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    Three mobile roaming in California

    Hello,
    I'll be driving in California between San Francisco and San Diego partly along the scenic coastal highway.
    I have Three mobile pay as you go sim which I plan to use for driving (using Google maps) as well as local calling (using WhatsApp).
    USA is a 'Feel at Home' destination.
    Am I better off getting a local sim?
    Any idea how the coverage will be?
    Thx for your time

    13 Comments

    three will use local providers
    And you will be able to make local calls via internet..

    The PCH is awesome just make sure you have plenty of music on your phone. Also make sure you stop off at Nitt Wit ridge in Cambria. You will be fine with a 3 sim. I use it every time I go to the states and have saved a fortune over the years. Its the man reason I stay with 3.

    Edited by: "Wadda" 14th Mar

    Used feel at home in southern cali last sept and coverage was very good , internet was slow but it did work.
    Whatsapp calling worked fine , facebook messenger wasnt that great if this helps.
    Edited by: "darksideby182" 13th Mar

    We holiday in Cali and Nevada every year and I've never had any problems with the three £25 fah sim. Usually what happens is you get either T-Mobile or at&t. T-mobile is dreadfully slow when using data so force your mobile to connect to at&t. If you do that you should get good service. Sometimes you'll go through black spots and the phone will roam to T-Mobile but that's few and far between. When back in coverage just manually select again.

    Don't bother with a local sim. You can pick up "track" phones which are similar to pay as you go but usually they are around $100 for a year; my dad lives in Florida and has one, it's fine but if you have a capable phone just get a three sim and take it with you. Best £25 I ever spent. We used to take a sat nav with us and whilst we still do as a back up we have never ever used it since three started this service a few years back.

    Original Poster

    thx all, time to top-up the Three sim!
    appreciate the time taken to reply!
    The suggestions for places are useful (keep them coming!). I'm travelling with young kids...repurposed some old phones as media players for the little critters to delay the 'are we there yet' whines

    Edited by: "playdumb" 14th Mar

    Get an app called 'MapsMe' that downloads the whole region map and works through GPS without data.

    used waze with a 3 sim in California no problems last year
    took a couple of flash drives full of music for use in the hire car
    Edited by: "mattmerch" 14th Mar

    Use Here sat nav on your phone you can download the California map to it then use it off line to save data charges.

    PCH is amazing sceanery. Theres loads of "vista points" to stop and take photos.

    Have you booked your hire car or hotels yet?
    Edited by: "Wadda" 14th Mar

    Wadda

    Use Here sat nav on your phone you can download the California map to it … Use Here sat nav on your phone you can download the California map to it then use it off line to save data charges. Have you booked your hire car or hotels yet?



    nice idea but for the sake of 25 quid you have access to google etc with out having to hunt round for wifi

    I normally sign up to whatever music service is doing a free trail or low price offer and download loads of music to my phone for the trip. In 2015 in California I drove 1168 miles in 7 days.

    Take a good USB car charger with you. most US cars have built in Bluetooth built in. A word of warning though its illegal to have a sat nav/ phone on the windscreen of the car. I use a magnetic vent mount for my phone. Like this ebay.co.uk/itm…895?var=&hash=item3d24fddc87:m:mSRjWqPdoknfa3u4podR2yQ
    If you order one order it for an LG sprit despite what phone you own there all the same just the price changes depending on the phone model you select. I have used one for the past year.


    Edited by: "Wadda" 14th Mar

    Original Poster

    Wadda

    Use Here sat nav on your phone you can download the California map to it … Use Here sat nav on your phone you can download the California map to it then use it off line to save data charges. PCH is amazing sceanery. Theres loads of "vista points" to stop and take photos. Have you booked your hire car or hotels yet?



    ​haven't booked any car or hotel rooms yet

    Arr/Dep is from Oakland.
    In true Hukd spirit staying with friends in the SFO Bay area, LA and San Diego who've foolishly (!?) agreed to host us for some nights, but suggestions welcome to stay on the way points.
    Hope all the rain and snow on the hills they've had over last 2 months will make the scenery that bit greener.

    Original Poster

    Forgot to add, I have downloaded CA maps for my regular MapFactor Navigator app, so the Google Maps navigation will be backup or more useful in the cities with the live traffic info

    I always use national or Alamo for car hire. They are actually the same company. They are both on quidco and have loads of depots in the USA. Everything is included in the price you see with no hidden extras or upsell. You get to pick the car you get with them not like every other company who allocate you a certain car. With Alcamo and National at the big location you get to choice from the class of car you have booked. they will be rows of them with various cars in them. I have been looking at mini vans for you as there used to be some with built in DVD players in the back for the kids but I don't think they have them any more.

    If you get chance look in to Nationals Emerald Aisle. Joining is free and it saves having to wait in line for paper work (They don't queue in the USA lol).

    The PCH does have some boring sections so make sure you have something to keep the kids occupied.
    Edited by: "Wadda" 14th Mar
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