Paris Skyline from Notre Dame header

Cell Phone Service in Paris… I wish we’d had it

We’ve become aficionados when it comes to traveling without technology and instant communication, which is funny because when we’re at home we’re connected so easily.  Being in the grand blogosphere we’re told about all kinds of programs and services as they’re made available to travelers; some are awesome and some we forget that we were ever approached.  Insidr shared the details of a cell program with us and we do feel that this one is worth sharing.  Insidr is a business that will outfit a traveler with cell phone service in Paris at anytime and anywhere in the city.  Cell phone service in Paris would’ve been nice last time we were there…

Chris Taylor on cell phone in Jardin du Luxembourg 1So, here’s the scoop and we’ll share some stories to validate why we’re sharing Insidr with you.  Cell phone service in Paris is invaluable if you’ve ever been wandering the city late at night or if you’re traveling with kids and trekked across the city and are confused.  Or if you’re traveling with friends and you’re easily distracted and get separated or lost.  Or if you’ve had some wine, and since you’re in Paris, you’ve no doubt had some wine.

 

How cell phone service in Paris would’ve helped us

Latin Quarter Paris at Dusk 2traveldads.comPicture it:  Chris and I wandering through the Latin Quarter like any other tourists and we need food, and there’s food everywhere, but we happen into… of all things… a Mexican restaurant in Paris.  Yeah, I don’t know what we were thinking, but gosh it would’ve been nice to either speak more French or have cell phone service and figure out a good way to have an authentic dinner in Paris.  Let’s just say that crepes in the street saved that night.  

We had our cell phones from the USA with us, but we didn’t get the international cards to make it so we could use them.  Insidr would’ve helped us on many occasions, particularly this in the one moment, as it’s both good for calling and data coverage.  And the real-time help they offer that connects you with a local.  That would’ve been nice for that one time that we dined in error.  Wah wahh.

Another fun story:  me and a friend had ventured across town to the Montparnasse cemetery and somehow got all turned around and couldn’t find a Metro station.  Eventually we did and got back to our significant others (they’d been working earlier) to find that they’d already found a place to eat and had enjoyed a wonderful Parisian happy hour without us.  Our loss.  Sadface.  And I’m still bitter about it.

Tip:  if you’re going to split up a group, make an easy to remember plan for meeting back up, and be understanding if people are a little late returning.

Why else is Insidr cool?

Something we learned about Paris is that there are certain hangouts that are great for long hours of relaxing, blending in and playing Parisian and then there are places where the tourists go.  Both are awesome.  Something Insidr offers beyond cell phone service in Paris is actual local guides or suggestions for dining, meaning real-time Paris residents to give you advice or instructions.  They also partner with a few different Paris-specific apps to help a visitor see sights and eat food just like everybody wants to do in Paris.  

Funny fact:  when you don’t know what to eat because you’re in Paris, you naturally resort to crepes.  That doesn’t have to happen, but it’s okay if it does.  Crepes and Indian food are awesome in Paris.  Ask for a recommendation for where to get the best of the best.

Chris Taylor and Friends in Disneyland Paris 1The other thing that we would have appreciated last time we were in Paris would have been some sort of local friend.  True, we had friends that worked for Disney so we got their aid and tips for getting to and doing Disneyland Paris, but that would’ve been helpful when we were playing tourist in the actual city.  Insidr offers that connection if you have gotten their cell phone service in Paris.  There are other guide services in other cities like this that seem pretty cool to use, so having it in Paris (almost as confusing as Venice) would be great.

Chris and Rob Taylor in Disneyland Paris 1I think the best thing about being able to have cell phone service in Paris would be to feel connected to the rest of your family or traveling companions like you would at home.  We are pretty well past feeling the need to check in continually with each other, but we also haven’t been through Europe with kids.  I know that we’ll have a new-found need for this as the kids grow older and we go to more and more unusual places, or seek our more interesting sights.

Oh, and we also would have appreciated data coverage or a handy guide when we went to Louvre.  We had fun, sure.  We saw loads of incredible art, sure… but we spent a long time wandering.  Had we planned better or talked to ANYONE we could’ve had a better experience.

Insidr is ideal for family travelers

Eiffel Tower from Pont Alexandre 3Thankfully we rarely split up when traveling, but when we do, we’re really clear about our plans and meeting up (actually thanks to being lost and separated in Paris we’re good at this).  Insidr has been created by a brother/sister team that understands family travel, the need to be connected to one another, and having the best and most worthwhile, authentic experience.  Paris with helpful technology AND helpful people making the experience even better… that sounds amazing.  

One last story:  picture us being full of energy and planning a day at the Louvre and then a gingerly evening stroll.  Not so much.  We learned quickly that wandering the Louvre on our own without a plan sucked our energy away, and then came our only travel struggle/quarrel ever:  finding lunch.  I just imagine that having a local help us with both aspects would’ve made that day much better.  I’d be all up for a redo on that one, and I think Chris would too.

 

When we roamed around Paris we got lost & separated a few times. If we'd had cell phone service in Paris we would've had a bit more fun. Insidr is for that. 2traveldads.comTo recap why we chose to share all of this: a tool like Insidr and having actual cell phone service in Paris with a collection of helpers at your fingertips would make family travel in one of the coolest cities much easier and less daunting.  We’ll be back in Paris soon enough and will be in touch with Insidr to be sure to try out the service.  

If you’re in the City of Lights sooner than us and have the opportunity to try it, please let us know what your experience is like.  Hopefully you’ll be spared wandering solo and missing dinner because you’ve got a handy tool.

 

This article was suggested by Insidr’s creators but the opinions, ideas and logical advice behind it is all from us.  We look forward to using Insidr to get data and cell phone service in Paris when we’re there next with the kids!

12 Comments

  • mark

    Sounds like an idea that a Parisian startup would come up with. Great for people who are not switched on with phones etc. I would have to think though if people took the time to research something like this they could take the time to research how to use their own phone oversea’s ? thought

    April 1, 2016 at 7:23 pm
  • Cynthia

    I get you! We only have one phone so we constantly have to make sure we don’t loose one another 🙂 We were lucky to be accommodated by couchsurfers. They told us where to go, what to do. We also started to approach locals for directions which helped us a lot. We’ve find a lot of advantages of disconnecting but I can imagine that by connecting to the internet, you also find a lot of hidden treasures. But by the end of the day, we looked as tired and hungry like you both did on the photos 🙂

    April 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm
  • Voyager

    Good cell connectivity is a boon for us travelers, I remember a night in Hong Kong late last year when, thanks to the WI-FI freely available in most public places and our cell phones, we were literally guided to a restaurant of our choice, saving a lot of walking around.

    April 2, 2016 at 11:31 pm
  • nonsoloamore

    Have you ever visited Germany? You will get crazy here. The Germans are very fast forward but when it comes to internet connections you are totally lost. The only possibility is Starbucks or McDonalds. It really seems like being 10 years behind…. I’m that kind of person that get’s really stressed about not having a good connections. I couldn’t believe that in a park like Disneyland there was NO Wifi at all. But as I said. I should be used to it – especially because I live in Germany…

    April 3, 2016 at 2:50 am
  • Christina

    I always try to buy an overseas package when we are on vacation for all the reasons you mention! There is just so much data that is normally available at one’s fingertips that it is very hard for me to give it up when on vacation- when it can be really valuable. However, it sounds like Insidr provides more! I like the idea of having access to local guides and local knowledge when it comes to food. Thanks for sharing. Will bookmark this info for when we go to Paris again!

    April 3, 2016 at 6:58 pm
  • Patricia - Ze Wandering Frogs

    That’s a cool service, and yes, we are all so accustomed to 24/7 connection than being without is like not having air to breathe! Oh, and it’s always crepe-time in our world, just after our cheese and baguette 🙂

    April 4, 2016 at 1:38 pm
  • Ami

    Oh yes, I am a believer of not using cell phones but having one around – just in case. Especially, if I am traveling solo, it is almost like a life guard.

    April 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm
  • Nikki

    This sounds like a cool service and great addition that it offers suggestions and connects you with local guides. I remember having the “great” idea of not taking my phone with me when I went travelling so I could “switch-off” and well that lasted all of five days before I brought one with a data/call bundle. It is crazy to think how dependent we are on technology these days. I really couldn’t have gotten by without it!

    April 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm
  • leticia

    “when you don’t know what to eat because you’re in Paris, you naturally resort to crepes” couldn’t relate more… I looove street crepes but I’d love some tips on those indian restaurants too 😉

    April 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm
  • Shelly

    What a cool idea for an app! I wonder if there is this type of service for other countries, we could have used something like this in the US recently.

    April 18, 2016 at 7:34 am
  • Alfred

    Just buy a local sim card? That’s what I always do when I’m overseas. Or try some companies that offer portable wifi routers.

    April 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm
  • Mikayla

    Hi Rob & Chris!

    I love this! The Louvre photos made me giggle! It is huge!
    I definitely agree, Paris is a city where data is needed! I tried, and never would i do it again! I tried meeting a Parisian friend when i had only 24 hours in the city, and i thought picking a bench outside a cafe would make it easy…. nope… had to resort to borrowing a stranger’s phone and using their wifi!
    To go along with my week highlighting tips for Paris and The Louvre, i’m definitely sharing this article with my readers! It’s a great read! Thanks! 🙂

    December 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm

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