International mobile roaming with cheap rates
Take your cell phone with you when you travel overseas and get cheaper roaming rates than ever before
Do you rent a cell phone when you travel? Buy a SIM for each country? Or pay exhorbitant roaming rates to your US-based carrier? Learn how to carry your own cell phone with affordable roaming rates.
Using your own cell/mobile phone abroad
First, a warning. There are too many nightmare stories about people carrying their iPhones abroad, even to Canada, and getting hit with bills for tens of thousands of dollars. Be very careful when traveling with your smart phone. Even if you don't use the phone, your apps might access the Internet and rack up thousands of dollars in charges. And even if you think you've disabled all Internet access, you may be very unpleasantly surprised.
For all these reasons, taking out your carrier's SIM card and using an alternative SIM card offers both savings and protection.
Three old strategies and one (#4) you might like better
- Use a rental cell phone
Pros: Rentals are relatively convenient, you get a local phone number, and rental phones are sually available at airports.
Cons: They are expensive, you have to pick them up and turn them in, and your phone number changes as you travel.
- Get a local phone and/or local SIM card for each country you visit
Pros: You get a local phone number, you may get cheaper rates, and it's cheaper than using a rental phone
Cons: You have to juggle multiple phones and SIM cards, and each country has different rules about local numbers.
- Use a phone card or dial-around or callback
Pros: You can get pretty cheap rates for international calls
Cons: These services are generally inconvenient to use, and you are still need a phone to use them.
- Get a Telna Mobile global roaming SIM
Pros: Use your own (unlocked, multiband) cell phone with one US-based phone number as you trave. Get affordable roaming rates. You can use free wi-fi hotspots to access the Internet along the way.
Cons: You won't have a local phone number in the host country, and you won't have continuous access to the Internet.
For more ideas and details, see this article: Three ways to save on global roaming charges when traveling with your cell phone