro.com.

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