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Australians phone question

1elantra

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
way of St James
Hi all. Asking all Australians what was the best way to use your current phone on the Camino plesse. IDid you just use roaming? Only need phone for whatsapp and accomm. I have an Samsung S10 and it doesnt have esim capability. Want to keep my normal number and currently using Telstra. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Good Way
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Any suggestion would be helpful.
Keep the above in mind when you read my suggestion.

You can still buy a Spanish SIM with data for cheap and normally keep your Telstra SIM in the phone. Do a temporary SIM swap when it makes sense to use the Spanish SIM.

Be careful doing the swap and the storage of the unused SIM of course but switching SIMs may mean you need to enter a passcode to be able to use the SIM. Find out the one for Telstra before leaving home and make sure you get the passcode when you buy the Spanish SIM. Likely it will be on the larger card that the SIM is attached to when you buy it.
 
If you want to keep your number then the only solution is to use international roaming. I believe you can purchase an international roaming package on your Telstra account for around $10 per day. To me, that is a lot of money. A SIM swap is much cheaper but you don’t get to use your Australian phone number. We have never found that to be a problem as we advise friends to use WhatsApp.
 
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If you want to keep your number then the only solution is to use international roaming. I believe you can purchase an international roaming package on your Telstra account for around $10 per day. To me, that is a lot of money. A SIM swap is much cheaper but you don’t get to use your Australian phone number. We have never found that to be a problem as we advise friends to use WhatsApp.
Your correct $10 day is expensive. I may even take a spare phone for spanish sim. Just means id have to load whatsap contacts before I go. My undestanding is to leave data turned of on current phone, unless needed.
 
We always take out our SIM card and get a new one in madrid. You just purchase 30 day with internet and top up when needed. Once home switch sims back. You can use orange or vodafone or what ever, you provider you find, a lot of places that will help you there and most speak English. So bring your phone but leave your SIM card out.
 
We always take out our SIM card and get a new one in madrid. You just purchase 30 day with internet and top up when needed. Once home switch sims back. You can use orange or vodafone or what ever, you provider you find, a lot of places that will help you there and most speak English. So bring your phone but leave your SIM card out.
Yes think thats easier option. Thank you
 
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Sorry, you can only keep your phone number by either choosing roaming or getting an e-sim.
If you switch the data off on your phone I think you can still access WhatsApp and email via local wifi. Would that be enough? You could check that out at home on your home wifi.
You can get local calls with a Spanish sim which of course gives you a new number.
Swapping backwards and forwards between the two sims is an option. Personally that seems fraught with danger - damaging or losing one of the SIM cards.
Perhaps think about why you would like to keep your current number. If it is absolutely essential then the added expense of roaming or upgrading your phone might be the best option.
I used an esim on my Camino this year and although there were different limitations with different plans and it was a bit more expensive than a Spanish sim, I loved it.
 
I also buy a local sim. Just remember to leave a message on your Australian number explaining how to reach you.
 
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A dual SIM - physical SIM for the Aus number, and - eSIM for Spain for data for WhatsApp etc, is a good option. Purchase eSIM before you leave home.
 
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I know someone who lost their home sim card while abroad. You can imagine how distraught they were. I took mine out and kept it somewhere secure and put it back in back at Melb airport.
 
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To be able to swap SIM cards, it is my understanding that you need to have an unlocked phone. Check with Telstra.
 
I have tried several approaches over the years. Roaming, buying a cheap handset with a local SIM, buying a pre-paid SIM on arrival, and more recently buying limited-time pre-paid SIMs before departure. I can be contacted on WhatsApp, Signal and Messenger wherever I am with and internet connection, and I share any new mobile number with family and friends.

Roaming might be an easy option, and might be necessary if your phone is locked to a specific carrier. But it was by far and away the most expensive way of doing this. And buying a cheap local handset is generally no longer necessary with digital networks now in place around the world.

My most recent handsets have supported dual-SIMs, which makes it easy to retain my Australian SIM while installing a pre-paid overseas SIM. Before that I would carry a second phone that wasn't usually in regular use. This is a bit more cumbersome, but still workable.
 
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Hi I’ve purchased a sim in Australia from Sims Direct before heading to Europe a number of times and had no problems with them, you just put sim in phone on arrival and turn on global roaming and it works, you get a UK phone number but I really just use it for the data.
 
Hi all. Asking all Australians what was the best way to use your current phone on the Camino plesse. IDid you just use roaming? Only need phone for whatsapp and accomm. I have an Samsung S10 and it doesnt have esim capability. Want to keep my normal number and currently using Telstra. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Good Way
I always buy a Spanish SIM card from Movistar or Vodafone. Before inserting the SIM card I divert my Australian number to the new Spanish number so I therefore get any phone calls on my Australian number. The Spanish sim costs about 20€ per month.
 
Before inserting the SIM card I divert my Australian number to the new Spanish number so I therefore get any phone calls on my Australian number.

I'm interested in what this costs. What I'm assuming is that a friend in Oz calls your Oz number and your Oz network forwards the call by an international call thus picking up the charges. They must pass this cost onto you. Is this the case?

Of course you could end the call quickly and call your friend back with some cheap method available to you like text, a call over the internet or using the Spanish network's allotment of overseas minutes granted to you.
 
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Yes think thats easier option. Thank you

I always buy a Spanish SIM card from Movistar or Vodafone. Before inserting the SIM card I divert my Australian number to the new Spanish number so I therefore get any phone calls on my Australian number. The Spanish sim costs about 20€ per month.
Oh ok thanks. Ill need to figure out how to divert. Im just going to buy a spanish sim over there. Thanks everyone for your suggestions
 
I use an Italian or German SIM and roaming is free across Europe. However, there is a problem in that when I attempt to access my Australian bank online via my phone the website sends a security code to my Oz number, which of course I cannot use. My bank does not allow a foreign number to be referenced, nor my email address. 😖 I therefore endure much frustration in getting essential banking completed. Maybe it's just my bank...
 
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I use an Italian or German SIM and roaming is free across Europe. However, there is a problem in that when I attempt to access my Australian bank online via my phone the website sends a security code to my Oz number, which of course I cannot use. My bank does not allow a foreign number to be referenced, nor my email address. 😖 I therefore endure much frustration in getting essential banking completed. Maybe it's just my bank...
Thats my concern also. If cI change to differant sim, I may loose access to all my aps, banking and emails saved re camino. I think Im goingv o take 2 phones. Current switched of till needed, and spare with O/S sim
 
Thats my concern also. If cI change to differant sim, I may loose access to all my aps, banking and emails saved re camino. I think Im goingv o take 2 phones. Current switched of till needed, and spare with O/S sim
I keep a seperate bank for my travel, it is different to my main bank account. This way nothing of my personal banking can be compromised when travelling. I simply join another bank and get a travel money card from it. But I’m Australian and unsure how it works for other countrie. I deposit all the money I wish to spend for my holiday in it, and if needed I can transfer more in.
as for contacting family and friends there is many aps you can access on your phone that help you keep in communication with them - messenger -watsap etc
 
there is a problem in that when I attempt to access my Australian bank online via my phone the website sends a security code to my Oz number, which of course I cannot use.

Thats my concern also. If cI change to differant sim, I may loose access to all my aps, banking and emails saved re camino.

We had a thread about this problem last year with over 90 posts. You may find a solution that fits your circumstances there.

 
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Out of interest (I’m from the UK and have a UK contract) but are there any companies in Australia that offer free data, texts and calls from Europe back to Australia. I am currently on my second trip from UK to Australia in three months and without initially realising m, I get free data, texts and calls from here as well as 26 other ‘Longhaul countries’ as well as Europe! Very much depends on your provider though!
 
Out of interest (I’m from the UK and have a UK contract) but are there any companies in Australia that offer free data, texts and calls from Europe back to Australia. I am currently on my second trip from UK to Australia in three months and without initially realising m, I get free data, texts and calls from here as well as 26 other ‘Longhaul countries’ as well as Europe! Very much depends on your provider though!
Dont think so.... dont get something for nothing in Aussie lol
 
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Hi all. Asking all Australians what was the best way to use your current phone on the Camino plesse. IDid you just use roaming? Only need phone for whatsapp and accomm. I have an Samsung S10 and it doesnt have esim capability. Want to keep my normal number and currently using Telstra. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Good Way
I don't understand exactly what you need: "only need phone for whatsapp and accomm" and "want to keep my normal number".

In my experience, Whatsapp is the most commonly used method to book accommodation.

If you need to be able to receive calls on your Australian number, as was suggested before, perhaps you can leave a recorded message to contact you via email or whatsapp instead while you're away. This will save you a lot of money, as you can avoid roaming altogether.

In case you didn't know, if you swap the SIM card for a local one, all the whatsapp contacts, chat history, etc. remain the same. People can still reach you through whatsapp using your Aussie number, even after you swapped the SIM.

You must ensure that your phone is unlocked though, for the SIM swap to work for you.

If you go the SIM swap route, don't buy your Spanish SIM at the airport (it's a rip-of). I flew to Madrid, took a bus to Atocha station (5 Euro), and bought a Vodafone SIM at a shop there. I think it was 20 or 25 Euro for 28 days including plenty of data, and it was easy to recharge online when it was about to expire.

For your banking needs, I know that some Aussie banks will only use SMS to send you a verification code, but with CBA and Suncorp can be set to work with an app instead. All your apps still work after you swap the SIM.
 
All your apps still work after you swap the SIM.
Most will. The only exception that I found was the AlertCops app, which needs to be setup with the number of the new SIM. Once that was done, everything else was fine (or at least, I didn't find any other app that wasn't working).
 
I don't understand exactly what you need: "only need phone for whatsapp and accomm" and "want to keep my normal number".

In my experience, Whatsapp is the most commonly used method to book accommodation.

If you need to be able to receive calls on your Australian number, as was suggested before, perhaps you can leave a recorded message to contact you via email or whatsapp instead while you're away. This will save you a lot of money, as you can avoid roaming altogether.

In case you didn't know, if you swap the SIM card for a local one, all the whatsapp contacts, chat history, etc. remain the same. People can still reach you through whatsapp using your Aussie number, even after you swapped the SIM.

You must ensure that your phone is unlocked though, for the SIM swap to work for you.

If you go the SIM swap route, don't buy your Spanish SIM at the airport (it's a rip-of). I flew to Madrid, took a bus to Atocha station (5 Euro), and bought a Vodafone SIM at a shop there. I think it was 20 or 25 Euro for 28 days including plenty of data, and it was easy to recharge online when it was about to expire.

For your banking needs, I know that some Aussie banks will only use SMS to send you a verification code, but with CBA and Suncorp can be set to work with an app instead. All your apps still work after you swap the SIM.
Hey Laural. That was very helpful. Thanks very much. Im not a user of Whatsap and on the odd occasion Ivd tried to use O/S I havent had any luck. My understanding is the contacts must be added to whatsap before you can contact them, and you cant just call people like messenger. Ive been trying to source info on how to use it. No I was unsure about loosing access to my loaded aps with a differant sim. Thanks so much.
 
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My understanding is the contacts must be added to whatsap before you can contact them, and you cant just call people like messenger.
The contacts don't needed to be added to WhatsApp itself, but they need to be in the contacts on your phone.

You can text, call or video call on WhatsApp as easily as on Messenger.

WhatsApp was really a lifesaver for me last year. I was using it to call and text my husband and family back at home. Half way through my Camino I broke my wrist, and my phone broke at the same time. So I was in the public hospital with no way to contact my family, and the hospital didn't have a way for me to make an international call, but one of the doctors offered to let me use her phone to call my husband via WhatsApp. WhatsApp isn't something that we normally use at home, and I'm so glad that we had set it up for my husband before I left home! Otherwise, I don't know how long it could have been before I could have contacted my family.
 
The contacts don't needed to be added to WhatsApp itself, but they need to be in the contacts on your phone.

You can text, call or video call on WhatsApp as easily as on Messenger.

WhatsApp was really a lifesaver for me last year. I was using it to call and text my husband and family back at home. Half way through my Camino I broke my wrist, and my phone broke at the same time. So I was in the public hospital with no way to contact my family, and the hospital didn't have a way for me to make an international call, but one of the doctors offered to let me use her phone to call my husband via WhatsApp. WhatsApp isn't something that we normally use at home, and I'm so glad that we had set it up for my husband before I left home! Otherwise, I don't know how long it could have been before I could have contacted my family.
Thank you. So Im thinking approx 33 stages of frances, 33 accomm. Id better start adding lol.
 
Thank you. So Im thinking approx 33 stages of frances, 33 accomm. Id better start adding lol.
There is an exception (I think) to adding the contacts. As I understand it, if you use the Wise Pilgrim app that it has a button on each accommodation page that you can just tap to call via WhatsApp without adding them to your contacts. I prefer to have them in my contacts, so that I can keep track of the name of the place that I called or is calling me.

And remember that not every accommodation will use WhatsApp. Some still use landlines. In Spain phone numbers that start with a 6 or 7 (after the +34 country code) are mobile numbers. All others are landlines. But you can't count on all mobile numbers using WhatsApp - after you enter it in your contacts you can go to WhatsApp and see if it's a number that uses WhatsApp.
 
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Thank you. So Im thinking approx 33 stages of frances, 33 accomm. Id better start adding lol.
No need to add the contacts before you go. They can be added at any time and as long as they also have WhatsApp you can contact them via WhatsApp.
So that when you make friends or connections along the way you can also add them as a new contact and keep in touch with them via WhatsApp.

However I understand that for planning purposes you might want to add all the accommodation contacts before you go
 
No need to add the contacts before you go. They can be added at any time and as long as they also have WhatsApp you can contact them via WhatsApp.
So that when you make friends or connections along the way you can also add them as a new contact and keep in touch with them via WhatsApp.

However I understand that for planning purposes you might want to add all the accommodation contacts before you go
So is there an easy way to add multiple contacts . Any ideas.?
 
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Hey Laural. That was very helpful. Thanks very much. Im not a user of Whatsap and on the odd occasion Ivd tried to use O/S I havent had any luck. My understanding is the contacts must be added to whatsap before you can contact them, and you cant just call people like messenger. Ive been trying to source info on how to use it. No I was unsure about loosing access to my loaded aps with a differant sim. Thanks so much.
This is how whatsapp deals with phone numbers while travelling: https://faq.whatsapp.com/514799537162613/?helpref=uf_share

So, it would only be in the rare case that you need to reinstall the app, for example, that you will lose the link between your Aussie mobile number and your mobile device.

When you add contacts that you will connect with on whatsapp, as trecile said, you add them to your Contacts app, and whatsapp will pick them up from there (if they use whatsapp). You should add all non-Australian numbers with the international prefix (starting with + and country code), and if you give your number to other pilgrims, they should record it as +614... (omit the 0 at the beginning).

I did the French Camino in summer (relatively busy) and I didn't need to book in advance except for Orisson, Pamplona, and after Sarria. If you go to Finisterre and/or Muxia, you might want to book there too, 1 or 2 days in advance. In my opinion, adding all the contact numbers before you go is too much unnecessary work, as you might change your mind as you go as to where you want to stay.

Buen Camino!
 
So is there an easy way to add multiple contacts . Any ideas.?
As mentioned by @trecile
I forgot to mention - it can be easier to add the contacts on your computer if your contacts sync with your phone.

However, I would suggest as you look up an accommodation or business, you will see their contact details, add them from there. If they are using WhatsApp this will appear on the contact. I will see if I can screenshot it to show you
 
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I just added the contact for my accommodation in SJPP which I had previously only communicated with through booking.com.
I now see that they are available via WhatsApp should I need to contact them.

Screenshot_2023-01-22-13-00-32-08_8ceee6849b8c4820d6837a47f7055a8f.jpg
 
Hi all. Asking all Australians what was the best way to use your current phone on the Camino plesse. IDid you just use roaming? Only need phone for whatsapp and accomm. I have an Samsung S10 and it doesnt have esim capability. Want to keep my normal number and currently using Telstra. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Good Way
I use my main phone on messenger for my international calls. I have a Telstra prepaid. I let that run out if pre paid. I have an old phone that I put a European sim in. I can use that for local call in Spain. You can buy sims online before you go or get them in Spain. I have only used these on a few less travelled Caminos. Generally I have had to use a phone locally. Good luck
 
I use my main phone on messenger for my international calls. I have a Telstra prepaid. I let that run out if pre paid. I have an old phone that I put a European sim in. I can use that for local call in Spain. You can buy sims online before you go or get them in Spain. I have only used these on a few less travelled Caminos. Generally I have had to use a phone locally. Good luck
No problem, and thank you
As mentioned by @trecile


However, I would suggest as you look up an accommodation or business, you will see their contact details, add them from there. If they are using WhatsApp this will appear on the contact. I will see if I can screenshot it to show you
yes adding on computer is defiantly easier
 
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I'm interested in what this costs. What I'm assuming is that a friend in Oz calls your Oz number and your Oz network forwards the call by an international call thus picking up the charges. They must pass this cost onto you. Is this the case?

Of course you could end the call quickly and call your friend back with some cheap method available to you like text, a call over the internet or using the Spanish network's allotment of overseas minutes granted to you.
If I have been charged I haven’t noticed it as my €20 SIM card with heaps of data always lasts the month easily . I have not tried to cut off the call quickly but mostly friends know I am overseas and call me on WhatsApp or messenger which are both free.
 
I have experienced the same issue as Karl Oz with our banks (CBA, Bank of Melbourne, etc) so my clunky solution is to carry 2 phones with me. For one of these I purchase a 'local' sim, for all 'local' calls, and the other I just use my Australian sim without any roaming packages. The Australian sim phone mainly stays off and generally only gets turned on when I am making a credit card purchase, to enable the bank to send me a 'One time Password' by text (or 'MyGov', Medicare, or similar). These incoming texts are definitely free with Optus, but I also believe the same is true with Telstra and Vodafone. Turning on the Australian sim occasionally also shows up any other texts that I might need to attend to as well. Hope this helps
 
I have experienced the same issue as Karl Oz with our banks (CBA, Bank of Melbourne, etc) so my clunky solution is to carry 2 phones with me. For one of these I purchase a 'local' sim, for all 'local' calls, and the other I just use my Australian sim without any roaming packages. The Australian sim phone mainly stays off and generally only gets turned on when I am making a credit card purchase, to enable the bank to send me a 'One time Password' by text (or 'MyGov', Medicare, or similar). These incoming texts are definitely free with Optus, but I also believe the same is true with Telstra and Vodafone. Turning on the Australian sim occasionally also shows up any other texts that I might need to attend to as well. Hope this helps
As an update to the above I have just discovered that the Commonwealth Bank can now send a 'OTP' (One Time Password) to their CBA app if you have that installed on your phone/tablet. As yet I haven't tested this outside of Oz but will still need my 'clunky' solution above for non banking purposes.
 
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Hi all. Asking all Australians what was the best way to use your current phone on the Camino plesse. IDid you just use roaming? Only need phone for whatsapp and accomm. I have an Samsung S10 and it doesnt have esim capability. Want to keep my normal number and currently using Telstra. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Good Way
You can still use your old number for WhatsApp with a new SIM. WhatsApp wil recognize that you have a new sim and ask which number you want to use. Spanish sim is what we use. Also, Spanish people may not answer if they see a foreign number in case it is a scam.
 

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