I'm in the US and will soon be making my first overseas trip with personal electronics. I'll start by saying that I won't exactly be the tech-iest traveler on the flight. Last time I was airborne, the Twin Towers had not yet fallen. Yet even though I'm late to the party, I still need to work out a few basic no-fuss strategies so that I can stay connected while in the UK. As you read this, please assume that I'm not very familiar with much of the technology that you may regularly take for granted.
I have an unlocked iPhone 5S and my US carrier is AT&T. I'm sure that my carrier would be more than happy to set me up with an international roaming plan for some outrageous fee. So I'm looking at options.
Everyone tells me to "just get a sim card" when I arrive in the UK. Never having had an unlocked phone before, I wouldn't know where to begin. I've never even seen a sim card. How does one go about selecting a pay-as-you-go mobile plan that includes calling/text/data?
Assuming I sort this out, can I use my UK phone number to make local calls to my traveling companions who will also have US phones (yet may not be equipped with UK sim cards)? Or would that qualify as an international call, even if the person is located on the other side of London?
Then there is the matter of internet options for both mobile and laptop. Some sort of personal hotspot? Whatever it is, it can't be something that I need to struggle with for days just figuring out how to use and troubleshoot. It needs to be something that even a child can manage. I want to enjoy my trip, not spend most of it doing my own personal tech support gig.