As a constantly moving nomad, how do you keep a phone number?

More and more apps require a phone number to register, especially bank apps, which are inevasible.
As a nomad like me, some of you moving constantly from one place to another, one country to another,
How do you keep a phone number? Just roaming everywhere?
or pick-up a new one in every place?

Any better/cheaper/more reliable solution?
Any suggestion?

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For phone calls and a “permanent” number that I can use for most services, I use Google Voice.

I also keep a few SIM cards active for the few services/banks that don’t support virtual numbers. You can use a basic phone to keep the sim cards on at all times, and receiving text messages typically doesn’t cost anything, even when roaming.

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Get a Dingtone number! or buy a virtual phone on Freezvon

Most bank apps dose not accept virtual phone number, so GV/Dingtone etc… won’t work.

In order to keep a real sim card (for SMS at least), any suggestion? I heard Skinny from NZ is cheap to keep, but how about the coverage? nomad friendly?

Freezvon is not virtual number… they give you a real landline number. You can ask them about it. I could use it for Twitter verification without a problem.

Cool66, for years I experienced the exact same problem as you (I travel between over a hundred countries). Last year I found a solution which has worked great for me, very simple and at low cost to boot. Now I keep my same mobile phone number wherever I go, and it works instantly in over 200 countries, for calls, texts, and LTE data. Works fine for 2FA with bank apps. It’s amazing, I just switched my iPhone number to a new mobile provider, GoogleFi. As soon as I arrive in a new country, it automatically senses and connects me via roaming to whatever is the strongest local provider. But no high roaming charges, ever. My total phone bill is rarely over USD $30 per month (I’m single). Your mileage may vary. Here are the kickers: You must have an acceptable “residence address” of sorts in the US (even if you are hardly ever there), as the service is not available to non-US persons. And you have to get a GoogleFi sim card from the US and install it in your phone. And you have to have a workable US payment mechanism (I use autopay from my US MasterCard).


Using WhatsApp or better Viber is one solution… free… another is to buy a number from a provider and have all your calls received on this number routed to your current moble number of choice and location, changing the routing as you go from country to country… message me and I can provide you with a provider… the cost is like EUR 4 pr month and talk time charges for cinoming calls… can also make outgoing calls

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I use a dual sim phone and one sim is always my default number - for banks etc. I normally pick up a local sim card for any destination where I stay for more than a week. Works for me and I travel a lot!

Sounds like a very great arrangement, and the price doesn’t seem to be too bad either. Do they only send to an address in the United States, or would it also work to give a European address and say that they are currently working in Europe, for example? Certainly not checking, so well can report some address to their records in the United States.

GoogleFi intends for their service to be used by US “residents" with capability for US payments. At least that was the case when I signed up a year ago, when I happened to be in the US for a few days. It may or may not be possible for you to “game” their system. Or you might check to see if they now have another offer for European residents. Google is a multi-national company for sure, so it wouldn’t surprise me that they do this eventually if it proves successful in the US. Still pretty new. Good luck.


@Randallmark Thank you for your informations :+1:

Google Fi sounds very good.
If you don’t use it during a billing month, is there any minimum/ongoing charge? If not then I wouldn’t mind acquiring it now and keeping it as a backup. Fortunately I can use a work SIM at the moment and have them cover my phone costs.

If you have a stable ‘home base’, the SimBox might be another solution.
By which you can transfer your cellphone sms/calls to the internet.

HI I ordered a Free UK sim from Giff Gaff in 2018 early 2019 when in Singapore took 10 days to be delivered (free shipping(, in fact I ordered 2 at the time they seem to ship everywhere.
I activated one in Singapore and the other in Malaysia, one said no signal but I still received SMS’s. I also managed to receive my OTPs SMS in Myanmar and Vietnam.

I am not from the UK but I use it for Banks/Broker (plus other accounts) but mainly for SMS OTP.
I had a bank query once why I had a UK number with my home number detailed on bank account. I just said I travelled often with work used for EU clients, nothing since.

I add £20 by bank card every 180 days to keep it live, their customer service are excellent
When you sign up thru the link you get £5 credit so should get you going for the first 6 months, hope useful.

Ps: I also ordered an International tourist sim from HK previously which was valid for 60 days, but was able to extend topping up with my bank card have a look on amazon and ebay. BUT read tbe small print to see if refillable. Frustratingly lost my phone otherwise probably still have it but was costing about $10 month to keep active