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I’m just going to open up international roaming when I head to Europe because financially its cheaper for me. Call your phone company and find out what their international rates are for SMS. I have T-mobile so its about $0.99 a minute to talk and $0.25 to text with the plan that I have. Compare it to what it would cost to buy an international cell phone, activate it, put minutes on it, plus whatever extra you’d have to pay for texting and see if it will cost less to just bring your cell phone and pay for roaming.
That said, mobal makes fairly inexpensive international phones and national geographic makes ones with free texting. Also, keep in mind that not all areas in the US have GSM wireless systems, so whatever phone you do get, make sure it is equipped for both the US and Europe.
Correct me if I’m wrong…
As far as I’m aware of, the deal is that you pay normal rates etc as you would in Aust, PLUS the rates that the overseas tele-communication company charges. When people send you texts or call you from Aust, they pay whatever they normally would if you are in Aust & but then YOU have to pay the overseas tele-com charges for their sms/call. (Not sure how much that is?)
So, keep this in mind when you go over, let the people who send lots of unimportant texts know that you are overseas & to give those ‘joke’ sms’s a break cos it’s gonna cost you money.
I’m sorry, but I am not sure how much a pre-paid phone over there would cost. Wou’d be interesting to find out?
As far as I know it is cheaper to buy a unlocked phone and just get a sim card when you get over there. Then you can just put your normal sim card back in when you get home. Don’t quote me on it though, I might be wrong.
In your travel documents you should get a flyer advertising a company to buy international sim card. I went with this option and it was fantastic!
The sim card works in heaps of different countries and you know exactly what you are spending because it’s prepaid. I just took an old “spare” phone I had which is not locked to any network.
It was so reliable and convenient. I could even add credit over the phone using my credit card while we were travelling on the coach.
I’m with vodafone too and would definitely NOT do roaming with them, it’s ridiculously expensive!
edit: Another good reason is that the sim card was posted to me well before leaving for London, so as soon as I arrived I could let my family know I was okay. Last thing you want to do after over 24hrs travelling time is trying to find somewhere to buy a sim card!
Traveling for 4 months I would suggest seeing if you can get your current phone unlocked. Then you can get pre-paid sim cards while your in europe and the US to use. Also you still have the option of using your current service on international roaming.
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