How to Stay Connected in Iceland



Being in a well-connected day and age is a blessing and curse. Being a food and travel blogger is the same. I know there are people out there that are swear by the “disconnect on vacation” motto but then there are ones like Jason and I that have a desire to stay connected on vacation. Does this mean we stay connected to work emails and do business? No. I set up an out of office for that very reason and I don’t respond to emails or comments until we’re completely done and winding down for the night at our hotel or I just wait until I return from my trip to do that.

In any case, I know there are those out there that will appreciate this post!

When I traveled previously, I didn’t have an unlocked phone so I had to always get a TEP Wireless device. It worked great but it’s still way more expensive than getting a local SIM card. This time around, I was able to bring my iPhone internationally because it’s unlocked. The below only works if you have an unlocked device. Meaning, your wireless carrier has unlocked it so you don’t have a carrier lock on it.

Whatever you do, don’t buy your carrier’s international data plan. It’s a load of BS. It’s overly expensive and will probably barely work (we did this for Turks and Caicos and it was horrible). Get a SIM card from the country you are going to. Do some research and find the best cell carriers in that country and find out how to get a SIM card.

For Iceland, Simmin is their largest carrier. It has the most coverage and obtaining a SIM card was very easy. From the airport, grab your bags from baggage claim and EXIT to the arrivals area. Don’t go into that duty free shop that’s in baggage claim and ignore those signs in baggage claim that tell you about XYZ from some cell phone company. Just grab your bags and go. From there, to your right, you will see a 24/7 store. Go in and ask for a Simmin SIM card. They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. You pay for it and leave with the above package.

Next, pop out the SIM card (most phones now use the nano SIM) and swap your current SIM card out for the Simmin one. Don’t throw your original SIM card away because you’ll need it when you get back in the States! Once you’ve popped the Simmin SIM card into your phone, if it is unlocked (which, it should be because otherwise you’re wasting money following these steps haha), it should immediately activate and you should be on the Simmin network. Yay! Note: Jason had an issue where it showed that he had service but when he went to actually use his phone, it kept saying he didn’t have data or whatever. All we had to do was go into settings and reset his network settings and it worked :) DON’T reset your entire phone or wipe it. Just reset your network settings and restart your phone :)

First thing after you have service, go to Simmin’s website. Then top off your card with 5GB of data (in the section where it has a PINK data globe). You don’t need voice. You can use apps like Viber or Skype to make free calls. That’s it! ~$18 USD gets you 5GB of data for the entire week or more that you’re there. Perfect for all your social media sharing ;)


Posted on June 19, 2016

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  1. mani encer
    06/19/2016 at 11:46 am

    wow this is very helpful :)

  2. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain
    06/20/2016 at 9:39 am

    So genius!! Definitely using this when we head to Germany in the fall!

  3. Maria
    06/20/2016 at 10:32 am

    Great tip!

  4. Lauren Humble
    10/27/2016 at 4:03 am

    Fantastic advice! I’ve got a quick question-
    My phone did the same thing Jason’s did, and I went through the same process (resetting network settings) and now it’s working perfectly!
    What will I do when I head back home with my old SIM card? Should I pop the Icelandic one out and the new one back in, and then reset Network Settings again?

    • Julie
      10/27/2016 at 8:22 am

      Yup, when you head back home, just pop out the Icelandic one and pop in your American one. You shouldn’t have to reset network settings – it should just pick it up but if it’s not, reset network settings and it’ll be fine again!

  5. Stef
    03/02/2017 at 5:44 pm

    I’m sure I’m overthinking this, but I’ve got a question, how do you get to the Simmin website to get the 5GB of data? Don’t you need data to get to the website?

    • Julie
      03/02/2017 at 8:05 pm

      The Simmin card comes default with like 500MB (I truly don’t remember) of data so it’s enough to get to the site to fill up!

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