A common doubt from those who travel to New York City is about mobile plans for smartphones – how much it cost a basic plan with data and which is the best option. Because of that, I’ve decided to write a post to give you some tips that will help you to decide if it worths to buy a plan here. First, let’s check the plans, prices and the packages.
All this prices were founded on the companies websites and, like you can see it, all of them are basically the same – AT& T is a little bit expensive because offers more data. If you access the websites, you will see a lot of plans, but, remember: for those that are in the city temporarily, it is just possible to buy a prepaid plan, like those on the chart. The companies here has another plans – including just data, but it is for devices like tablets, not smartphones.
But, after all, what is the real need for a mobile plan in the city? It is up to you! If you need to be conected 24 hours per day by work reasons, fine. If is not your case, I would say that is possible to survive here without a 4G, because New York City has a lot of free wifi spots. Check my tips:
– Check if your hotel has free Wifi – some hotels charge you for access in the bedrooms, but offer free Wifi in common areas, like the hall.
– Plan your trip with a lot of details before you get here – include as much information as you can, like complete addresses and near subway stations.
– Download XX app – it is free! – it tells you subway lines, stations and directions and works offline.
– Remember: New York City has a lot of free wifi spots, like Starbucks (everywhere!), Panera Bread, Mc Donald’s, Best Buy, Macy’s, restaurants, Staten Island Ferry Station, parks, tourists places… just to name few ones.
– Give a try: don’t buy a smartphone plan in your first day here. If you do this, you will save $40, which is really good, right? If you really think that is necessary to have a 4G plan, then you can go to a store and buy it.
UPDATE: T-Mobile now offers the Tourist Plan, for tourists who are traveling in the USA! For $30 – with SIM card included – you are get 2Gb of data, domestic and international calls and text messages. The plan lasts three weeks. You can buy it at any T-Mobile store. See more details here.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.