What makes the iPhone XS the best iPhone for international travel is simple: the XS comes with dual-SIM capability. The SIM card is the chip in your cellphone that identifies the phone as yours and allows you to make calls and send text messages. Typically, iPhones have one SIM. The new model will allow you to have two.
For international travel, this is especially important. Sure, you can just pull out your US SIM card and store it while you use a local SIM card, but that means that you won’t be able to receive any phone calls or messages on that number while out of the country and that you will need to keep track of that SIM while you are gone (not always easy).
For all regions outside of China, the iPhone XS models will come with one eSIM […] and one traditional SIM card. For the eSIM, you can activate that on your chosen carrier in your country (like in the US) and then pop a different physical SIM card in the slot for a second phone number and plan.
Apple is always inventive—but for frequent international travelers, the iPhone XS really changed the game.
An alternative to getting a brand-spanking-new $1,499 cellphone to facilitate your communication when you’re abroad is to use an app. You’re probably already familiar with the apps for Skype and Facetime, but USA Today has some other suggestions for keeping in-touch abroad:
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WhatsApp is probably the most popular app right now among people in Europe for free calls, with over 1 billion global users on the service. Like Skype, the app works when your friends are there. Recently WhatsApp expanded beyond basic free calls and messages to copy communications app Snapchat with a similar “Story” feature that lets members show off collections of photos and videos.
The Line app dominates in Asia, but it’s starting to make inroads here in the U.S. with a delicious offer: free international calls to land lines as long as you watch a 15 second ad first. App to app calls don’t require the ads. Give it a try: it’s the most colorful and fun of the free phone apps, best known for introducing “stickers,” to instant messages to pretty up your texts, from the likes of Pokemon and Mickey Mouse, to Dragon Ball and Star Wars. Most are available for sale starting at 99 cents.