Will my phone work in Israel? Answer: it depends on your provider.
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T all provide service in Israel. If you are on another provider, ask them. We use Verizon’s international plan, which reproduces my regular plan in a multitude of countries. The cost is $10/day. We’ve been told the other provider’s plans are similar.
Your bus should have a free Wi-Fi hotspot that will allow you to be online. However, it will not provide the bandwidth that you likely have at home. Your hotels should also have free Wi-Fi, and again, don’t expect that service to be broadband. Additionally, many of the heavy tourist areas in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, including Ben Gurion Airport, provide free open Wi-Fi. Those three options give you the opportunity to update your social media accounts and use Wi-Fi communication tools like WhatsApp and FaceTime.
Local prepaid telephone service is available at the airport, but we do not recommend it for a few reasons. Perhaps the most important is that you will need to stand in line at the airport for the purchase, and the group will be loading the bus and departing as soon as possible. You don’t want the group waiting on you while you try to get your phone working.
Both iPhone and Android work in Israel. If you want to bring your phone service with you, contact your local provider today to see what options they provide. Don’t forget to verify the charges you will incur by using your phone service outside the United States.
If you take your smartphone to Israel, you will want to remember to:
1. Take charging cords.
2. Set your phone to airplane mode for flights.
3. Turn off updates.
4. Charge your phone every night.