From the title you already know that one of my favorite travel tools is Project Fi, the mobile service from Google. Here’s why.
For only $20 a month, the basic Project Fi plan gives you unlimited U.S. voice calling and texts, unlimited international texts, coverage in over 135 countries, and support for Wi-Fi tethering. That’s a ridiculously low rate. Data will run you $10 per gigabyte, and you only pay for what you use. If you don’t use any, you don’t pay for any. But that’s not the only reason it’s my favorite wireless service.
The reason I use Project Fi, and the reason I think it could become your preferred service as well if you often travel internationally, is that it provides the same cheap $10 per gigabyte data rate across 135 countries and destinations around the world. If I’m in the U.S., Canada, Spain, or the U.K, I pay $10 per GB of data used. If I’m in Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, or China, I pay $10 per GB. If I’m in Peru, Brazil, or Chile, you guessed it, I pay $10 per GB. If I’m in Australia, New Zealand, or Fiji… same same… All without international data roaming fees!
And since January 2018, I never pay more than $60 for data. If I use 6 GB of data in one month, it costs me $60. If I use 10 GB of data, I still only pay $60. And so on… Once I’ve used 6 GB, data is free for the rest of the billing cycle. Up until 6 GB, I pay the same $10/GB of data that I’ve paid in the past.
If you use more than 15 GB of data in a month (who does? If you do you might need to spend more time outside) you’ll experience slower data speeds. The industry calls that throttling. Once you reach 15 GB, you can opt out of slower data speeds by choosing to pay $10/GB for data above 15 GB. However, get this, video is never slowed down, so throttling should have little impact for most people.
Other benefits are that I get to keep the same phone number no matter where I travel. No matter where I am, my contacts can reach me by calling my regular phone number. And to help keep low costs and avoid long distance charges, I can use Google’s Hangouts over Wi-Fi to make and answer calls from my phone number.
Project Fi also makes it super simple to pause your service when you get home. So you only ever need to pay for service if you choose to us it only for travel. There are no early cancellation or suspension fees.
I started on Project Fi with a Nexus 5x, which I’d describe as adequate, but average. I recently took advantage of Google’s trade-in offer and upgraded to the Moto x4. I love it. Definitely more upscale. Beautiful screen, more than adequate dual lens camera, with a much faster processor, gives the phone an upscale look and feel. The only downside is that it’s super slippery. The glass back, which gives it a touch of luxury, offers little grip.
I could probably find better plans as I travel in some countries as I travel, but Project Fi makes it so I never have to spend time researching and work to find the best data plan in various countries. Project Fi is cheap enough and makes it easy and it’s one less thing to worry about. If I find myself in a country that isn’t supported by Project Fi, I can hope online, suspend my plan, and then use my same unlocked Moto x4 with a local SIM.
If you think this could be a great fit for you too, I have an offer for you. If you use my referral code, you will receive a $20 Project Fi credit when you sign up.