If you want to use your smartphone abroad, the easiest way to do so is to pay your carrier an international roaming fee.* By doing so, you will be able to use your phone number and won’t have to deal with the hassle of installing a foreign SIM card. Using a foreign SIM card is a cheaper alternative, and is not difficult to set up if you prepare by doing the following:
■ Unlock your phone. Your phone must be unlocked to work with foreign SIM cards. Many newer smartphones come unlocked by default, but you should call your carrier to confirm that your device will work with other wireless carriers.
■ Order a foreign SIM card in advance. Often, you can buy a SIM card at the airport or a local cellphone store when you arrive in Paris, but we recommend that you purchase a SIM card online and have it shipped to your home before you travel.
■ Download important apps and maps ahead of time. Wi-Fi is readily available in Paris and most major French cities. If you have a favorite app or prefer having your own maps, download them before you arrive for convenience.
■ It may be helpful for you to print out a backup list of login codes to carry with you.
*Thanks to the NYT Personal Tech column for some of these helpful hints!