Monday, November 6, 2017

How to Choose a Sim Card for Your Trip to Israel?


Israel is a popular destination, especially for religious tourism. It has numerous places of worship for three major religions- Judaism, Islam and Christianity. But, Israel is a huge and growing economy too, thanks to its unique position- it is quite close to Europe, Africa and of course, oil-rich Arab countries. Israel is an excellent place for history-lovers too, it has numerous museums and memorials. And of course, it has beautiful beaches and nightlife (especially Tel Aviv) and is a good destination for relaxation too.

As you can notice, there are many reasons to go to Israel. And since there is so much to see, you will probably have to visit it more than once. But that is not a problem, the first time you visit Israel, you will fall in love in this beautiful country. 

Using A Phone While In Israel

Whether you visit Israel for business, pleasure or sacral reasons, you will need to use your phone. There are several options:

  • Roaming- just don’t do this. The worst choice, by far. Yes, it is convenient, since you don’t have to think about anything, you just use your regular phone and phone number. But this laziness will cost you enormously- an MB of data will cost you $4-20, ridiculous. Some companies offer roaming add-ons, but they are limited and expensive. Roaming is only useful if you visit Israel for a day or two, and you don’t plan coming back, but in every other case, it is just not a smart idea.
  • Phone rental- not ideal, but unquestionably much better than roaming. You can rent (or buy disposable) phones around Israel. You won’t pay super-high prices of roaming, but you will have to pay for the device that you necessarily don’t need since you already have a phone. The second problem is- most of these phones are basic. You can rent a smartphone, but it will cost a lot, so choose this option only if you need an extra device while in Israel.
  • Purchasing an Israeli card- this is the cheapest option, and can save you quite a bit. If you are about to visit Israel but plan to stay for a while or to come back frequently, this is the option for you. Local plans for local people are much cheaper and offer superior options when compared to other, tourist options. However, you will need someone from Israel to set this up for you, since this is only reserved for citizens- you can’t get it directly, so it is not that convenient, and not for everyone.

As you can see, all three options are far from perfect. You either pay too much, or can’t use your own device, or can’t get the card on your own. Fortunately, there is a fourth solution, that tackles all three problems- PrePaid SIM card.

Why are is buying a PrePaid SIM card the best solution?

PrePaid SIM cards solve almost every above-mentioned problem. Here’s how:

  • Price- PrePaid SIM cards are cheap to get, and there are dozens of options. And if you spend all your minutes/SMS/data, you can always get a refill on kiosks around Israel.
  • Using your phone- you get to use your own device, so no need to copy contacts, accounts and install apps like when renting a phone. And no those exorbitant prices paid for using your own number abroad.
  • Availability- you can get them basically anywhere- at airports, in hotels/hostels, kiosks, even online. Refills are widely available too.
  • Your own Israeli number- this is especially important if you plan to revisit The Holy Land, or have business contacts there. Everytime you visit, you can use your Israeli phone number, without buying a new card.
  • Budget- with PrePaid cards, you are able to limit yourself by pre-paying the desired amount. 

This way, you will never overspend, like you would with roaming.That is particularly useful if you are on vacation, since you don’t want to spend too much time staring at your cell phone screen anyway.

However, to change a SIM card, you need to have an unlocked phone. If you don’t, ask your phone company to unlock it for you. Some will do this for free. And Google, you will find companies that provide those services, if your mobile service provider doesn’t want to.

Choosing a SIM Card

There are few things to consider:

  • Price- SIM cards are a cheap solution, but there are differences between them. If you buy them in Israel, they have an activation fee (the card cost), and if you buy them online, pay attention to delivery costs and delivery time. You can also ask for delivery to your hotel in Israel, but that is too risky, it is always better to deliver them to your home if you buy online. Just plan ahead.
  • Unlimited data- this is the single most important thing when choosing a SIM. Anything other than unlimited data shouldn’t even be taken into consideration. This not only allows you to stay in touch with your family via Facebook and WhatsApp, but it will also allow you to download maps, and look for useful information about your destinations. 
  • Unlimited local calls- this is important if you are on a business trip. You will most likely have to call your clients multiple times per day, and vice-versa. Get unlimited incoming/outgoing Israel calls, so you don’t cause unnecessary expenses for yourself or your client. 

Simpatic israeli sim card is an excellent choice. It has unlimited data, unlimited incoming/outgoing calls, and furthermore, unlimited outgoing calls to North America. And once you buy a Simpatic SIM card, it stays yours forever, making it an ideal option if you plan to revisit Israel. The best option is to order it to your house, but you it can be delivered to your hotel too.  And the plans prices are affordable, even when compared to all local cards, not to mention roaming.