Keeping in Touch
For many people the
hardest thing about traveling is being away from family and friends. Luckily, there
are plenty of cost efficient ways of maintaining contact with the important people in your
life while you are away.
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Cell Phones/Mobile Phones
I realize some people can just not live without their cell phone/mobile
phones, but if you bring one with you (and use it) be prepared to pay.
There are options for reducing roaming charges, such as switching to a prepaid phone for
your time away or even using a SIM card but assuming you have a
multi-band phone that can actually be used in Europe, the per minute
usage costs begin as low as 99˘ and
top out as high as $5.99 per minute. The average rate seems to be around
$1.99 per minute to call from Europe to North America. Sending and
receiving text messages is a bit cheaper.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of
International Cell Phone Service An in-depth article about using cell phones
while traveling abroad. Read this article to help find out what option will
work best for you.
Cell Phones for International Use--Buy
If you don't already have a cell phone (or your cell phone does not work
abroad), but you would like to have one with you while traveling,
buying or renting a cell phone is an option.
Buying Pre-Paid SIM Cards
IIf you have a SIM card-compatible cell phone, buying a prepaid SIM card
is a great way to save money for calling home while abroad. Your cell
phone must be a tri-band/world phone and MUST be unlocked for prepaid
SIM cards to work. If your phone is locked, an easy way to unlock is
through online specialist
- Cellular Abroad
offers cell phone rental and/or pre-paid SIM cards at reasonable prices.
Currently they are offering a $10 discount if you mention the promo code
backpack10 when ordering online or if you call 1-800-287-3020.
Charging Your Batteries
Many hostels have outlets you can use to recharge your phone, but you may have
to compete for outlet time. If you don't want to have to worry about
when/where you can recharge your phone (not to mention buying plug adaptors),
you can consider buying a
recharger that operates on one AA battery.
Check out my
for more information about bringing electronic equipment with you as you