In order to save yourself from stupendous Roaming charges from your present US Carrier the options that comes to our mind are of purchasing a Local SIM card from the local mobile retail store after reaching your destination which is quite common with most travelers. Local SIM Cards seems a convenient option but in reality they aren't, specialty when you are on a foreign country.
Local SIM Card
Some of the inconvenient facts about Local SIM card as follows; Local retail stores first would ask for a photocopy of your passport for verification, with new SIM you would receive a new number which would cost your friends & family an international call to reach you, this also means that international calling rates apply to you as well if you call from the country where you're traveling to the U.S. , Some of the features like voice mail, call-waiting, e-mail and Web surfing won't be available, And you will not be able to receive calls, voice mails, text messages, or e-mails sent to your U.S. phone number while using another carrier's SIM card.
Pros:- Lowest Rates for local calls, incoming would be free and it would be easier for people to call you although they would pay for an international call your call would be free.
Cons:- Have to Spend precious vacation or business time in searching for a local SIM, The instruction and prompts would be in local language and can be difficult to understand.
International SIM Card
Having said that using a local SIM can save you money, especially if you are using it to make only local calls or Texting. So, if you can live with only local calls or text messages then Local SIM can be a good option. If you are looking for more then lets see what an International SIM Card can provide you. International SIM can be purchased before starting from US or when planning your trip hence you know your cell number prior to leaving & can exchange and distribute your new number easily, you get an Local SIM of the country to are traveling to without any documentation, you get all the benefits of local SIM of local charges , free incoming, while you can also keep your US number for receiving urgent calls from your Friends & Family which would cost them a local call, features like voice mail, call- waiting & data services are preloaded, its a rental so you can return the SIM after your trip. Presently lot of companies are providing international cell phones rentals services at a cost effective rates.
Useful Tips while Traveling:-
- Emergency-dial numbers will be different from 911, so please confirm & check the emergency numbers of the country you are traveling to.
- To call the U.S. dial international code of US 001
- Not all data features will work the same way when you're abroad.
- Don't forget an electrical-plug adapter for your charger compatible to local standards.
- Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency
Don't forget the story of a family who was billed $19,370.
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