This summer as I prepared to head out on a 9800 KM road trip, my biggest concern was how I was going to pay my cell phone bill. I don’t have GPS in my car and I knew I would be using Google Maps. I was contacted by a company called Telaway who offered a great solution. Not long after I returned from my trip and wrote the Telaway review, I was contacted by a Canadian company Roam Mobility Canada about giving their services a try. I love supporting the home team and agreed to a free trial with Roam Mobility Canada in exchange for this honest review. In all honesty, I loved it. Here’s the facts you need to know about Roam Mobility Canada.
Its Fast to Sign Up
One thing I loved about Roam Mobility Canada is that they contacted me the day before I was leaving for Ohio. Never being one to plan ahead, I had completely forgotten to do anything about bringing a cell phone with me. I was headed to Cedar Point and knew I would be using my phone quite a bit for social media and general communications.
I was slightly panicked about telling Roam Mobility Canada I was leaving the next day. Their response was simple, I could go buy a SIM card at any authorized retailer. That sounded like a lot of work and I immediately felt post-traumatic stress from the last time I had to visit the Apple store. Roam Mobility Canada assured me it was a lot simpler. On their site, you can follow this link to authorized retailers and enter your postal code for a map of those surrounding you. The closest retailer to my house was 100 feet away with 61 retailers in the immediate vicinity.
I grabbed the kids and out the door we went to the local cell phone store. The clerk immediately set me up with a SIM card and I was back home before I knew it.
How it Works
Once you get your SIM card home, you need to activate your card online. This takes even less time than getting the SIM Card. I entered my email, a payment method (VISA in my case) and within minutes I had my own U.S. phone number. The amazing part is that the U.S. number is now attached to my SIM card and will not change in the future. A lot of my contacts have this number as my second number and know to use it when I am in the United States. Another great thing about knowing the number before hand is that with the Roam Mobility service I was able to forward my Canadian number to my U.S. number and not miss any calls.
One thing that worries me about roaming charges is I never know how much I am going to be charged. I fret about it while on vacation and then don’t even want to open the email from Rogers with my cell phone bill. What I like about the Roam Mobility plans is you choose a data, talk and text or unlimited plan before even arriving in the US. I chose a plan that cost $3.95 Canadian a day and it included nationwide talk, global text, 2G data, global MMS, long distance calls to Canada and 400 MB 4G LTE Data per day. The three day weekend in Ohio cost $12.
When I am testing cell phone plans and data, I like to really run the data. In Cedar Point, I stayed at a hotel with very limited wi-fi. For up to 5 hours a day, I actually ran my laptop off the data plan on the phone. The rest of the time I was in the park on Twitter and Instagram. I didn’t once get a warning that I was running out of data.
Upon returning to Canada, I swapped up my SIM cards and put my Roam Mobility card away for safekeeping.
Los Angeles and California
Not long after this trip, I was lucky enough to travel to Los Angeles and Yosemite National Park. Before heading out on the trip, I checked in with Roam Mobility and they told me to make sure that the areas I was traveling to would have cell service. I tried to imagine my life without cell phone service and immediately headed back to the Roam Mobility Canada website. A cool feature of their site is the coverage map that tells you exactly what coverage you will have where you are traveling. All looked good in L.A. but Yosemite was a dead zone. I contacted the PR company I was traveling with and they broke the news to me that no one has cell phone coverage in Yosemite.
The trip to L.A. was again non-eventful and full of me making tons of calls and using lots data. There were no surprise charges, no running out of data and no dropped calls or areas without reception. I travelled with a friend on a major American network and while heading in and out of the National Parks we had virtually the same amount of service. A few times in Yosemite we were able to climb high enough mountains that we actually both got service for a limited amount of time. We checked out the view and our emails.
Why I Love Roam Mobility
Besides the fact that it is a Canadian company, I also love Roam Mobility Canada for the ease of use. While traveling, I didn’t worry that one phone call from the top of a mountain would cost the same as a great dinner or cool souvenir for my kids. I also loved that I could select the exact days I needed service, so when I was deep in the woods I didn’t need to bother paying for that day.
A huge relief with Roam Mobility Canada is that the service changes with your travel plans. Need to stay an extra day? Visit the site and add the day to your account. You can also do so by simply texting the company. I loved not having to sign up for an entire month and knowing that instead I was only paying for the days I needed the service.
As a non-planner, it is also a huge relief to own the SIM card and number. I store the card in an old Kinder Egg container with my passport and know that I can rely on it for any U.S. vacation. This takes a huge amount of stress out of trip planning for me. I can also use the SIM card in my iPad which I love.
Canadians on the Go
The company not only offers short term plans but plans for snowbirds. A dream title I hope to attain some day soon.