I will be studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary and traveling throughout Eastern Europe for a couple months come fall. I was reaching out to talk about the most affordable way to use my iphone over there. Data is probably the most important thing to me as imessaging will be ok for text and I won't be doing too much calling, although it would be helpful to communicate with other student travelers.
I can't live without my iphone and it is a key tool when traveling. As a student, I cannot afford to pay for the data talk and text through Verizon while over there. I have heard that it may be possible to get a sim card once I am over there that will activate my phone for use in Eastern Europe. Is this true?
What company do I need to go with?
Can I use my phone cheaply throughout Europe or will it just be in Hungary?
I would ask whoever is hosting you in Hungary what the best provider is or wait until you get there to see what is available. I went to the UK, Germany and Switzerland in April and purchased prepaid sims (no contract) in 2 out of the 3 countries I visited for about $10-20 USD each. You will probably have to get a new SIM for each country you visit or pay for roaming, but depends on the provider. When you get back to the US, just put your Verizon sim back in. Unless you suspend service, you'll still have to pay for your regular Verizon service while you're abroad.
There are 3 big providers in Hungary: t-mobile.hu, telenor.hu and vodafone.hu. Their websites are working in English, too, so you could check them out before you actually get there. T-mobile and telenor definitely have pay-as-you or prepaid plans. I also know from experience that telenor's phone customer service also is available in English locally but I assume the other two have that, as well. If you want to use your Hungarian sim card anywhere else in Europe, you will pay for roaming but I don't know much about this piece to the picture. Enjoy your time in Budapest! It's a great place.