The mobile phone, called “cell phone” or “cell” in Quebec, is a travel tool that can be essential during your vacation, if only to make an important call.
In addition, if you have a “smartphone” or “smartphone”, you can also use it as a GPS and even surf the Internet to find information. Attention! However, you should use your mobile phone wisely to avoid a very high bill when you get home!
Here is a summary of useful information on using your laptop while travelling in Canada.
Prepaid phone cards (calling cards)
Calling cards can be a good solution if you want to call, without necessarily using your mobile phone.
There are a wide range of possibilities, from cards for international calls only to cards for calls to Canada only, etc. Check https://www.simoptions.com and learn further more information about calling SIM cards in Canada.
The procedure is easy! You dial the phone number on the back of the card from a landline (not a mobile phone), then listen to the recorded message and follow the instructions you will be given.
It is good to know that with each call, you are given your available balance in minutes.
Be careful, if you are calling from a phone booth you will be asked to insert a quarter or two for this to work and it will then be returned to you at the end of the call.
Depending on the card chosen, there may be a small connection fee and some cards offer up to 1,000 minutes for only $5! A real godsend!
You can usually easily get a calling card from a pharmacy, grocery store, gas station or what is called a “convenience store” here (a convenience store or a convenience store).
Internet and Wi-Fi
The best way to surf the Internet at low cost is to connect to a Wi-Fi network that is free most of the time.
The different types of accommodation often offer a free or paid connection, and some even have computers that you can use to “surf”.
Otherwise, public libraries often offer the service free of charge or, in some cities; you have the option of going to “cybercafés” where it will cost you about $5 an hour to access the Internet.
Internet access on your laptop
Connecting to the 3G/4G network is perhaps the worst mistake you could make while in Canada.
When you are here, billing will be done in terms of the amount of data exchanged and not in terms of connection time. So you could easily blow up your invoice by hundreds of euros quickly!
What should be done then? First of all, deactivate its 3G/4G connection as soon as you arrive at your destination since some updates are automatically done on our laptops, depending on the model, which means that you “surf” on the net without knowing it and that you pay a lot for it!
To have local network coverage and access to the Internet on your mobile phone at a lower cost (most of the time), you will need to get a SIM card (prepaid card) when you arrive in Canada, which you will simply have to insert inside your phone.
But, as a small precaution before the trip, you should check with your service provider in Europe to make sure that your phone is unlocked so that you can insert a SIM card once here.
You will also need to know how to insert a SIM card. For an iPhone, for example, you will need a small extraction key (provided with the SIM card) to help you remove the SIM card holder on the right side of the device and insert it. For other types of devices, you must turn off the phone, and then remove the back cover and battery before inserting the SIM card.
For the moment, these cards are available for phones only (not yet for tablets) and you can find them everywhere, such as in pharmacies (Jean Coutu, Uniprix, Pharmaprix, Brunet, etc.), in grocery stores (IGA, Metro, Loblaws, Maxi, etc.) and in telephone stores of major companies such as Bell, Rogers or Fido.
Before your stay here, it may be a good idea to browse the websites of the major companies listed above to check the different prepaid offers as some are paid per day and others by data limit. Take the time to choose your package carefully since some providers set a time limit, a date or sometimes both.
It is also a good idea to check the coverage of the provider’s network in the country and you can usually do this on the websites of the various telephone companies like Bell for instance.
Your mobile phone while travelling in Canada
First of all, it is good to know that you can travel here with your own laptop, as long as it is tri-band or quad-band and by choosing the “World” option.
The best thing to do is first check with your operator to find out if you can use your mobile phone (depending on the model) at your destination.
Enable the “international” option: If you have recently subscribed to a new contract, the option is usually activated automatically.
However, if it has been more than three years, you must contact your operator at least 48 hours before your departure to activate this free function.
Roaming: “Roaming” is actually an international agreement between the various operators that allows you, once at your destination, to automatically display the new network on your phone in a few minutes.
Once you arrive in Canada, you will receive an “SMS” from your operator in a very short time to offer you a “travel package” that could include an unlimited package on Internet consumption and telephone calls.
Unfortunately, this is often not the best option on the market.
Rates: It should be noted that each company offers different prices, which may vary from country to country. It is therefore ideal to check with your operator before departure to choose the best option.
Caution should be exercised when abroad as invoicing is done for both incoming and outgoing calls.