Author Topic: Cell phone for trip to Japan  (Read 320 times)

Pigeon

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Cell phone for trip to Japan
« on: July 01, 2019, 02:09:47 PM »
My kid is going on a 6 week trip to Japan, leaving later in the week.  I screwed up.  We currently have  a Verizon shared data plan with 4 phones on it.  I had done some early exploration, and thought I could just add their international plan to her line.  It's not cheap--it costs $10/day when you use any data, but she won't need data all the time, so it wouldn't be too expensive.

I didn't look closely enough when I looked at the options before.  I just went to add it, but can't.  The website is telling me the phones we have won't work with the international plan.   She's got a Motorola G5plus phone.

Does anyone have any ideas for getting some type of international coverage short of running to Verizon and buying an iPhone or something similar on short notice?  She isn't horribly tech savvy and she's not an experienced traveler.  She's nervous (and excited) about the trip, but is prone to anxiety.  I'd be willing to buy another cheap phone if there's some kind of prepaid plan or some other option.

Please don't tell me she doesn't need a phone, she'll be fine sending smoke signals or whatever.

Zikoris

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Re: Cell phone for trip to Japan
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 02:26:17 PM »
I just got back from Japan, and one thing that's EXTREMELY common there is "pocket wifi" - it's a little device that you bring with you that gives you wifi anywhere. While it's not a traditional phone, it works for Skype calls just fine (my boyfriend Skyped his parents no problem), and is definitely fine for any sort of chat apps you might use (Facebook, etc). I also found it incredibly useful for navigation purposes. Could Skype/instant messaging be a suitable alternative to a traditional phone?

terran

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Re: Cell phone for trip to Japan
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 03:23:20 PM »
We bought SIM cards from from a machine at the airport when we landed. I believe we used U-Mobile. This would be 3 years ago now I think. It worked well.

I've found the write ups on this site helpful before https://toomanyadapters.com/buying-sim-card-japan/

robartsd

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Re: Cell phone for trip to Japan
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 03:42:45 PM »
Unlocked USA version of Moto G5 Plus should be compatible with a reasonable subset of Japanese mobile bands. https://www.frequencycheck.com/compatibility/ByXJfrE/motorola-moto-g5-plus-td-lte-32gb-xt1687/japan

Tracyl-5

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Re: Cell phone for trip to Japan
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 05:41:44 PM »
I also used a pocket wifi thingy from WIFI HIRE.  I was able to pick it up and drop it off at the airport, but did have to reserve it in advance.  It worked great!  Had super clear video calls!

Pigeon

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Re: Cell phone for trip to Japan
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 12:46:26 PM »
Thanks for the ideas,all.  I appreciate it. 

We ended up being able to get her phone on Google Fi by picking up a Google Fi Sim at Best Buy before she left. It seems to be working in Japan so far, and was logistically pretty easy.