All About Our First Experience With The T-Mobile International Internet Plan

Back in 2017, Sharon and I broke up with AT&T and switched to T-Mobile as our cell phone provider. It was a big change for us and we have been saving $60 a month on our phone bill ever since. For everyday usage, we still have the same horrible reception at our house as with T-Mobile as we had with AT&T (Note from Sharon: even though there’s a frickin’ cell phone tower less than a mile form our house. What’s up with that???). However, one of the big benefits of changing to T-Mobile was their international roaming program. When we switched, this was an industry leading benefit but since then other companies have copied the program.

To remain competitive, T-Mobile modified the terms of their travel program in July 2018, increasing the number of countries included from 154 to over 210. They also started charging more for actual phone calls, raising the price from 20 cents to 25 cents per minute. You still get unlimited text and data. Since I (Note from Sharon: We) feel this way about using my (our) phone(s) to talk to people, this works out just fine:

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The T-Mobile data plan is capped at 2G speeds so we were worried about being hampered with downloading data, but T-Mobile does offer an upgrade if you want to get high-speed data while overseas:

Includes up to 512MB of high speed data plus Smartphone Mobile Hotspot and unlimited calling for 24 hours in more than 210 countries and destinations. If you use all your high speed data during the 24 hour period, you will experience slower data speeds but continue to have unlimited calling for the rest of the period. You may purchase 2 passes per line in 24-hours. Once you’re out of high-speed data on your first pass, your second pass will begin, and the 24-hour period will restart.

The cost of 512MB of high-speed data is $5 per day and you can purchase two passes per day. We filed that info away in case we needed it but planned on trying to live with slow internet.

So how did the program work?

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I Never Thought Money Expired. I Was Wrong

Way back when I thought my first visit to a country would be my last visit (because trips are expensive and I have so many places to go and yadda yadda yadda), I would try and spend every last cent, pence, franc or yen before I left for home. No sense in bringing currency back with me that I wouldn’t have any use for.

It’s only been within the last five years or so that I’ve started to keep whatever left over cash I had when going home. I’ll have a need again for euros, yen and particularly pounds. Having money when I step off the plane means I’m not searching for an ATM as the first thing I need to do.

So when packing for my trip to London, I brought my Ziploc bag-o-pounds with me.

I even bragged about it on Facebook:

On our way. I’ll finally be able to spend those GBP that have been sitting in my drawer since our last trip.

To which one of my Anglophile friends commented:

Unless they were pound coins

What????

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Do You Like Camping? Wait Until You Learn About “Champing!”

I’ll admit that I’m not a “camping” kind of person. A week at sleep away camp when I was 8 was about as close to camping as I ever got, and even that was in a cabin, with running water and real bunk beds. Nowadays I am most decidedly a “hotel” kind of gal – we can be staying at a Waldorf=Astoria on points or a Holiday Inn Express with cash, I don’t care…as long as it’s a room with all the amenities of home, this city girl is satisfied.

Some friends have brought up the idea of “glamping” – a play on the term “glamorous camping,” where you have most, but not all, of the amenities of home. I am currently considering this, partially as an excuse to spend a weekend with our friends who suggested it (they live in Atlanta – we don’t get to see them often enough), and partially because Joe grew up going camping and I think this way he could “go back to nature” without my being totally miserable. 😉

But now I’ve read about “champing” and although it seems to be “roughing it as roughing it can be,” it’s still something that’s caught my attention…

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Want To Leave A Country? There’s A Tax For That

There are many things you’ll consider when choosing which foreign country to visit but I bet one thing you usually wouldn’t think about is how much you’ll need to pay to leave the country and return home. Yep, governments have realized that an easy way to collect money from tourists (and their own residents, as well), is to charge a fee when leaving the country. Sure in some countries it’s called a tax, in other’s it a duty and you’ll even see it referred to as a fee, but make no mistake, they’re all ways to have you pay money so you can leave the country.

The amount of these, let’s call them fees, varies greatly from country to country. Japan recently added a departure fee of ¥1000, (about $9 USD), for people leaving the country. Australia charges a fee of A$60 ($42 USD) and Fiji charges a F$200 ($93.68 USD) fee to all departing passengers.

One reason you need to know the departure fee is that airlines will often charge you this fee when redeeming miles for an award ticket. Since it’s not considered part of the airfare cost from the airline, they pass the charge onto you.

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The Banning Of Resort Fees & Other Hidden Charges: The Good News & The Bad News

For a long time, resort fees, those hidden charges hotels usually don’t tell you about until you arrive at your hotel, were limited to the United States. We’ve written a few posts about what they are and how you may be able to get out of paying them, as well as made our readers aware of the Kill Resort Fees, a grassroots effort to, well, kill resort fees, website.

Of course, it was only a matter of time that hidden resort fees would make it to another country.

And they did.

But they won’t be there for much longer…

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