Mobile Phones in France


Finding the right “mobile phone” in France” solution is one of the most vexing of issues for travellers in France, or in fact, anywhere overseas. While we don’t claim to be experts in this field, here are some of the lessons we’ve learned over the last 12 years of travelling to France.

WhatsApp: this is a great service. It’s free for voice/video calls and texts and relies on an Internet connection. So, if you connect via WiFi then it’s free.  Just download the app. 

TravelSIM:  we use this service regularly with moderate success. Calls from Australia to you are free, and rates for your call back to Oz are reasonably priced.

Pre-Paid SIM in France: we’ve seen variable success with this solution. However, it seems that if you  buy from a reputable store (eg Orange) and get them to configure the service for you on your phone, especially choosing the right language to interface with, then it can work out quite well.

Maps-with-Me: if you have a smartphone, this app is fantastic. You can get it free or pay around $5 for an improved version. It’s really good: first, you download the maps of your required countries or regions before you depart or from a WiFi location when you’re travelling. Then, you can access them WITHOUT having global roaming on – ie no access costs. It’s great to use when wandering around cities, and we’ve found it useful sometimes when our Sat Nav isn’t giving us the information we need.


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