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Buying simcard in Pamplona on a Sunday

maritameter

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (sept 2015)
Hi! I am on the camino now, and Just arrived in Pamplona. I want to buy a simcard her today, But it is sundays.. Will everything be closed? I want to buy one with unlimited data to connect to Internet.

Can anyone help, I do not speak a Word spanish and are doing this alone. Thank you so much.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Hi @maritameter - don't panic too much, there is ample free wifi almost everywhere. The only reason we bought a sim card was to make telephone calls.

We best prepaid seems to be Lebara, but it is rather hard to find - mostly they are purchased online. The next best seems to be Orange, which is what we got. We bought ours from El Cortes Ingles because they have most brands and usually someone to speak English.

As to whether you can find them on a Sunday in Pamplona, I can't help I'm afraid.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (Sept-Oct 2015)
Camino Portugués (Sept-Oct 2017)
Camino de San Salvador (Oct 2020???)
Wifi is spotty in Pamplona. The place I know for sure has wifi is the bus stat ion and the information Center. The map will show where are the other wifi location. I have the Orange SIM and I cannot get internet, just calls. I went to two Orange locations in addition to the place I bought the SIM and they do not speak much English. I gave up asking about getting SIM that give me internet access.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Both Vodafone and Cortes Ingles are closed Sundays. You can always wait until they open on Monday. There is a lot to see and do in Pamplona. I am not sure you can get unlimited data on a temporary plan, but the regular plans are affordable (Vodafone), and give sufficient data (and can be renewed at any tobacco shop and many tiendas).
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
My Orange Sim gives me internet. It is just a matter of setting it up with the right options - for which we did need help in the first instance.
 
P

PANO

Guest
Hi @maritameter , presuming that you start walking tomorrow Monday, you'll get by Tuesday to Estella, where you find a Movistar shop
TIENDA MOVISTAR
INMACULADA, PSO,30 ESTELLA/LIZARRA - NAVARRA 31200 - Tlf:948556834
Horario: L-V: 10:00-14:00 y 17:00-20:30 S: 10:00-14:00
They sell popular SIM cards, as well as
Vodafone at Calle del Principipe de Viana, 16, 31200, ESTELLA/Lizarra

Next town to find plenty of stores is Logroño.

No cause to panic! I think that you can manage a couple of days without local SIM, as you'll find plenty of WiFi spots.
Buen camino.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
By the way, you won't need unlimited internet unless you use applications like maps. The gigabyte or so for about 10E will last a month of email and booking.com!! ;)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
I'm 15 days until my departure. I upgraded an old flip phone to a Smart phone (now it needs a smart owner!). For my journey, I will keep the Smart phone in Aeroplane mode and use it only for wifi (where available), but I am considering purchasing a cell phone at the airport in Madrid, to be used for any emergency. Does this seem logical ….or not? My latest book from the library is 'Android For Dummies'.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I'm 15 days until my departure. I upgraded an old flip phone to a Smart phone (now it needs a smart owner!). For my journey, I will keep the Smart phone in Aeroplane mode and use it only for wifi (where available), but I am considering purchasing a cell phone at the airport in Madrid, to be used for any emergency. Does this seem logical ….or not? My latest book from the library is 'Android For Dummies'.
Why buy a second phone rather than just a sim card for your smart phone? Mind you, as I type this I know I am also giving this some consideration because using a Spanish sim in my Iphone and keeping it on airplane mode simply ate through all my time/money ( 1 call on a 15€ card!?). So I am considering getting an olf flip only for calls with the Spanish sim card, or getting plan with Telus just for the duration of my stay.
 
P

PANO

Guest
OMG @movinmaggie. your new smartphone is all you need, OK? After arrival, buy yourself a local prepaid Sim card at the airport or on the way. It will provide you with basic emergency backing in case of need. (About €15 to 20 will do OK) Keep the phone in Airplane mode and use WiFi. You're set, buen camino.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I might pull a fast one and get T-Mobile (currently non-contract on Verizon) before I leave so I can get the sweet International deals they provide. Pull up their website and take a look.

I need my phone for calling the husband though. Other than calling him, I plan to just use the free wifi.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Why buy a second phone rather than just a sim card for your smart phone? Mind you, as I type this I know I am also giving this some consideration because using a Spanish sim in my Iphone and keeping it on airplane mode simply ate through all my time/money ( 1 call on a 15€ card!?). So I am considering getting an olf flip only for calls with the Spanish sim card, or getting plan with Telus just for the duration of my stay.
I might pull a fast one and get T-Mobile (currently non-contract on Verizon) before I leave so I can get the sweet International deals they provide. Pull up their website and take a look.

I need my phone for calling the husband though. Other than calling him, I plan to just use the free wifi.
Thanks Debrita; not sure I can get Verizon in Canada, but will check it out. As the phone is only for emergencies. I'll be keeping in touch with family and friends through wifi. 15 days and counting. MM
 

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
ok, I usually ask little kids here for help with technology because I stink. lol
I am deliberating about my options.
Can I insert a Spanish sim card into my iPhone (for emergency calls) and yet keep the iPhone on airplane in order to use it only with wifi, unless there is an emergency?
I was thinking to leave my iPhone here, carry my kindle (for wifi usage), and get a Spanish cheap flip phone with prepaid minutes in order to have a phone for emergencies....I'm assuming I can get such an inexpensive option in Spain. Does anyone know?



'
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
ok, I usually ask little kids here for help with technology because I stink. lol
I am deliberating about my options.
Can I insert a Spanish sim card into my iPhone (for emergency calls) and yet keep the iPhone on airplane in order to use it only with wifi, unless there is an emergency?
I was thinking to leave my iPhone here, carry my kindle (for wifi usage), and get a Spanish cheap flip phone with prepaid minutes in order to have a phone for emergencies....I'm assuming I can get such an inexpensive option in Spain. Does anyone know?



'
Well, I know enough to be dangerous as you can see by my last post, but I do recall someone saying that if your phone is on aeroplane mode, you cannot receive or make calls. Brothers and sisters, feel free to correct this. I've decided to take the Smart phone (with its dumb owner) and use it for wifi internet only - and use the flip phone with a Spanish sim for any emergencies.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Well, I know enough to be dangerous as you can see by my last post, but I do recall someone saying that if your phone is on aeroplane mode, you cannot receive or make calls. Brothers and sisters, feel free to correct this. I've decided to take the Smart phone (with its dumb owner) and use it for wifi internet only - and use the flip phone with a Spanish sim for any emergencies.
I think this is an excellent plan and you will not end up like I did mysteriously using up 15€ for one call on a local sim card
 
P

PANO

Guest
ok, I usually ask little kids here for help with technology because I stink. lol
I am deliberating about my options.
Can I insert a Spanish sim card into my iPhone (for emergency calls) and yet keep the iPhone on airplane in order to use it only with wifi, unless there is an emergency?
I was thinking to leave my iPhone here, carry my kindle (for wifi usage), and get a Spanish cheap flip phone with prepaid minutes in order to have a phone for emergencies....I'm assuming I can get such an inexpensive option in Spain. Does anyone know?
'
Hahahaha, taking cheap flip phone and a Kindle instead of your iPhone.... frankly Leeann, you're pulling our legs, no??!!
If your "innocence" in consumer-tech is genuine, (I am sorry in this case), the appropriate place to get help would be Apple's hotline, their Genius bar; to google "Airplane mode" or, you've said it yourself, ask a kid in the 'hood.
(Says one peregrino aged well beyond 70, by the way)

PS: OK, maybe you are really "innocent" after all, so let me add this:
1. Can I use WiFi with the iPhone in airplane mode?
- Yes, it's possible to use Wi-Fi with the cellular radio off. To enter airplane mode:
- Touch Settings -> Airplane Mode ON
- This turns off all radio activity including cellular antennas and Wi-Fi. Now while staying in airplane mode you can turn on Wi-Fi only.
- Touch Settings -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi ON
- Your iPhone will now use the Wi-Fi connection while keeping the EDGE and 3G radio off.

2. Making calls in WiFi mode, with airplane mode ON?
- Yes, download and use the Skype app (free) or, -in case your loved-ones also use iPhone and Mac's- simply use free FaceTime video-calling.

3. Only if you plan to make calls or get data during the day while walking, you might want to purchase a cheap local prepaid card to avoid expensive roaming charges. Beware: For this, your phone must be unlocked (ask your provider), this changes your phone-number too!
However, as will confirm all experienced peregrinos, you find ample WiFi (in Spanish pronounced "WEE-FEE") connections along the camino, in almost every cafe, bar, restaurant, albergue, etc., just ask and they'll give you user name and password. (Ask a kid or fellow peregrino how to enter those into your iPhone).
So you might want to just forget the local SIM card, in REAL EMERGENCY on the way, you will not care about the extra roaming cost of using your original SIM.

4. Please leave all other gear like Kindle at home and don't buy that obsolete flip-phone...seriously! Enjoy your camino.
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Pano, more food for thought. But just to clarify, if you download Skype, or use Face Time, whomever you are communicating with also needs the same….Skype or Face Time. Is that correct?
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Besides taking my new Smart phone for internet and recording, if I end up taking my old flip phone just for emergency phone calls, should I get it unlocked here in Canada, or can they do it at the Madrid airport where I purchase a sim card?…..I hope to make it through 'Android For Dummies' and back to the library before I leave:>). This learning process has had its hilarious moments….sitting in a coffee shop a couple of days after purchasing my shiny new Nexus 5. Then it rang….and rang…..and rang. Ee Gads! I had not a clue how to answer it. All eyes were on me - as I sank closer into my coffee mug. It finally went to voice mail, which I discovered later. Too funny.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Besides taking my new Smart phone for internet and recording, if I end up taking my old flip phone just for emergency phone calls, should I get it unlocked here in Canada, or can they do it at the Madrid airport where I purchase a sim card?…..I hope to make it through 'Android For Dummies' and back to the library before I leave:>). This learning process has had its hilarious moments….sitting in a coffee shop a couple of days after purchasing my shiny new Nexus 5. Then it rang….and rang…..and rang. Ee Gads! I had not a clue how to answer it. All eyes were on me - as I sank closer into my coffee mug. It finally went to voice mail, which I discovered later. Too funny.
Have your provider unlock it for you. There will be a charge. I paid 35$ to Telus to unlock my iphone this spring. Next time I am buying their international package for Spain.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
This learning process has had its hilarious moments…
It also never ends!

Yes, you must get your Canadian provider to unlock your phone before you leave, for a fee.

Don't discard the idea of going with your normal Canadian phone service, with data roaming turned off. You will keep the same phone number and can use it in an emergency, at a charge (e.g. $2/minute, but in an emergency you won't care). The difficult part might be to resist answering the phone if calls come in, or voice messages are left. But I just learned (from @PANO above) that one can use wifi while in airplane mode, which I did not know before, and I will be sure to use that. (It also saves the battery a lot.)

I am still undecided what to do, but I have an unlocked phone so I have flexibility on the road. I am leaning toward starting out with only my regular service. When I leave the country, I always get text messages from my provider (Rogers) about their travel packages which typically are for only a month at a time. They usually offer 20% off the original price after you arrive in the foreign country, so I'll purchase one after a few days, to last for a month. The travel package rates are still not cheap, but they are less than the regular charges and you can control them. On my phone I always set the Data Usage to warn me when I use up a certain amount, and to stop at a different amount.

Last year I bought a Vodaphone package and SIM, but was unable to make calls home, for some reason. (When I tried, I got a phone message saying something I couldn't understand, and I never bothered to get help.) This time, if I get one in Pamplona I will be sure to test it in the store where I buy it.

Good luck!
 
P

PANO

Guest
Pano, more food for thought. But just to clarify, if you download Skype, or use Face Time, whomever you are communicating with also needs the same….Skype or Face Time. Is that correct?P no (with some small charges to your CC if counterpart has no Skype account), FaceTime yes but no charge.
(Look up relevant websites for mor details)

PS : there are other such services too, like WhatsApp...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
It also never ends!

Yes, you must get your Canadian provider to unlock your phone before you leave, for a fee.

Don't discard the idea of going with your normal Canadian phone service, with data roaming turned off. You will keep the same phone number and can use it in an emergency, at a charge (e.g. $2/minute, but in an emergency you won't care). The difficult part might be to resist answering the phone if calls come in, or voice messages are left. But I just learned (from @PANO above) that one can use wifi while in airplane mode, which I did not know before, and I will be sure to use that. (It also saves the battery a lot.)

I am still undecided what to do, but I have an unlocked phone so I have flexibility on the road. I am leaning toward starting out with only my regular service. When I leave the country, I always get text messages from my provider (Rogers) about their travel packages which typically are for only a month at a time. They usually offer 20% off the original price after you arrive in the foreign country, so I'll purchase one after a few days, to last for a month. The travel package rates are still not cheap, but they are less than the regular charges and you can control them. On my phone I always set the Data Usage to warn me when I use up a certain amount, and to stop at a different amount.

Last year I bought a Vodaphone package and SIM, but was unable to make calls home, for some reason. (When I tried, I got a phone message saying something I couldn't understand, and I never bothered to get help.) This time, if I get one in Pamplona I will be sure to test it in the store where I buy it.

Good luck!
The irony is….the reason I bought the Nexus5 is because it's the only phone that is sold 'unlocked'. So I still may rethink this whole thing. It would be easier with just one rather than two phones and having to pay for the old phone to be unlocked. Won't be long now:>) :>)
 
P

PANO

Guest
The irony is….the reason I bought the Nexus5 is because it's the only phone that is sold 'unlocked'. So I still may rethink this whole thing. It would be easier with just one rather than two phones and having to pay for the old phone to be unlocked. Won't be long now:>) :>)
Read my post: using WiFi seems perfectly adequate, unless you want 'live' online access for maps, etc.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
1. Can I use WiFi with the iPhone in airplane mode?
- Yes, it's possible to use Wi-Fi with the cellular radio off. To enter airplane mode:
- Touch Settings -> Airplane Mode ON
- This turns off all radio activity including cellular antennas and Wi-Fi. Now while staying in airplane mode you can turn on Wi-Fi only.
- Touch Settings -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi ON
- Your iPhone will now use the Wi-Fi connection while keeping the EDGE and 3G radio off.
Thanks for this information. It makes sense of course - I wondered about the fact that airlines are starting wifi service, and how could we use it in airplane mode?! But I didn't follow up at all because the need didn't arise.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Does whatsapp work in flight mode - despite previous evidence to the contrary, certain members of my family know that I will be eaten by the bears in Spain or the gypsies will kidnap me - forced to take phone which will probably remain buried in my dirty clothes bag but just in case.
 

petitewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 fall), Camino Portuguese (fall 2017)
Hi @maritameter , presuming that you start walking tomorrow Monday, you'll get by Tuesday to Estella, where you find a Movistar shop
TIENDA MOVISTAR
INMACULADA, PSO,30 ESTELLA/LIZARRA - NAVARRA 31200 - Tlf:948556834
Horario: L-V: 10:00-14:00 y 17:00-20:30 S: 10:00-14:00
They sell popular SIM cards, as well as
Vodafone at Calle del Principipe de Viana, 16, 31200, ESTELLA/Lizarra

Next town to find plenty of stores is Logroño.

No cause to panic! I think that you can manage a couple of days without local SIM, as you'll find plenty of WiFi spots.
Buen camino.
I' m pretty sure there is also an Orange store in Estella. They are all pretty much in the same area
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Does whatsapp work in flight mode
WhatsApp depends on wifi, so, following PANO's instructions, you should be able to turn ON your wifi while staying in flight mode and thus use WhatsApp. I just need to test it myself.
By the way, don't bears eat phones too?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
WhatsApp depends on wifi, so, following PANO's instructions, you should be able to turn ON your wifi while staying in flight mode and thus use WhatsApp. I just need to test it myself.
By the way, don't bears eat phones too?
Hi C clearly,

I will try give some background information:
  • Skype is a voice over IP application: it uses the IP protocol to transmit your calls.
  • WiFi is a wireless technology which provide IP transport.
  • The data service of your smart phone is another technology which provide IP transport.
  • When you do a normal call with your phone, you are using another transport service, the audio one
So you can use Skype with either WiFi or the data service.

When you activate the "airplane" mode on your phone, it will switch off all internal systems which are emitting electromagnetic waves: WiFi, data service, audio service, Bluetooth, NFC, etc...
After that, you can choose to re-activate only one of these (ie the WiFi) by toggling it, or all together by unactivating the "airplane" mode.

Buen Camino, Jacques-D.

PS: I doubt that bears eat phones, but I wouldn't voluntary to test it :eek:
 
P

PANO

Guest
Hi C clearly,
I will try give some background information:
  • Skype is a voice over IP application: it uses the IP protocol to transmit your calls.
  • WiFi is a wireless technology which provide IP transport.
  • The data service of your smart phone is another technology which provide IP transport.
  • When you do a normal call with your phone, you are using another transport service, the audio oneSo you can use Skype with either WiFi or the data service.
  • When you activate the "airplane" mode on your phone, it will switch off all internal systems which are emitting electromagnetic waves: WiFi, data service, audio service, Bluetooth, NFC, etc...
After that, you can choose to re-activate only one of these (ie the WiFi) by toggling it, or all together by unactivating the "airplane" mode.
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
PS: I doubt that bears eat phones, but I wouldn't voluntary to test it :eek:
Thanks for helping out, Jacques-D. Considering to start up a consulting business about communication on the camino, should be a goldmine at this level....:D, just don't know which sort of clients to aim at, the innocent peregrinos or the bears.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
May be convincing the bears that they cannot live without a mobile phone would open you a full new market...:p
.. and plenty of threads in the forum about "How to avoid the bears stealing phones on the Camino"! :cool:

Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Well, this information about using WiFi in airplane mode is one of the most valuable things I've learned on the forum. And that's saying a lot. Who knew? I just tried it and it worked.

So this means if my phone is on airplane mode with WiFi on, I won't be using data if I lose the signal? I ended up with a $100-plus roaming charge in 24 hours when that happened to me overseas earlier this year. Not happy.

Movinmaggie, I may have missed a clarification of this, but I don't understand why you would have to pay, or even request, to have your phone unlocked if it was sold as an unlocked phone. I'm in the U.S and on AT& T, so my situation is different, but I have a Blackberry that AT&T unlocked at no charge after I got my Galaxy.

By the way, I laughed out loud when I read your post about not being able to answer your phone. I had the same thing happen to me. I had to drive home to return the call! It does get better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
So this means if my phone is on airplane mode with WiFi on, I won't be using data if I lose the signal? I ended up with a $100-plus roaming charge in 24 hours when that happened to me overseas earlier this year. Not happy.
Hello Bala,

You should have a switch in the settings to deactivate the data service when roaming (roaming means outside your home operator coverage).
You are normally billed for data trafic and for voice trafic separately.
Data trafic can be avoided by switching off all data or going to "airplane" mode.
Voice trafic can be avoided by not answering calls (and deactivating call forwarding on no answer services).

Remember that Skype and Facetime are using data service and NOT voice service...

Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
 
P

PANO

Guest
May be convincing the bears that they cannot live without a mobile phone would open you a full new market...:p
.. and plenty of threads in the forum about "How to avoid the bears stealing phones on the Camino"! :cool:
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
Do you think that they will understand??
Mind you, the peregrinos carrying an obsolete flip-phone and a Kindle next to their smartphones (for which they are unable to read the manual for some strange reason) will eventually make the bears addictive for more.....mmmm, all those savory, tasty phones.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Read my post: using WiFi seems perfectly adequate, unless you want 'live' online access for maps, etc.
Hi Pani, I definitely do not want to live on line. I have printed out your post….thanks so much. Maggie
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Well, this information about using WiFi in airplane mode is one of the most valuable things I've learned on the forum. And that's saying a lot. Who knew? I just tried it and it worked
Me too!

I think Maggie was asking about unlocking an old flip phone if she decides to take it in addition to her new unlocked smartphone.
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
The irony is….the reason I bought the Nexus5 is because it's the only phone that is sold 'unlocked'. So I still may rethink this whole thing. It would be easier with just one rather than two phones and having to pay for the old phone to be unlocked. Won't be long now:>) :>)
Hi Maggie
If it's any help, this is what I did in April-June this year: I took my smart phone (a Samsung), and kept the data roaming feature turned off. After reading and re-reading threads on this Forum about getting Spanish SIMs etc and giving myself a headache trying to figure out the best option, I decided against doing that. I didn't have a need to make many phone calls, so for the very occasional (emergency or no-other-alternative) call I just used my phone and paid the voice roaming charges - it was worth it and still worked out cheaper than buying a Spanish sim just for those few calls (I made maybe three brief calls the entire time I was away). For data I used the free wifi connections which now seem to be ubiquitous along the Camino - never had a problem finding them, although sometimes the connection wasn't that strong. For keeping in touch with home I used emails - not very often, as there wasn't the expectation of very frequent contact (I'm not on Facebook et al, although I did keep in touch with this Forum!). If I had needed to call home or elsewhere frequently, I would have used Skype, on a wifi connection. I didn't have my phone in airplane/flight mode, because I wasn't expecting to (and didn't) receive many calls which would have boosted my costs. Everyone I know was aware I was away, as I'd spent the previous 2 years boring them with the details! But if you have connections who don't know you're away and you get a lot of calls on your smart phone, I would put it in flight mode. I did not really need to use the internet while walking, as I had offline maps (Maps.me app) and Google Translate app with offline Spanish dictionary, but if I needed to there was wifi in nearly every bar we passed. Plus of course, cellphone reception is very patchy in a lot of the rural areas between villages, so I probably couldn't have used my data connection "out there" if I'd wanted to. I did book accommodation ahead, but as we were mainly staying either in private albergues or in casa rurales/pensions I was able to email or use Booking.com in most cases - partly I have to admit avoiding those I would have had to call, as I wasn't confident enough in my Spanish! Now I think I would have coped fine, so next time may do more of that - using Skype-to-landline calls which you can make if you set up a pay-as-you-go Skype account or pay a small monthly subscription (still super-cheap).

IMHO there is no need to take two phones. You should be able to manage very well with your Nexus and the wifi connections, plus voice calls on your phone account when unavoidable.

Have a wonderful time!

(PS and off-topic a bit - I walked this year with my mother who will turn 80 right about when you do. She loved it (as did I) and we're now planning to return in 2 years, which will mean she turns 82 around the time we - hopefully - walk into Santiago!)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Me too!

I think Maggie was asking about unlocking an old flip phone if she decides to take it in addition to her new unlocked smartphone.
You are correct C clearly…..the old one to make or receive any emergency calls, and the Nexus5 for the internet….it's all good info.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Hi Maggie
If it's any help, this is what I did in April-June this year: I took my smart phone (a Samsung), and kept the data roaming feature turned off. After reading and re-reading threads on this Forum about getting Spanish SIMs etc and giving myself a headache trying to figure out the best option, I decided against doing that. I didn't have a need to make many phone calls, so for the very occasional (emergency or no-other-alternative) call I just used my phone and paid the voice roaming charges - it was worth it and still worked out cheaper than buying a Spanish sim just for those few calls (I made maybe three brief calls the entire time I was away). For data I used the free wifi connections which now seem to be ubiquitous along the Camino - never had a problem finding them, although sometimes the connection wasn't that strong. For keeping in touch with home I used emails - not very often, as there wasn't the expectation of very frequent contact (I'm not on Facebook et al, although I did keep in touch with this Forum!). If I had needed to call home or elsewhere frequently, I would have used Skype, on a wifi connection. I didn't have my phone in airplane/flight mode, because I wasn't expecting to (and didn't) receive many calls which would have boosted my costs. Everyone I know was aware I was away, as I'd spent the previous 2 years boring them with the details! But if you have connections who don't know you're away and you get a lot of calls on your smart phone, I would put it in flight mode. I did not really need to use the internet while walking, as I had offline maps (Maps.me app) and Google Translate app with offline Spanish dictionary, but if I needed to there was wifi in nearly every bar we passed. Plus of course, cellphone reception is very patchy in a lot of the rural areas between villages, so I probably couldn't have used my data connection "out there" if I'd wanted to. I did book accommodation ahead, but as we were mainly staying either in private albergues or in casa rurales/pensions I was able to email or use Booking.com in most cases - partly I have to admit avoiding those I would have had to call, as I wasn't confident enough in my Spanish! Now I think I would have coped fine, so next time may do more of that - using Skype-to-landline calls which you can make if you set up a pay-as-you-go Skype account or pay a small monthly subscription (still super-cheap).

IMHO there is no need to take two phones. You should be able to manage very well with your Nexus and the wifi connections, plus voice calls on your phone account when unavoidable.

Have a wonderful time!

(PS and off-topic a bit - I walked this year with my mother who will turn 80 right about when you do. She loved it (as did I) and we're now planning to return in 2 years, which will mean she turns 82 around the time we - hopefully - walk into Santiago!)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Gettingthere, how kind of you to take the time for this. Yes, I know much has been written and yes, I too was getting a bit cross-eyed, but you make excellent points as have others. No I would not expect any calls; everyone knows I'm away. The only purpose for the phone in Spain is to be reachable by phone in any family emergency, or if I were to get delayed somewhere, to be able to contact those few where I have reservations, i.e. train, plane, Curazon Puro folks, Belari in St. Jean and Albergue in Orisson.
I think I'm getting close to the end of this now, thanks to all for the great input. Very much appreciated. 14 days to go…..
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Hi Maggie
If it's any help, this is what I did in April-June this year: I took my smart phone (a Samsung), and kept the data roaming feature turned off. After reading and re-reading threads on this Forum about getting Spanish SIMs etc and giving myself a headache trying to figure out the best option, I decided against doing that. I didn't have a need to make many phone calls, so for the very occasional (emergency or no-other-alternative) call I just used my phone and paid the voice roaming charges - it was worth it and still worked out cheaper than buying a Spanish sim just for those few calls (I made maybe three brief calls the entire time I was away). For data I used the free wifi connections which now seem to be ubiquitous along the Camino - never had a problem finding them, although sometimes the connection wasn't that strong. For keeping in touch with home I used emails - not very often, as there wasn't the expectation of very frequent contact (I'm not on Facebook et al, although I did keep in touch with this Forum!). If I had needed to call home or elsewhere frequently, I would have used Skype, on a wifi connection. I didn't have my phone in airplane/flight mode, because I wasn't expecting to (and didn't) receive many calls which would have boosted my costs. Everyone I know was aware I was away, as I'd spent the previous 2 years boring them with the details! But if you have connections who don't know you're away and you get a lot of calls on your smart phone, I would put it in flight mode. I did not really need to use the internet while walking, as I had offline maps (Maps.me app) and Google Translate app with offline Spanish dictionary, but if I needed to there was wifi in nearly every bar we passed. Plus of course, cellphone reception is very patchy in a lot of the rural areas between villages, so I probably couldn't have used my data connection "out there" if I'd wanted to. I did book accommodation ahead, but as we were mainly staying either in private albergues or in casa rurales/pensions I was able to email or use Booking.com in most cases - partly I have to admit avoiding those I would have had to call, as I wasn't confident enough in my Spanish! Now I think I would have coped fine, so next time may do more of that - using Skype-to-landline calls which you can make if you set up a pay-as-you-go Skype account or pay a small monthly subscription (still super-cheap).

IMHO there is no need to take two phones. You should be able to manage very well with your Nexus and the wifi connections, plus voice calls on your phone account when unavoidable.

Have a wonderful time!

(PS and off-topic a bit - I walked this year with my mother who will turn 80 right about when you do. She loved it (as did I) and we're now planning to return in 2 years, which will mean she turns 82 around the time we - hopefully - walk into Santiago!)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
By the way Gettingthere, give your Mom a big hug for me….tell her from a kindred (soon to be) 80-hr old. okay, done done.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Hi! I am on the camino now, and Just arrived in Pamplona. I want to buy a simcard her today, But it is sundays.. Will everything be closed? I want to buy one with unlimited data to connect to Internet.

Can anyone help, I do not speak a Word spanish and are doing this alone. Thank you so much.
Were you able to find a SIM card for your device?
 

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
Hahahaha, taking cheap flip phone and a Kindle instead of your iPhone.... frankly Leeann, you're pulling our legs, no??!!
If your "innocence" in consumer-tech is genuine, (I am sorry in this case), the appropriate place to get help would be Apple's hotline, their Genius bar; to google "Airplane mode" or, you've said it yourself, ask a kid in the 'hood.
(Says one peregrino aged well beyond 70, by the way)

PS: OK, maybe you are really "innocent" after all, so let me add this:
1. Can I use WiFi with the iPhone in airplane mode?
- Yes, it's possible to use Wi-Fi with the cellular radio off. To enter airplane mode:
- Touch Settings -> Airplane Mode ON
- This turns off all radio activity including cellular antennas and Wi-Fi. Now while staying in airplane mode you can turn on Wi-Fi only.
- Touch Settings -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi ON
- Your iPhone will now use the Wi-Fi connection while keeping the EDGE and 3G radio off.

2. Making calls in WiFi mode, with airplane mode ON?
- Yes, download and use the Skype app (free) or, -in case your loved-ones also use iPhone and Mac's- simply use free FaceTime video-calling.

3. Only if you plan to make calls or get data during the day while walking, you might want to purchase a cheap local prepaid card to avoid expensive roaming charges. Beware: For this, your phone must be unlocked (ask your provider), this changes your phone-number too!
However, as will confirm all experienced peregrinos, you find ample WiFi (in Spanish pronounced "WEE-FEE") connections along the camino, in almost every cafe, bar, restaurant, albergue, etc., just ask and they'll give you user name and password. (Ask a kid or fellow peregrino how to enter those into your iPhone).
So you might want to just forget the local SIM card, in REAL EMERGENCY on the way, you will not care about the extra roaming cost of using your original SIM.

4. Please leave all other gear like Kindle at home and don't buy that obsolete flip-phone...seriously! Enjoy your camino.
Pano, I love all your comments! They are direct and to the point... :) Where are you from (if you don't mind me asking)?
You remind me of dear Argentine and German friends. love love love.
I was aware of the first two points and intended to use my iPhone only with wifi originally, but I was wondering if I could have the phone in airplane mode (to avoid roaming charges) and yet use it with a local sim card (that way I could receive calls in case of an emergency)....I also want my kindle regardless because I can't sit and enjoy reading books and such on the small iPhone kindle. I want to do some reading throughout my journey... I agree that I wouldn't be thinking of roaming charges if I had a true emergency and needed to use my iPhone without a local sim card. I really wanted to avoid connecting to the internet every day and though family members at home would feel better knowing they could always get in touch if I had a local #....I think your points do help me clarify my options. Thank you!
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Well, this information about using WiFi in airplane mode is one of the most valuable things I've learned on the forum. And that's saying a lot. Who knew? I just tried it and it worked.

So this means if my phone is on airplane mode with WiFi on, I won't be using data if I lose the signal? I ended up with a $100-plus roaming charge in 24 hours when that happened to me overseas earlier this year. Not happy.

Movinmaggie, I may have missed a clarification of this, but I don't understand why you would have to pay, or even request, to have your phone unlocked if it was sold as an unlocked phone. I'm in the U.S and on AT& T, so my situation is different, but I have a Blackberry that AT&T unlocked at no charge after I got my Galaxy.

By the way, I laughed out loud when I read your post about not being able to answer your phone. I had the same thing happen to me. I had to drive home to return the call! It does get better.
Hi Bala, it was my old flip phone that I was going to unlock; not the Nexus. I think I have it pretty well sorted out now, thanks to all the help here. Now back to my 'Android Phones For Dummies'. :>)
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
WhatsApp depends on wifi, so, following PANO's instructions, you should be able to turn ON your wifi while staying in flight mode and thus use WhatsApp. I just need to test it myself.
By the way, don't bears eat phones too?
The last bear in Spain was shot by a French hunter in the Basque area around 80 years ago - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" but facts don't much matter in this family anymore. Another 150 grams won't be noticed as long as it doesn't go into the laundry with the rest of my skivies and socks!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Movinmaggie, I may have missed a clarification of this, but I don't understand why you would have to pay, or even request, to have your phone unlocked if it was sold as an unlocked phone.
You think we have it bad with US phone companies, Canadian carriers charge an unlock fee on top of the price of the phone, even if you have paid the subsidy off and the phone is out of contract. They used to lock their customers into a 36 month contract!
This is why I will only buy factory unlocked devices, just insert my SIM card and restore from a cloud backup, no need to pay an activation fee ever.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Hi Bala, it was my old flip phone that I was going to unlock; not the Nexus. I think I have it pretty well sorted out now, thanks to all the help here. Now back to my 'Android Phones For Dummies'. :>)
Movinmaggie, This thread has been great. Not only all the suggestions and help given here, but I'm going to get my hands on a copy of that "Android for Dummies" book. ;) It's got my name all over it.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Movinmaggie, This thread has been great. Not only all the suggestions and help given here, but I'm going to get my hands on a copy of that "Android for Dummies" book. ;) It's got my name all over it.
great to hear…just be sure to get a current version; at least 2014. I'm actually enjoying it very much. The full title is 'Android Phones For Dummies'. This fellow is a very good and very funny writer. We shall learn together…..
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
You think we have it bad with US phone companies, Canadian carriers charge an unlock fee on top of the price of the phone, even if you have paid the subsidy off and the phone is out of contract. They used to lock their customers into a 36 month contract!
This is why I will only buy factory unlocked devices, just insert my SIM card and restore from a cloud backup, no need to pay an activation fee ever.
Highway robbery. Glad you found a way around it. I'm going to look into something like that for myself. The fees just keep getting higher and higher.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
great to hear…just be sure to get a current version; at least 2014. I'm actually enjoying it very much. The full title is 'Android Phones For Dummies'. This fellow is a very good and very funny writer. We shall learn together…..
Thanks!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Highway robbery. Glad you found a way around it. I'm going to look into something like that for myself. The fees just keep getting higher and higher.
This article explains it best about unlocked vs. locked devices. Any way you slice it you pay the full price of the device, either up front or on a 24 month contract. I'm on a month to month no contract plan on AT&T, I was with T-Mobile for several years but their network hasn't improved to my liking.
Here in the US, wireless carriers subsidize the purchase price of a high-end cell phone, making obtaining an expensive device affordable, but spread out the full price of the device in a higher priced, usually two-year voice and data plan contract.
http://www.informationweek.com/mobi...d-phones-how-and-why-to-do-it/d/d-id/1108950?
 

maritameter

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (sept 2015)
Hi @maritameter , presuming that you start walking tomorrow Monday, you'll get by Tuesday to Estella, where you find a Movistar shop
TIENDA MOVISTAR
INMACULADA, PSO,30 ESTELLA/LIZARRA - NAVARRA 31200 - Tlf:948556834
Horario: L-V: 10:00-14:00 y 17:00-20:30 S: 10:00-14:00
They sell popular SIM cards, as well as
Vodafone at Calle del Principipe de Viana, 16, 31200, ESTELLA/Lizarra

Next town to find plenty of stores is Logroño.

No cause to panic! I think that you can manage a couple of days without local SIM, as you'll find plenty of WiFi spots.
Buen camino.
Thank you so much, you are saving me!! I am hete now and the open in 30 minutes. I did not understand if There are two places you are takling about But I will go There. Does anyone know which provider ha the best cellphone signals alone the camino?

And yes I know about the wifi "everywhere" But I want to communicate with my people home anytime.
 
P

PANO

Guest
OK
Thank you so much, you are saving me!! I am hete now and the open in 30 minutes. I did not understand if There are two places you are takling about But I will go There. Does anyone know which provider ha the best cellphone signals alone the camino?

And yes I know about the wifi "everywhere" But I want to communicate with my people home anytime.
OK, Maritameter, you're almost there, great!
To your question: Needless to worry about signal, set your phone so that it automatically searches for the best signal (This would be a standard default setting which you can manually override by limiting the signal to one particular provider)
I have used prepaid cards from both providers, Movistar and Vodaphone; technically both worked equally fine but Movistar required payment-renewal twice in my camino-month; could be that I chose an option too small to begin with. The Vodaphone card I bought last year was from the beginning very comfortable and lasted the entire month of very generous usage. (Don't remember what it cost)
When credit expires, you will be notified, but as you will get all sort of promotion offers too, it is difficult to know what's going on, unless you speak Spanish....
So you may want to choose a large enough credit option. As both providers make a distinction in voice and in data credit, make sure that you get what you really need.
I somehow felt more comfortable with Vodaphone and would get my next SIM from them.

Recharging your credit on the way: Both above provider's cards can be recharged at any ATM; feed your card and you'll be guided through the process.

Hope you enjoyed your camino so far, lots of stuff and fun still ahead!
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Maritameter, I hope you have your sim card and all has worked out for you.

I've been following this thread closely as not only will I need a Spanish sim card, but, ironically, expect to arrive in Pamplona on a Sunday as well. So I may also be looking for the shop in Estella on Tuesday.

So, many thanks in advance to Pano, Bajaracer, Movinmaggie, and all who've offered directions, instructions, suggestions, support, and good humor over the past few days.
 

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
Hello Bala,

You should have a switch in the settings to deactivate the data service when roaming (roaming means outside your home operator coverage).
You are normally billed for data trafic and for voice trafic separately.
Data trafic can be avoided by switching off all data or going to "airplane" mode.
Voice trafic can be avoided by not answering calls (and deactivating call forwarding on no answer services).

Remember that Skype and Facetime are using data service and NOT voice service...

Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
Would text messaging be billed as voice traffic? I can avoid texting outbound messages, but if I have my phone on, text messages will automatically come in and be billed. Would that be a problem if I was using the phone as a wifi device on airplane mode?
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Would text messaging be billed as voice traffic? I can avoid texting outbound messages, but if I have my phone on, text messages will automatically come in and be billed. Would that be a problem if I was using the phone as a wifi device on airplane mode?
It depends on the mobile company and your plan. For many plans in Spain, incoming text messages have no charge. Text, voice, and data are usually tracked and billed separately. International voice can be very expensive if you do not have a plan that covers it. International cards take a local call to connect to service, so you pay the local charge and the international charge. Toll free numbers (800) will turn out not to be toll free. There will be an international phone charge to get to the U.S. toll free number.
 
P

PANO

Guest
Would text messaging be billed as voice traffic? I can avoid texting outbound messages, but if I have my phone on, text messages will automatically come in and be billed. Would that be a problem if I was using the phone as a wifi device on airplane mode?
Hey Leeann, do you r-e-a-l-ly want/need to make or receive calls/messages during those hours when you walk? Can it not wait until you reached an albergue, a cafe etc., one of a zillion places with WiFi? If not, you will have to bear the cost. If it can, please revert back to my previous response herein above and follow my advise* (Is there something I failed to explain properly?). And no: incoming messages and calls in WiFi mode cost you nothing and outgoing neither ; whatever usage, its free in WiFi, got it leeann?.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
Hey Leeann, do you r-e-a-l-ly want/need to make or receive calls/messages during those hours when you walk? Can it not wait until you reached an albergue, a cafe etc., on of a zillion places with WiFi? If not, you will have to bear the cost. If it can, please revert back to my previous response herein above and follow my advise (Is there something I failed to explain properly?). And no: incoming messages in WiFi mode cost you nothing.
No, I do not want to make calls or messages while on the path at all, but my family will feel a lot better knowing that they can call or text if they need to get a hold of me when I am not in a Wifi area...I may decide that I will agree to check emails once a day when I have wifi access and then keep my phone in wifi mode unless there is an emergency (in which case I won't care about the roaming charge)...
 

MIAPilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013 SJPDP-Ponferrada; Oct 2015 Ponferrada-Santiago
For US: Had AT&T - for $30, an unlimited text plan. Able to stay in communication via text and send / receive photos.

Used WiFi for emails; Apps; Social Media.

You can also check out Viber for making phone calls and texting. (Free App when using Wifi)

The only thing missing is Data for those times WiFi is not available and when you want access to online materials; apps; phone calls
 
P

PANO

Guest
No, I do not want to make calls or messages while on the path at all, but my family will feel a lot better knowing that they can call or text if they need to get a hold of me when I am not in a Wifi area...I may decide that I will agree to check emails once a day when I have wifi access and then keep my phone in wifi mode unless there is an emergency (in which case I won't care about the roaming charge)...
Great, leeann. Now all that remains are two things:
1. Convince yourself and your close-ones that this is about YOUR camino. If your folks really care about you, they will let you do YOUR THING, tell them that 'no news' means 'good news'; free yourself of "being needed".
2. Enjoy your camino
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Asking all these questions doesn't necessarily mean that any of us expect to be gabbing on the phone while we walk or that people will be pestering us. I, for one, just want to understand the features of my phone, so I can best use it with knowledge and good sense.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, I know enough to be dangerous as you can see by my last post, but I do recall someone saying that if your phone is on aeroplane mode, you cannot receive or make calls. Brothers and sisters, feel free to correct this. I've decided to take the Smart phone (with its dumb owner) and use it for wifi internet only - and use the flip phone with a Spanish sim for any emergencies.
I also think this is the best alternative for those of us who are, shall we say, technologically challenged. The thought of changing SIM cards in and out of my phone just leaves me cold, so I bring two phones, just like what Maggie is planning to do. My iphone is just for wifi, so it's always in airplane mode. I also bring an ancient (2004) Spanish cell phone and put a new SIM card in it every year. It's not only for emergencies, I use it to call ahead for reservations if that seems prudent, and I also use it to keep in touch with others I've met along the Camino while I'm in Spain . So, maggie, there are at least two of us "dumb owners." Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
Would text messaging be billed as voice traffic? I can avoid texting outbound messages, but if I have my phone on, text messages will automatically come in and be billed. Would that be a problem if I was using the phone as a wifi device on airplane mode?
Hi Leeann,

It depends what do you mean with "text messages" :
-SMS (limited to 160 chars) , have a specific transport service, which is often billed separately.
- WhatsApp, Viber, etc. are using the IP protocol, aka the "data" or the WiFi services of your phone.

I don't know of any phone which allows to block the SMS service, so the only solution is to switch the airplane mode.

Buen Camino, Jacques-D
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
I also think this is the best alternative for those of us who are, shall we say, technologically challenged. The thought of changing SIM cards in and out of my phone just leaves me cold, so I bring two phones, just like what Maggie is planning to do. My iphone is just for wifi, so it's always in airplane mode. I also bring an ancient (2004) Spanish cell phone and put a new SIM card in it every year. It's not only for emergencies, I use it to call ahead for reservations if that seems prudent, and I also use it to keep in touch with others I've met along the Camino while I'm in Spain . So, maggie, there are at least two of us "dumb owners." Buen camino, Laurie
If you are capable of inserting a SIM card in your ancient Spanish cell phone, you are capable of installing one in a Verizon iPhone, just get a paper clip to exchange SIM cards, it's easier than sewing on a button.
 

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
Great, leeann. Now all that remains are two things:
1. Convince yourself and your close-ones that this is about YOUR camino. If your folks really care about you, they will let you do YOUR THING, tell them that 'no news' means 'good news'; free yourself of "being needed".
2. Enjoy your camino
Yes and no...my "thing" would be to not talk for the entire period and detach completely....so, I have to figure out compromises that make them feel at peace with a solitary female roaming the countryside in another country by herself. My family has experienced more than our share of unexpected tragedies in the last few years, so they are a little extra sensitive to wanting to be able to get in touch easily. However, I totally concur with your sentiment.
 
P

PANO

Guest
Yes and no...my "thing" would be to not talk for the entire period and detach completely....so, I have to figure out compromises that make them feel at peace with a solitary female roaming the countryside in another country by herself. My family has experienced more than our share of unexpected tragedies in the last few years, so they are a little extra sensitive to wanting to be able to get in touch easily. However, I totally concur with your sentiment.
Simple solution to keep your folks back home reassured and informed: Blog about your camino
Many relatives, neighbors,and friends want to know about your camino adventure, but you don't want to become a slave of your mobile, calling and getting calls all the time (and at unearthly hours)? Become a blogger and publish your diary; they'll love it!
Blogging is simple and easy, but needs a few preps before you leave for Spain. Google offers blog-services (www.blogger.com) but I find them not very user-friendly. The link http://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/ gives good guidance; browse for more, there are so many! (Blogging members of this forum may want to kick in their recommendations!)
The setting-up of a bloggers page takes a bit of learning and to someone with little or no experience I recommend to get help from a savvy youngster. Once the set-up is done, the daily blogging with your smartphone (using free WiFi connections) is simple and fun; you write a few sentences about what you did and add plenty of snapshots you took with your smartphone, with a few clicks its online. Keep your blogging-time down though, unless of course your ambition is to succeed Hemingway; your folks are mostly interested to see that you are well. Every of your postings will be notified to "subscribers" (you make a list of recipient's email addresses and they are advised automatically of your new blogs) After ending your camino, your blog will remain a treasured memory.
 

leeann31

First camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
September (2015)
Simple solution to keep your folks back home reassured and informed: Blog about your camino
Many relatives, neighbors,and friends want to know about your camino adventure, but you don't want to become a slave of your mobile, calling and getting calls all the time (and at unearthly hours)? Become a blogger and publish your diary; they'll love it!
Blogging is simple and easy, but needs a few preps before you leave for Spain. Google offers blog-services (www.blogger.com) but I find them not very user-friendly. The link http://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/ gives good guidance; browse for more, there are so many! (Blogging members of this forum may want to kick in their recommendations!)
The setting-up of a bloggers page takes a bit of learning and to someone with little or no experience I recommend to get help from a savvy youngster. Once the set-up is done, the daily blogging with your smartphone (using free WiFi connections) is simple and fun; you write a few sentences about what you did and add plenty of snapshots you took with your smartphone, with a few clicks its online. Keep your blogging-time down though, unless of course your ambition is to succeed Hemingway; your folks are mostly interested to see that you are well. Every of your postings will be notified to "subscribers" (you make a list of recipient's email addresses and they are advised automatically of your new blogs) After ending your camino, your blog will remain a treasured memory.
That's a good idea!
I also think you will find it funny to know that I am 31 and not technologically savvy...lol. ;):rolleyes: I just never have been much into technology, but I am learning the tricks I need for this trip. Thank you for your help!
 

Julie H

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 2015
I'm 15 days until my departure. I upgraded an old flip phone to a Smart phone (now it needs a smart owner!). For my journey, I will keep the Smart phone in Aeroplane mode and use it only for wifi (where available), but I am considering purchasing a cell phone at the airport in Madrid, to be used for any emergency. Does this seem logical ….or not? My latest book from the library is 'Android For Dummies'.
Oh boy,I hear ya' movinmaggie, my smart phone is way smarter than me!
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
You think we have it bad with US phone companies, Canadian carriers charge an unlock fee on top of the price of the phone, even if you have paid the subsidy off and the phone is out of contract. They used to lock their customers into a 36 month contract!
This is why I will only buy factory unlocked devices, just insert my SIM card and restore from a cloud backup, no need to pay an activation fee ever.
The Canadian government finally listened (a bit) to citizens and put legislation in place: now the Canadian carriers are only allowed to use two year contracts--and the customer can pay out the phone at any time during that contract. Before this, paying out incurred a huge fine. Talk about locking in a phone! BUT when the regulation came into play, the carriers upped their prices (and STILL won't unlock SIM cards unless their customers pay a $30-40 'unlocking fee'--even after paying $100s and $100s of dollars for the cell phone AND the service). We pay the highest cell phone rates on the planet, partly because our suppliers/carriers are three or four huge communications companies that monopolize the market. (The bigger centres have some smaller independent carriers but we in small cities or provinces are left with only the major ones. The Big Three companies buy out the smaller companies to maintain their market share.)
 
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dee bright

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016
OMG @movinmaggie. your new smartphone is all you need, OK? After arrival, buy yourself a local prepaid Sim card at the airport or on the way. It will provide you with basic emergency backing in case of need. (About €15 to 20 will do OK) Keep the phone in Airplane mode and use WiFi. You're set, buen camino.
Thanks for this info. I'm a bit techie-challenged and just need to have the specific suggestion of what to do! For example, I'm still ignorant about what I can and can't do with my phone while in airplane mode, and what I can and can't do with a Sim card!

If you're up for some further advice-giving, perhaps you can spell that out for me! It would be much appreciated!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Thanks for this info. I'm a bit techie-challenged and just need to have the specific suggestion of what to do! For example, I'm still ignorant about what I can and can't do with my phone while in airplane mode, and what I can and can't do with a Sim card!

If you're up for some further advice-giving, perhaps you can spell that out for me! It would be much appreciated!
If your smartphone is on airplane mode, you'll be dependent on when you are in a wifi area, and will have to wait until you get to a place with wifi, depending on what kind of device you have , you might be able to make wifi calls or SMS's, that again depends on what your home phone carrier allows.
Airplane mode= waiting until you get to wifi, may not be able to make calls or SMS's.

If you device is unlocked, you could buy a prepaid Spanish SIM card with data, you'll get a local Spanish phone number with free incoming calls, free incoming SMS's, even if there is no credit on the account, also they may have special calling deals for calling back home.
Using a prepaid Spanish SIM allows you to be able to use your device like you would at home with all the bells and whistles without fear of an astronomical phone bill from your home carrier.
Local prepaid Spanish SIM card with data= able to use your smartphone like you would at home.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
What can you do with your phone in airplane mode?
Enabling airplane mode always disables Wi-Fi. However, on most devices, you can enable Wi-Fi after enabling airplane mode. Cellular signals will still be blocked, but Wi-Fi will be working so you can connect to that in-flight Wi-Fi network. Some devices also allow you to enable Bluetooth when airplane mode is enabled.
 

dee bright

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016
If your smartphone is on airplane mode, you'll be dependent on when you are in a wifi area, and will have to wait until you get to a place with wifi, depending on what kind of device you have , you might be able to make wifi calls or SMS's, that again depends on what your home phone carrier allows.
Airplane mode= waiting until you get to wifi, may not be able to make calls or SMS's.

If you device is unlocked, you could buy a prepaid Spanish SIM card with data, you'll get a local Spanish phone number with free incoming calls, free incoming SMS's, even if there is no credit on the account, also they may have special calling deals for calling back home.
Using a prepaid Spanish SIM allows you to be able to use your device like you would at home with all the bells and whistles without fear of an astronomical phone bill from your home carrier.
Local prepaid Spanish SIM card with data= able to use your smartphone like you would at home.


Thanks SO much! Very helpful. I'm thinking a Sim card is the way I want to go! Thanks again!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I'm still ignorant about what I can and can't do with my phone while in airplane mode, and what I can and can't do with a Sim card!
Another thing to point out, that might be very obvious to most people but not immediately so to everyone, is that all of your email accounts (gmail, contacts, etc) and social media, and phone apps are stored in your phone's memory or on the internet. So they will still be functional as before, even if you put a new Spanish Sim card in your phone.
 

dee bright

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016
Another thing to point out, that might be very obvious to most people but not immediately so to everyone, is that all of your email accounts (gmail, contacts, etc) and social media, and phone apps are stored in your phone's memory or on the internet. So they will still be functional as before, even if you put a new Spanish Sim card in your phone.

Thanks! Good to know.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Thanks SO much! Very helpful. I'm thinking a Sim card is the way I want to go! Thanks again!
First, make sure your device is unlocked before you go to Spain. Contact your cell provider to make sure it is.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
First, make sure your device is unlocked before you go to Spain. Contact your cell provider to make sure it is.
bajaracer, IF I decide at last minute to take my Smartphone and purchase a sim card for it, rather than taking my old flip phone, the Nexus5 is sold unlocked, which is mainly the reason I chose it. I really don't expect to make or receive calls other than emergencies or cancelling a pre made reservation, which is why I was going to use the Nexus5 for wifi internet only. Seems easier...
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
bajaracer, IF I decide at last minute to take my Smartphone and purchase a sim card for it, rather than taking my old flip phone, the Nexus5 is sold unlocked, which is mainly the reason I chose it. I really don't expect to make or receive calls other than emergencies or cancelling a pre made reservation, which is why I was going to use the Nexus5 for wifi internet only. Seems easier...
The fact that your Nexus 5 is unlocked gives you the option to buy a prepaid SIM card with data, you don't have to buy a SIM card for your Nexus 5. Taking the flip phone is just one more item you have to keep track of.
If you were to get a Spanish SIM card with data for your Nexus 5, as long as you don't call or SMS anyone back home, no one will know your number and you can use your device (apps, internet, blogging) as you please most anywhere along the Camino.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
The fact that your Nexus 5 is unlocked gives you the option to buy a prepaid SIM card with data, you don't have to buy a SIM card for your Nexus 5. Taking the flip phone is just one more item you have to keep track of.
If you were to get a Spanish SIM card with data for your Nexus 5, as long as you don't call or SMS anyone back home, no one will know your number and you can use your device (apps, internet, blogging) as you please most anywhere along the Camino.
This is definitely food for thought. But just to clear my fuzzy brain a bit ; you are saying that I have the option to buy a prepaid SIM card with data (assuming you mean the Nexus5), but then you say I don't have to buy a SIM card for the Nexus5???
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
What does that mean, to have it "unlocked"?
Dee Bajaracer will explain this much better than I, but normally providers have a 90-day minimum wait before your phone can be unlocked (in order to put in another country's local SIM card). I just bought my phone, so I didn't have 90 days. I do believe there might be differences in the U.S. I am in Canada.
 

dee bright

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016
Dee Bajaracer will explain this much better than I, but normally providers have a 90-day minimum wait before your phone can be unlocked (in order to put in another country's local SIM card). I just bought my phone, so I didn't have 90 days. I do believe there might be differences in the U.S. I am in Canada.
Okay, I'll check it out. Thanks.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
What does that mean, to have it "unlocked"?
What Are Unlocked Mobile Phones?
Most new mobiles purchased on 'pay as you go' or contract from a mobile network brand will be locked to that particular network. In other words, only that network's SIM cards will work with the phone (different SIM cards from the same network are compatible in phones locked to that network), and the phone will be blocked from using SIM cards from other networks. Networks do this to keep hold of their customers and to discourage them from moving to other networks. In contrast, unlocked mobile phones are compatible with SIM cards from all of the different network providers. This means that all of the mobile's network-specific functions, such as making and receiving calls and text messages, using data services, etc., will be freely available to use.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
This is definitely food for thought. But just to clear my fuzzy brain a bit ; you are saying that I have the option to buy a prepaid SIM card with data (assuming you mean the Nexus5), but then you say I don't have to buy a SIM card for the Nexus5???
It's up to you how you want to use your Nexus 5, all I can say is it sure is nice to have inexpensive data on your Nexus 5 outside of a wifi area. Have you recently tried to send a SMS from an ancient flip phone lately? Not fun at all, since you are already familiar with what you own and use on a daily basis (Nexus5.) Wouldn't it be nice to just bring your Nexus 5 and buy a local SIM card for that device? You were planning on buying a SIM card for your ancient flip phone, might as well buy it and use it in your Nexus 5 instead. Changing SIM cards in a Nexus 5 is the same as an iPhone, I tape my home SIM card and removal tool (paper clip) to the back of an ID card and then switch back when I get on the plane to fly home.

Also, if you have to pay a fee to unlock your flip phone, that would cost you more than what the flip phone is worth, best to use that money to buy a SIM card instead. Most prepaid SIM cards with data are less than €20.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
How long is a local card for? If not ised for 11 months, isn't it likely to expire forcing you to buy a new one again?
 

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