Staying in touch with friends and family while you travel abroad is a must, but international phone charges can easily cost you a bundle. A South Florida woman made the news in 2011 when she opened a $201,000 phone bill. It must have been a mistake, right?
Not so much. Her brothers, who had phones on her calling plan, ventured over the border to Canada. They texted and video streamed as normal, but the international roaming charges sent her bill sky high.
Don’t be a victim of phone bill sticker shock. With these tips, you can use your phone to call, text and surf while you globetrot, and avoid the post-trip cell phone remorse.
1. Use Skype.
Skype is an easy way for an international traveler to communicate while abroad. Simply sign up with Skype, invite your friends and family to join and start talking. The service is free to call other Skype customers, regardless of their location, and you’ll pay just pennies to call landlines and non-Skyping mobile phones.
2. Try Google Voice.
Google Voice is free to use in the states; for those outside the U.S., the service costs a penny a minute to call home. When you sign up, you’ll be assigned a Google Voice number. You can have calls to your Google Voice number routed to your cell phone, and the Google Voice app allows you to make calls from your cell phone without incurring massive charges.
3. Buy an international phone or SIM card.
If you’ve got to be glued to a phone when you travel, an unlocked international phone may be for you. Just buy a local SIM card when you get to your destination. It’s not the least expensive option, but your rates will likely be significantly cheaper than the “discount” rate your home provider will offer. Since these plans are prepaid, you’ll never go over your minutes.
4. International Calling and Data Plans
For those who are frequently abroad, it may be advantageous to add international calling and data to the plan you have with your domestic carrier. You’ll likely pay a bit more to add this feature, but your minutes and data will be covered. T-Mobile has one of the best international plan of all the large providers with $.20 per minute calling rates and free 2G coverage in 116 countries.
Traveling abroad is an adventure, and you’ll want to share that excitement with your stateside friends. However, don’t pay thousands of dollars for the privilege; use one of these options instead and save a bundle!
If you’re looking for additional savings when traveling abroad, reserve your airport parking with AirportParkingReservations.com!