Australian SIM card- 5 reasons to buy before arriving

If like myself, you are due to travel down under for a working holiday you may want to think about purchasing an Australian SIM card before you arrive. As long as your phone is unlocked, once that little baby is safely nestled inside, you are ready to take on the world….well Australia at least!


Here are the 5 reasons why I made the decision to do so:

1) You can give your number out before you go

call me

This is fairly self explanatory. You will want to keep in touch with friends and family whilst you are away and if they already have your number stored in their phone it will make things easier. If you send a message via Whatsapp, or call via Viber (both of which are free) they will be more likely to answer or respond, and not be worrying that you are a call centre from abroad trying to sell them something! If your parents/family aren’t that up to date with technology, it relieves the stress of trying to understand how to put in unfamiliar area codes, as your number is already safe in their phone book. If there was (and I really hope not) an emergency at home, there is no faffing around trying to contact you.

2) It may help you to get a job more quickly


Which can only be a good thing right!? If you are planning on working whilst you are in Australia, it would be a great idea to make your C.V. ready for Australian employers before leaving. Apart from breaking up your experience into different documents e.g. one C.V. for hospitality, one for shop work and customer services, you will want to put up to date contact details on there, so any potential employers can call you. If you have to wait until you are in Australia to put your new phone number on your C.V. this could delay the whole process. You don’t know what the WiFi will be like at your accommodation, or where you will be able to print your documents, and it make take a few days to have them ready to give out to employers. If you can edit your number before leaving, you can have a few C.V’s already printed to give out. You never know who you will meet, or when an opportunity will arise!

3) You can buy credit before you go

My friend and travel buddy is already in Perth at the moment and has an Aussie number, which I’ve been contacting her on via Whatsapp. If I need to call her for some reason on arrival, I will have the peace of mind knowing that all I have to do is turn my phone on and find her in my contacts. If you are being picked up by someone from the airport and can’t find them, need to call a taxi, or notify your accommodation that you will be checking in later than planned (due to a delay), this will cut down your stress considerably, as you won’t be looking for somewhere to top up. You will also be able to check something online if you need to, such as an address or google maps. The company I’m with Amaysim (Optus) allows your credit to last 90 days. I will buy my credit the day before I fly. If you take out a data bundle on their pay and go option it only lasts for 30 days, so definitely don’t purchase this too far in advance or you may lose it, if you don’t use it all. **please note that according to their website the data bundle is not suitable for the Northern Territories**

4) Bank Card Fraud

card fraud

Hopefully if you have read some of my other posts (such as this one) you will have already notified your bank that you will be travelling, where you are going and when. If you are able to give them a number to contact you on, it may save you a massive headache further down the line if they have any concerns over fraud, and believe your card has been stolen. You don’t want them blocking your account because they can’t contact you!

5) It may save you money

bank accounts organisation

I hate trying to work out how to get the best deal through phone companies. It takes time and research, to truly know you aren’t being scammed. If you arrive in Australia and walk into a phone shop, you are quite obviously not going to sound like a local. Sales people are usually very good at convincing others that they need a specific product (usually the most expensive), and if you don’t know the area and the companies, it’s much easier to fall for their pitch.

Picture it now…it’s a hot day and you have been battling jet lag from the very moment that you opened your eyes. Its been a busy and fairly long day trying to sort out all the basics. You’ve been to the bank, applied for your tax file number online, been to the medicare office and your last job before a well earned drink, is to sort out a SIM card for your phone. Tired, hot, hungry and by now just wanting to get out of the CBD. Are you more likely to make a quick decision about a network provider and a price plan then, or from the comfort of your own home?

I now know from research that I’ve done at home, that there are 3 main telecommunications providers in Australia (the smaller ones go through these 3), Vodafone, Optus and Telstra. I have also found out through reading forums that although often slightly more expensive, Telstra has a better network coverage and is the only provider likely to give you any coverage in the outback. This is information that I would not have had if I just walked into one of the shops, and even if I found that out there and then, I may not have believed that it wasn’t just sales patter.

For the observant among you, you will notice that Amaysim that I purchased goes through Optus NOT telstra which I have just said is the best overall provider. Gold star to any of you that noticed! I got this SIM because it was only £5 and posted to my home within 48 hours of ordering through Simcardguru, who offer various SIM cards from around the world. I can then top up as much or as little as I like before I go. The charges on the pay as you go plan are fair and I will assess the coverage when I’m in Perth. I plan on sticking to this SIM (if the coverage is ok) until I move on from Perth, when I aim to get a new Telstra SIM. It just allows me some breathing space, so I’m not jumping into the first deal I see because I NEED an Aussie SIM there and then.

If you also purchase an Amaysim before leaving, find out how to activate it here.

I hope this has been useful and if you have any tips or comments, please feel free to share them below,

Hannah x

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About The Author


Creative unicorn ninja; Travel vlogger/blogger. Green tea enthusiast and lover of dance and art. Currently be found back in England planning the next adventure! Southeast Asia Odyssey coming very soon!

Where I can be found: UK

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