No cell service in Ireland, no problem

I get asked quite a bit about SIM cards and keeping in contact while travelling, and truth be told, I have never gotten an international sim card. Usually when travelling we use wi-fi to keep in touch and make reservations. I know people feel like they need a phone number for someone to call, but let me be the first (or 50th) to tell you that’s just not the way it is anymore.  There are so many methods that people and businesses use to keep in touch that if you have Wi-Fi you are set to go.

wifi on bus
In the back of the bus enjoying the Wi-Fi

We personally travel with our phones using apps like Skype, Heytell, and Whatsapp to keep in contact with our family.  My favorite it Heytell because it’s like a walkie talkie that you can put on any device whether it has cell service or not. Contacting businesses is also done without cell service using email and Facebook messenger to make reservations and ask questions.  But those are apps and you can only use them at the hotel…right? Well that depends on where you are at. When we went to Italy, McDonald’s, Starbucks and the hotels were the only places we found wi-fi, but in Ireland EVERYWHERE has wi-fi.  We were hard pressed to find any place that didn’t have it available. Doolin Cave in the middle of nowhere…yep has wi-fi, Cliffs of the Moher visitor center….yep that one does too. Guinness Storehouse…definitely that one, buses…yep. Every pub, restaurant, or cafe in Dublin…oh yeah they all have it too. In fact I would say that it’s almost impossible to find a place without wi-fi.

Getting a Sim card while travelling is always about personal preference, but if you are heading to Ireland anytime soon, I would forgo that expense and buy another glass of Guinness instead.  However if you do decide you need one, the SIM card machines are waiting for you at the airport.



  1. I used an international SIM when I went to Denmark this year… but sometimes it’s honestly nice to be disconnected, even if it’s only between WiFi zones. 🙂

    1. Yep! That was one of the best things about just doing Wi-Fi. Having a moment to disconnect and just have a breather from all the technology!

  2. I’ve never used an international SIM card while travelling, and I travel quite often. There’s wifi almost everywhere nowadays, so contacting my friends and family via Messenger, iMessage, Whatsapp, etc. is really easy. 🙂

  3. Love this! Just tweeted it too 😉 I actually thought we were below the bar on the amount of wi-fi availability but apparently not when I really think about it – thanks for boosting Ireland! Are you travelling all through Ireland and/or Northern Ireland?

    1. We have only traveled in Ireland, however I am heading back this year for a trip to Northern Ireland (although I really wanted to see it while we were there in November, the Irish countryside caught my attention and I couldn’t see to pull myself away from it long enough to move up north). In the U.S. we are definitely below the bar on Wi-Fi availability, nothing compared to Ireland! I can’t wait to visit more of the beautiful countryside in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Have you visited the Aran Islands?

    1. We almost bought a sim card in Italy because the Wi-Fi was a bit more sporadic, but we survived just using the Wi-Fi and I am happy we did. They aren’t expensive, but hey that’s a full breakfast or a few beers depending on where you are at!

  4. Such a good idea! I agree with you, it is easier to use WiFi I find than getting a whole new Sim. I like the sound of Heytell too will check that out! 🙂

  5. Wifi is so necessary as a blogger… I rely on it so much, I think it may be unhealthy! This is a great resource, thank you

  6. What was your experience using navigation tools like Google maps or Waze for directions? Was there enough wifi for that to work as well, or did you rely on something else?

    1. I use an app called Sygic when we travel. I can download the country’s map before I leave and it relies solely on gps no internet/WiFi needed. I do use Google maps in the States but haven’t tried it out of country yet.

Leave a Reply