just a quick note that it is indeed possible to use Apple Pay internationally. i erm, broke my phone last week and was forced (ha) to upgrade to an iPhone 6 a couple days before i left for this trip. i’ve been looking forward to trying out Apple Pay but didn’t have a chance to patronize a store that accepted contactless payments at home, so it had to wait until today, when i was shopping for junk food in Vienna.
it was pretty easy to use, just like in the demos, except the display of the credit card reader* wasn’t very clear about when to initiate the payment process and when it was done.
* the payment terminal didn’t have a contactless payment area — i just held the phone up to it; i only knew it accepted contactless payment because i saw a sticker with the symbol (the ))) thing) at the entrance to the store.
just a reminder to use cards that don’t have foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad! oh and i should note that you do not need to have an internet connection to use Apple Pay, so no roaming data required, says CNET. however, i would assume that you won’t get the transaction list that appears when you view your card in Passbook unless/until you get a data connection, although this may depend on how the credit card company is integrated with Apple Pay (like, for my Chase card, it only shows transactions i made via Apple Pay, but for my Amex, it shows all recent transactions).
UPDATE: i oughta mention that getting a local SIM is super easy in Austria, and relatively cheap. you can do it at the airport (IIRC there’s a post office-ish kiosk that sells cards, which is what i did when i was here in 2012 for New Year’s Eve), or at any cell phone store in town. i went to the 3 store across from St. Stephan’s Cathedral and picked up a SIM card (all three sizes available) for €9.90 which includes 1000 minutes, 1000 SMS, and 1 GB of data, good for
a week 15 days, with immediate activation, no forms or passport required.