Wednesday, February 15

Preferred Ways To Call Home When Traveling

If you are a globetrotter, you will understand that it can be quite spendthrift to be in touch with friends, family or colleagues back home.

Companies today are offering tons of different options, but the hardest part is deciding which option is the best for you. Get it right and your trip will be a breeze, get it wrong and it could turn into an awful trip  you would want to forget!

We have done a research on the available options and have few tips for the international travelers.

1. Can you use your own cell phone when traveling?
2. Should you rent a cell phone?
3. Local SIM cards — the hidden costs!
4. Using hotel phones — doing it the old-fashioned way!
5. Using the Internet to get free calls!
6. Why all World Phones are not the same!

Now, let's discuss them in detail.

Option 1. Can you use your own cell phone when traveling?

Currently, it is estimated that over 70% of cell phones in the US are not capable of working abroad, so the chances are, you will be one of the 70% who need a second solution if you want to keep in touch while traveling. Only quad band phones work outside US.

Please check with your carrier if it provides an international service?
What are the call charges?
Will there also be a rental involved?
Does my cell phone handset use the right technology?

Option 2. Rent a cell phone?
Renting a cell phone for the brief period of your trip has traditionally been the popular option to
keep in contact.

You can buy your own international cell phone for the same price as between just one and two weeks' rental charges! For the rental you have to:

1. You contact a rental company to order your phone
2. You pay a deposit and rental charges for the period of your trip
3. You arrange for a collection day before you travel and sign for the delivery
4. While you use the phone on your trip, the charges for your calls are deducted from your credit card
5. You arrange to return your phone when you arrive back home

Please consider the following options before choosing a cell phone rental company.

The cost of cell phone rental.
Minimum rental period
Minimum daily call usage
Delivery charges
Charges for itemised invoices
Insurance

Option 3. Using local SIM cards?

Pros
Cons
Get local call rates
They are expensive to buy
Get a local number
It can be expensive to buy the cell phone
Pre-pay for your calls
The SIMs will expire if unused

You may pay for calls you never use

You can get cut-off during conversations

You can get cut-off during conversations

Foreign-speaking customer support

You may think that local SIM cards offer a great deal due to the fact they offer local call charges, however, you must look into both the extra costs in setting yourself up with everything and the extra inconvenience it brings.

Option 4. Hotel and Public Phones?

Its a traditional approach and a only positive thing i can found is that you don't need to invest in a cell phone. However the main problems with using hotel and public phones are; you need to organize times to be contacted, You will have no idea how much calls will be costing you, You may have to go through a foreign operator. 

Although you may be tempted to just take a chance with hotel and public phones, the reality is that it could prove to be more expensive, and a lot more hassle, than investing in your own international cell phone!

Option 5 . Using the Internet for free calls?

My personal favorite, you can get free, unlimited calls to potentially any other computer with an internet
connection. You may need;

1. A computer/ mobile phone with Internet connection
2. A headset, or microphone and speaker
3. The correct software to be installed on the computer (the most popular is called Skype and can be downloaded for free)
4. The person you want to contact must have the same set-up

The problems you might face in this option: You need to pre-arrange times to call, You may not be able to find a computer with the correct set-up, The line quality can be poor.

Option 6. World phones?

World phone is an international cell phone that works in many countries using just one SIM card. Many companies are providing world phones with tempting plans, however you need to ensure that you choose the right company.

As you can see, there are a number of different options, and in reality, only you can decide which option is best for you.

Bon Voyage!


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