REASON 1: Finding the people you are with.
The girls wanted to go to the top of the Arch d'Triumph and I didn't, so I told them I'd wait for them in the Orange store. I was going to see how my data was doing & if I needed to top it off. As I started walking, a million police and wagons pull up and park under the Arch. I had no way to contact the girls who did not get a SIM card. To make matters worse, the Orange store was closed and there were security people inside!!! All the workers were outside so I asked what happened. They smelled gas inside the store so the guards were checking. Unrelated to the police. A woman from the store checked my data as we stood freezing on the street. It was fine.
I ended up going inside the restaurant next door, Chez Clement, where I could watch for the girls. I had a glass a wine with a woman from India who is in Paris studying finance. We had a great chat.
I asked my waiter about the police activity. It turned out the police were just there in case of a soccer-related frenzy. Algeria was playing against Ghana. Crazy soccer fans. But I still wished the girls had a SIM card so I could tell them where I was.
By the way, since I was on the Champs, I did drop in and visit Louis Vuitton. Turns out that Poppy has a big sister named Dora. She is a signed, limited edition made from the archives. The euro is still dropping, so I have time to make my decision. But now I have four possibilities, Dora, Poppy, Pallas, and Alma. Too many women.
REASON 2: Getting and giving directions
We were getting on the Metro to go home. I got on. The doors closed behind me. I turned and saw my daughter and her friend waving goodbye to me from the platform. Talk about an OMG moment. Did they know our exit? Should I get off on the next stop and turn around and go back? Should get off at our exit? I decided these were smart, competant young women. I rode on, cursing them for not having a SIM card. I waited at our home stop and sure enough; five minutes later, there they were.
REASON 3: Getting directions for Metro stops and walking
With a SIM card, you have data. That means you can google where you are and what Metro you should take to get to your next destination. Or, how you should walk to get wherever you are going. Very useful.
REASON 4: Making reservations.
A SIM card allow you to make local calls without the astronomical roaming fees your local carrier would charge you. Many restaurants in Paris are tiny and require reservations. You can also reserve tickets to events, cruises on the Seine, and other activities you will want to pursue.
REASON 5: UBER
There are times when the Metro just won't do. Downloading the UBER Paris APP will enable you to order a taxi from anywhere to anywhere. It tells you in advance how much you will pay, who your driver is, and how soon he/she will be there.
REASON 6: Your flight gets canceled and you need to reschedule
There is a huge blizzard coming in the New York/New Jersey area and my daughter's flight leaving Paris was just canceled. Because I had a SIM card, we have rescheduled her flight and taxi with a minimum of fuss.
HOW TO GET A SIM CARD:
You can buy an inexpensive SIM at a store such as the ORANGE store. They will do the rest. One note of caution before you leave home, though. Make sure you call your carrier and see if you can "unlock" your phone in order to switch to a local SIM card. Many phones, such as the DROID are already unlocked.
If you have questions, put them in the comments section and I will try to help you.
Merci Jaime!!! for showing me how to buy and use a SIM card!!!