Understanding International Cell Phone Plans

by | Oct 11, 2012 | Communications

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Using your American cell phone while traveling abroad can be a risky maneuver. In most cases, your cell phone won’t be equipped to work on the systems used in these other countries. In the event your phone does work, your cell phone provider is likely to charge large fees for your international-based calls. This means it can be more cost effective to rent an international phone and purchase international cell phone plans for your travels.

Calling Rates

One of the first aspects of the calling plan you need to consider is the rate at which you will be charged for calls. Unlike many of the American cell phone plans you are used to, you won’t be purchasing a set number of minutes. Instead, you will be locking in special low rates for the countries in which you will be traveling. In some cases, you will receive a lower rate for calling home than you would for calls within that country. This can be useful, particularly if you only intend to use it for calls home.

Data Services

People today rely on their cell phones to browse the Internet and otherwise gather information. It is no different when you travel to other countries. If you want to use data on your international cell phone, you need to find international cell phone plans that include data options for your phone. Pay close attention to the amount of data you will receive for the price and the speed of your connection to ensure you purchase a plan that will meet your needs.

The Phone

In addition to paying attention to the plan you choose, you will likely need to rent an international cell phone and a SIM card to use while you are traveling. While you can still purchase an international phone, for the casual traveler, renting one can be more cost-effective than buying one. When it comes to international cell phones and plans, you will be able to purchase one for the length of time you need it, instead of locking yourself into a contract.

International travel requires different international cell phone plans than you are used to dealing with at home. This is why it is so important to make sure you understand how the plans work, including the per minute rate, both in the country you are in and to North America, how much data you will receive and what type of phone will work best for your needs. This will ensure you have the right cell phone and plan to make keeping in touch easier on your vacation.