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Prague-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest SIM card question

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Prague-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest SIM card question

Old 12-18-19, 04:54 PM
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Gyro_T
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Prague-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest SIM card question

My wife are riding from just outside Prague to just outside Budapest next May-June and taking trains but pedaling 90% of the route. I hope to use my phone for navigation, but being in Czechia, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, I am expecting to need possibly multiple SIM cards as we go. If anyone has experience with this route, I would like to hear about it. I would like to plan ahead this time as we travelled about half our trip in Istria a few years ago before we found a phone store with SIM cards. Got a little lost a couple of times.

Thanks in advance,

Gearloose
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Old 12-18-19, 07:24 PM
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One SIM, no roaming charges

Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
My wife are riding from just outside Prague to just outside Budapest next May-June and taking trains but pedaling 90% of the route. I hope to use my phone for navigation, but being in Czechia, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, I am expecting to need possibly multiple SIM cards as we go. If anyone has experience with this route, I would like to hear about it. I would like to plan ahead this time as we travelled about half our trip in Istria a few years ago before we found a phone store with SIM cards. Got a little lost a couple of times.

Thanks in advance,

Gearloose
When I biked from Prague to Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in May 2018, I just used a Vodafone SIM bought at the Prague airport. There were no roaming charges because the EU has outlawed roaming charges within its member countries.
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Old 12-18-19, 08:24 PM
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TMobile
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Old 12-18-19, 09:44 PM
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We picked up a phone and SIM card in Tutlingen, Germany at the W end of the Donauradweg for about 40 Euro in 2018. The phone was not a smartphone; we used it to call ahead for reservations. The phone worked through Germany and Austria to Vienna.
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Old 12-18-19, 09:47 PM
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Dorkypants. That is great news. I got the impression from this months Adventure Cycling article on the EV6 that I was going to need several. Thanks for the information. One more thing to not worry about! How was your trip? Did you use a touring company? I am trying to do all the planning and this has been pretty time consuming.
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Old 12-18-19, 10:02 PM
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If all you're interested in is navigation, you don't need a phone plan.
You need off line maps, your phone has a GPS chip.
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Old 12-18-19, 10:31 PM
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That sounds like something I need to look into whether I use it as a phone or not. Thanks Gerryl
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Old 12-18-19, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
That sounds like something I need to look into whether I use it as a phone or not. Thanks Gerryl
Two apps you can look at that don't require a phone plan.
Osmand
Mapsme
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Old 02-14-20, 12:54 AM
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I joined a group of friends who went with Czech Active Tours at the instigation of a couple who'd done an earlier tour with them and were very pleased with their service. CAT provided excellent support (sag, 2 escorts on bikes bracketing the clients, ample stops with snacks and beverages from the van) and chose very good accommodations and dinner restaurants. I did get tired of the more-or-less unchanging scenery along the Danube river bike paths in the last 3 days of the trip (and personally I prefer terrain that offers more climbs, such as the Alps/Dolomites).

Sorry for the late reply. I hadn't checked on BikeForums for a while

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Old 02-14-20, 07:04 AM
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gyro, did you ever look into putting maps.me on your smartphone?
Ive used this and used ODM open source maps, for the areas I am biking through, so at least you have the detailed maps and the phone gps can show you where you are. I used this on a tablet, and did not use it as turn by turn instructions, but only as a help when I wasnt sure where i was.

down load the app, then zoom into the start of your trip, and it will see that you need map info for that area, and it will ask , do you want to download it? Hit yes, wait, then scroll along until you get to end of that specific map info, repeat.
I did this for our Eurovelo 6 trip from Nantes to Switzerland, took a little while but when done I had all the maps.

I know that eurovelo routes have gpx files that you can find on probably the eurovelo website, but I wasnt smart enough or took the time to figure out how to incorporate these into my phone and tablet, but it should be doable . I just didnt take the time to figure it out.

ev6 signage was pretty good in France, although I'll be honest and mention that we missed the route a number of times, and I suspect in eastern europe it will less organized signs wise, so a clear advantage to spend time figuring out this tech stuff.
I'm still someone who does not have an interest to have a device on all the time doing the turn by turn thing, there is a real battery issue with this in any case, so if you do, you have to be realistic about this part of it.

good luck sorting it out, come back with info you get please and how you did it
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Old 02-14-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
TMobile
Umm, Verizon. The undisputed champ of coverage, here in the U.S. 👌 Iím still new to Verizon myself, but the difference is huge, coming from Boost. 😉

I just bought an older iPad mini 2 last month, for the way bigger (7.9Ē) screen, and got the cellular service turned on this month. The lady didnít think this old dinosaur could handle the newer SIM, but it works fine. 👍 I still havenít called anyone yet though. 🤔😉 I definitely need some offline maps though, Google maps isnít all they think they are. 🙄

EDIT: I took you guysí advice here, & downloaded maps.me. Thanks. 🙂

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Old 02-14-20, 10:18 PM
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I have done an extremely similar ride, myself, probably close to what you plan on doing. Although I had no issues with SIM cards when traveling through all these countries and could use mobile data, I preferred to use offline maps since it saves on battery life. When it comes to offline maps, Google Maps is terrible in Europe, especially for cycling, don't rely on it! You can use it as a rough gauge of the route but more times than I care to admit, it has lead me down some very bad paths. I saw that Maps.me was recommended here, which is a good option, but in my experience it tends to be a bit slow and tedious plotting routes. Before I set off on my ride, a local Czech person recommended that I use Mapy.cz, which I used throughout the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, and it was quite good, I recommend it. Now I use Mapy.cz as my primary option and Maps.me as a backup wherever I cycle in the world.
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Old 02-15-20, 02:22 AM
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If you go with a plan, Kena and Iliad are by far the cheapest, but I have not seen a store sell them, they are usually online.
Vodafone is the most widespread in Europe. Just be careful, because what they offer for data usage in the home country, it will sometimes be less in other countries. For example, they will offer you 40 gb of data, but when in another EU country it might drop to 20 gb. Not a deal breaker, but better to know ahead of time.
I presently use Maps.me and they have many of the cycle paths where google does not. The only problem I found, was the GPS was not very accurate on the map. I was about 50 meters off and when on mountain trails can be very confusing. It may have been a one time thing.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:24 AM
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I am not sure about the champion of coverage in the U.S. but TMobile provides free international coverage without any extra hoop jumping. I have TMobile here in Maine...the coverage is ok but everytime I fly somewhere all I see is a text message as I land in the country welcoming me and telling me what G speeds I have, how many messages and how many minutes I have available internationally. Usually it is unlimited internet at 2G speed, unlimited messaging and some voice minutes.



Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Umm, Verizon. The undisputed champ of coverage, here in the U.S. 👌 Iím still new to Verizon myself, but the difference is huge, coming from Boost. 😉

I just bought an older iPad mini 2 last month, for the way bigger (7.9Ē) screen, and got the cellular service turned on this month. The lady didnít think this old dinosaur could handle the newer SIM, but it works fine. 👍 I still havenít called anyone yet though. 🤔😉 I definitely need some offline maps though, Google maps isnít all they think they are. 🙄

EDIT: I took you guysí advice here, & downloaded maps.me. Thanks. 🙂
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Old 02-18-20, 07:45 AM
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^^^ Iíve never been concerned with international service, but yeah, that could definitely matter. 😉 Iím traveling along I-8 now, sometimes very close to the Mexican border, but have no plans to cross, at this time. 🤔😉
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Old 02-18-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
^^^ Iíve never been concerned with international service, but yeah, that could definitely matter. 😉 Iím traveling along I-8 now, sometimes very close to the Mexican border, but have no plans to cross, at this time. 🤔😉
Mexican SIM cards are fairly straightforward to get, and with reasonable costs for a given time period, with different data mb plans.
somewhere in the 10 dollar range for a two , three week ,I don't recall exact details, but very reasonable.
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Old 02-18-20, 04:59 PM
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I cross the border at least twice per year, either by going to Canada or by traveling overseas.



Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
^^^ Iíve never been concerned with international service, but yeah, that could definitely matter. 😉 Iím traveling along I-8 now, sometimes very close to the Mexican border, but have no plans to cross, at this time. 🤔😉
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