Here’s Why Having A SIM card is Important When Traveling to the UK

Here’s Why Having A SIM card is Important When Traveling to the UK

Written by Alison Lurie, In Travel, Published On
February 7, 2023
Last modified on November 20th, 2023

SIM cards in the United Kingdom are different from those in other countries. Using a SIM card in the UK, your phone must be network unlocked. This means that it is not tied to any carrier and can be used with any GSM provider. Once your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM card from any number of providers. These SIM cards will give you a UK phone number and allow you to make and receive calls and texts within the UK.

If you plan to travel to the United Kingdom, purchasing a pay-as-you-go SIM card in the UK in advance is advisable. This will allow you to have a UK phone number before you arrive and save you the hassle of finding an unlocked phone once you’re there. Insert the SIM card into your phone and add minutes as needed.

Why Having A SIM card is Important When Traveling to the UK

There are many reasons that you should consider buying a SIM card while you’re in the UK –


You’re going on a trip. You want to stay in touch with friends and family, but you also want to have some fun too. How can you do this? By using your mobile internet!

The best thing about travelling is that there are so many things for people to experience when visiting new places worldwide. From museums to restaurants and hotels, there are endless possibilities for travellers wishing to see everything their destination offers. But one of the essential aspects of travelling is being able to find these places without having any difficulties while doing so.

Buy a SIM card before you arrive.

To prepare for your trip, you can buy a SIM card before arriving. The post office or high street shop is the most likely place to find one of these.

You’ll also be able to buy one as soon as you land in the UK at an airport kiosk or gift shop. Most airlines have SIM cards for sale too, so if you forget to pick one up beforehand, there’s always another chance when it comes time for boarding!

The last option would be to purchase a SIM card after arriving in the UK via the internet from home or wherever else previously mentioned. This way is best suited if we’re talking about long-term travel where roaming data plans are no longer necessary because they’ve already been paid off by local service providers (like Tesco Mobile).

Buying a SIM card at the airport

There are a few different ways to do this. Buying a SIM card in advance is the best option, but if you’re visiting and don’t have time to wait around for shipping, you can get a SIM card at the airport.

The price of the SIM cards at the airport varies from store to store and carrier to carrier but usually costs between £10-£20 for data-only plans or £35-£50 for 2 GB + unlimited calls/texts plans.

If you already have a SIM card from another country, such as Australia or Canada, then these should work in London without any issues since they use GSM networks which are common worldwide.

If you buy a SIM card at the airport, tether it to your laptop or tablet to have uninterrupted internet and phone access. If you’re going to the UK, get an O2 SIM card and buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card for £10 or less when you’re in the states (i.e., before you go) — otherwise, don’t bother buying one there because it’ll be too expensive!

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