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How to Communicate Cheaply Via Phone When Traveling in Europe

Aug 17, 2007
Until recently, Americans traveling in Europe have had to jump through hoops to stay in touch with people via cellphone. Sure you can email, but its nice to just be able to pick up the phone and call home. Another factor that has deterred many people is the high prices, especially for using their cell phones overseas.

Americans are still unaware of the options that lie open to them while traveling in Europe. One option for travelers is to use their own GSM compatible phones. While this is an okay option, the costs can be enormous. Huge roaming fees and surcharges are applied to international plans outside of the US. And remember, this option is contingent on actually having a GSM compatible cell phone to begin with.

Another option is to rent a GSM phone, but again, this will often cost you hundreds of dollars, literally, in charges, in addition to extra activation and base rental fees. Yet a third is the option the majority of travelers use, which is prepaid phone cards for each country they're in.

However, recent technology has ushered in a new wave of options for travelers in Europe, namely global cellphone service. Long needed and long overdue, this is a technology that is quickly gaining momentum. If you look into the option of global cell phone service, you'll find that it enables users to enjoy open access to multiple countries; this service simply works with Europe's large and reliable system to create an easier, less expensive option for travelers.

With this technology, users can access the same network used throughout Europe. The provider will usually offer rates and plans, both for purchasing and renting a phone. Thus if you don't have a GSM phone, you can rent one or buy one through the provider. If you do have a GSM, tri or quad-band phone, you will simply swap your SIM card out for theirs while on your trip. A normal transaction would go something like this:

1) You would contact the provider;
2) Discuss a plan with a rep and figure out which one is best for you;
3) Order at least three weeks ahead of time; they will send you a package that includes phone or SIM card and further instructions;
4) Use it on your trip and mail the phone or SIM card back when you return.

It is rather easy and less complicated than other international communication methods; sometimes you just want to call home or a business associate and not feel pressured because of high fees and steep or hidden surcharges. Next time you travel abroad to Europe, look into a global cellphone service; you will ultimately be glad you did.
About the Author
Aurora M. Brown is Head Writer for Social Media Systems online marketing company. Call-in-Europe is a global cell phone service provider for Americans traveling in Europe and authors a Europe travel blog filled with tips and information for Americans traveling Europe who need a cheap cell phone. .
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