The GigSky travel SIM promises to save you money while travelling by offering lower data rates than what you’d get from Verizon, Sprint, or ATT ATT roaming. Replace the SIM in your unlocked phone with the one from GigSky, then buy data as you go in each country.
It works all over the world, is easy to use, and has decent rates.
Is it better than buying a local local SIM? Let’s have a look.
Before we get going, if you’re curious about travelling with tech, or travel SIMs in general, check out 5 Myths About Travelling With Tech, Travel Smarter With Tech, Are Travel SIM Cards Worth It?, Pay In Local Or Home Currency?, Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Worth It?, and 10 Tips for Travelling with a Smartphone.
To voice, or not to voice
GigSky is a data-only service. You don’t get a local number, and there are no free voice minutes. I don’t really see this as a drawback. I travel a lot, and I can’t remember having to call locally. With Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype, I could talk to friends and family at home just using the data connection.
Setup is pretty easy. Before you leave, download the app, make a profile, add a credit card, and you’re good to go. When you arrive in the country you’re visiting, just swap out your SIM for the one from GigSky. You need to add a line in your phone’s menu telling it to talk to GigSky’s servers. You only have to do this once, it’s simple, and Gig’s instructions are easy to follow.
Rates overall tend to be better than KnowRoaming, but worse than buying a local SIM (but of course significantly better than roaming rates from home providers). Here are some prices I found while travelling this year (listed in the KnowRoaming and Are Travel SIMs Worth It? articles) compared to the current GigSky pricing:
Vodafone UK: $18.40 for 250 MB, $5 for 500 MB more (so about $0.09 per MB – a $26.42 1GB SIM got increased to unlimited data after purchase).
3 UK: $25.75 for unlimited data for 1 month (plus it works in other countries, see below)
GigSky: $10/75MB, 3 days ($0.13/MB) up to $50/1GB, 30 Days ($0.05/MB)
Bouygues Telcom France: $6.77 for the SIM, plus $33.87 for a 500 MB data pack (about $0.07 per MB)
GigSky: $10/50MB, 3 days ($0.20/MB) up to $50/500MB, 30 Days ($0.10/MB)
YesOptus Australia: $28.12 for the SIM, which includes 500 data (less than $0.06 per MB)
GigSky: $10/65MB, 3 days ($0.15/MB) up to $50/500MB, 30 Days ($0.10/MB)
Drei Austria: $13.55 for 1 GB data, good for 1 week. (just over $0.01)
GigSky: $10/100MB, 3 days ($0.10/MB) up to $50/2.5GB, 30 Days ($0.02/MB)