I saw all the plans and countries and I saw the advice to leave your cell service off unless you need it on for a bit, so I can do that. But does it just work when I turn it on or do I have to get some kind of new SIM card? This is a plain old 5, not an S or a C.
That's a great question, traveler12345!
You can use your iPhone 5 in Europe, but please confirm each country individually. While it may work, I recommend setting up a global plan, so you are not charged for individual units of usage. Check out our international service options here: http://spr.ly/6586B84Di
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You should also look into getting a local SIM card when you get there; I'm not sure if the 5 works overseas with a local SIM so do a bit of research or wait for someone else to chime in. It would be like if someone traveled here, they would buy a prepaid SIM on a plan that was bring your own device. If you buy a global plan from here to use over there you usually don't get as much minutes/text/data as you would if buying one there.