Phone use in foreign countries. Get by with just wifi calling?


Senior Member
Planning a trip to Belize and wondering about cell coverage/use. My phone is from Cricket and unlocked - Samsung A32. Have wifi calling. Downloaded google map of the area. Thinking I may not really need to get a local SIM card. I am guessing I will have access to wifi to check in from time to time and with wifi calling both calls and texts should work. What am I missing? Any suggestions from others with experience with foreign travel? I plan on doing lots of other stuff and not doing much on the phone so limited access is fine. Might be good to have person to person communication when outside wifi coverage and have some FRS radios for that. Ham radio would work well but I doubt others in the group have their license. One of the people we are connecting to uses whatsapp so that should be good. I suppose local Belize phone numbers will be long distance and US numbers will be local when I am there so calling Belize numbers may be an issue but can probably handle most of that with email.
Got a Digi SIM for one of our phones. Two cell companies there, Digi and Smart, both owned by the same company but really still independent. I went with Digi as I had read they are the more common although both are big. Even though the country speaks English the details of their various plans was VERY confusing. They had a 1 week SIM plan but we needed 2 weeks. They said they had just the SIM plan for tourists but then couldn't set it up for some reason and that was at a Digi store not a reseller. They asked us if we were interested in data or calls and we said mostly data but also some calls. When we tried to call our friends that live there it said it wasn't allowed. Turns out our friends there had Smart and the plan didn't include calls to the other cell provider. Another $10 US payment added that and we were set. Our friends phones didn't work at their house but ours did so went we left we transferred our SIM to them and they converted to Digi. Numbers aren't portable there so they had to change their number. Lots of people there use whatsapp rather than phone calls so as long as you have a network connection you can do that. Best to set that up before you go - we didn't and so our whatsapp was linked to the Belize number. When we came back we changed it to our US number but not before one of our friends friends called and got us instead of who they expected. Lots of confusion but in the end it all worked out pretty well and it really helped being able to do local calls. Never used the FRS radios as we were never very far apart. We only got a SIM for one phone. It allowed hot spot so I could use wifi to get on without a public wifi hotspot but only used that a time or two and not all that useful. I did use some public hotspots where available which was quite a few places.