I travel often, so I've learned how to stay connected from anywhere with cell phone plans that are both reliable and flexible. And with my background in telecommunications, I've tested many mobile options to find the best balance of affordability, adaptability, and clear coverage.
In the mountain of available options, I found five carriers—including AT&T, the largest mobile service provider in the US—that stand out for frequent travelers. Let's explore them together to find the perfect plan for your wanderlust.
Our 5 Best Mobile Plans for Frequent Travelers at a Glance:
- Mint Mobile - Best mobile plan for frequent travelers overall
- Tello - Best for customizable low-data plans
- AT&T - Best for those who often visit Canada and Mexico
- Verizon - Best for users who prioritize network coverage and speed
- Boost Mobile - Best for travelers who prefer prepaid plans
1. Mint Mobile
Starting price - From $15/month
Network - T-Mobile
Plans - Prepaid
Mint Mobile is my top pick for people who travel a lot. It offers unlimited calls and texts in the US, and you can use your phone as a hotspot at no extra charge. The plan also includes free calls to Mexico and Canada, ideal for North American trips. Plus, you can make calls and send texts over Wi-Fi in areas with bad cell service.
Mint Mobile works with most unlocked phones and uses the T-Mobile network, so you get good coverage in multiple locations. It supports fast 4G LTE and 5G internet—perfect for using maps and watching videos. There's also a seven-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out without risk.
Why we chose Mint Mobile for frequent travelers:
- Options available for multiple lines
- Free Wi-Fi calling and texting
- Low international calling rates to 160+ countries
Starting price - From $5/month
Network - T-Mobile
Plans - Prepaid and custom plans
Tello is a practical and affordable option. Its no-contract plans mean you can change or stop your service without extra costs—which is excellent if you travel a lot. You can also tailor your talk, text, and data usage to your changing needs. This means you can save on your cell service choice by only paying for what you use.
Additionally, Tello operates a GSM network for faster internet speeds—essential for navigating new cities, staying in touch with loved ones, or handling work remotely. It also supports 5G in some areas. Plus, it uses eSIM (digital SIM card) technology, which, in my experience, makes it easier to get connected quickly.
Why we chose Tello for frequent travelers:
- Free calls to 60+ countries, including China, Mexico and India
- Provides an unlimited everything plan for $39/month
- No lock-in, administration, activation, or overage fees
» Which should you pick - Prepaid or postpaid?
Starting price - From $35/month
Network - AT&T Mobility
Plans - Unlimited talk, text and data
AT&T is a popular choice for travelers, serving over 85 million customers as of early 2023. If you're in the US, Canada, or Mexico, AT&T is handy because its plans include unlimited talk, text, and data in and between these countries.
Some of its packages also extend unlimited texting to over 200 nations. Others even come with free streaming services, which I often use while traveling. Plus, it has a large network, including international 5G coverage, so you'll likely get good service wherever you go.
Why we chose AT&T for frequent travelers:
- Covers 210+ international destinations
- Pay-per-use rates on traveling passes
- Available on select flights
» Don’t know your MVNO from your roaming? Here's a glossary of terms to know before deciding on a telecom.
Starting price - From $30/month
Network - Verizon
Plans - Prepaid and postpaid plans
Verizon has unlimited plans in 210+ countries—perfect for the high data demands of modern travel, whether it's for navigation, staying in touch, or entertainment on the go. Plus, with its international plans, you can use your phone like you do at home without worrying about extra charges.
The service uses a fast 5G Ultra Wideband network, so you can get things done quickly on your phone. But Verizon isn't just for phones; there are plans for tablets and smartwatches, too. It also offers discounts for military personnel, first responders, and teachers, making it a cost-effective choice for those eligible.
Why we chose Verizon for frequent travelers:
- 30GB hotspot allowance
- Multi-line discounts
- Includes roaming in Canada and Mexico
» Looking for something different? Here are the best Verizon alternatives.
5. Boost Mobile
Starting price - From $10/month
Network - T-Mobile and AT&T
Plans - Prepaid
Boost Mobile offers different plans to suit various traveling needs. The unlimited data plan with Todo Mexico can be especially beneficial if you frequently visit Mexico, ensuring uninterrupted service. This carrier also has yearly subscriptions, which are suitable for travelers who prefer a set-it-and-forget-it approach to their mobile services.
Boost Mobile's extensive network, which includes access to America's largest 5G networks, generally ensures dependable connectivity in most locations. From personal experience, I found Boost Mobile's quick shipping top-notch. However, I did notice some room for improvement in customer support during plan renewals.
Why we chose Boost Mobile for frequent travelers:
- Free SIM card with every plan purchase
- Offers unlimited data and 12GB mobile hotspot plans
- No roaming charges
8 Essential Mobile Tips and Tricks for the Connected Traveler
Through the years, with the development of mobile plan tech, I've learned a few essential tips to ensure seamless connectivity and avoid common pitfalls. There are a few things you can do to stay connected no matter where you go:
- International roaming: Always turn off data roaming to avoid high fees, and buy a data roaming package before leaving to manage costs effectively.
- eSIM support: Use an eSIM to switch between service providers without changing physical SIM cards. This is incredibly convenient if you're using multiple carriers at the same time.
- Data speed and limits: Always check your plan's data speed and limits before you travel to make sure you have enough coverage.
- Hotspot and tethering: If you get a generous data package, you can easily use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for internet access. To save money and data, opt for Wi-Fi whenever available.
- Coverage maps: Confirm with your service provider that you have coverage in the areas you travel to.
- Prepaid vs. postpaid: Choose a prepaid plan for flexibility and cost control, or pick a postpaid option for convenience and stronger network coverage.
- Customer support: Save your cell phone provider's customer support number in case you need to reach them while traveling.
- Device checks: Don't forget your charger and a multi-adapter for international sockets.
Work, Connect, or Surf on the Go
With the vast array of mobile plan options available, deciding which plan is right for you can be overwhelming. That's why I created this guide to help you make an informed decision about your next mobile plan, considering your individual needs and travel habits.
The carriers listed above provide an ideal mix of affordability, adaptability, and coverage. Coupled with essentials like managing international roaming, utilizing eSIM technology, and understanding data limits, these plans ensure seamless global connectivity.
Whether journeying across continents or cities, these insights and options empower travelers to stay connected effortlessly, blending the excitement of travel with the comfort of constant communication.
» Follow these 10 tips for choosing a good telecom provider.