An overview of the options to make phone calls, send texts and use data while abroad
Welcome to TravelPhoneGuru! A website dedicated to reflecting every possible way to stay connected around the world. And what a better way to start our journey than with a brief exploration through some of the most common options which you’ll be seeing further information of in our site very soon.
Nowadays, we have quite a lot of alternatives to make phone calls, send texts and using data while not in our country. It is entirely up to you choosing between one and another as you must assess some aspects. Days on travel, frequency and destinations, free WiFi availability and local legal requirements are the most important ones to be considered. Find out a little more about your options below.
Make phone calls using roaming services
Using data or making phone calls abroad when having a locked phone is usually very expensive. The best 3 pieces of advice we can give you on this option are:
- Firtsly, consult your service operator about their coverage on the country you’re planning to visit and the cost of the service prior to your trip to avoid surprises.
- Avoid using your voicemail when abroad and turn it off, if possible. These charges outside your country are very high.
- Save some money using free WiFi when available. Turn off your data when not in use. Try your best to communicate while staying in coffee shops, restaurants and hotels with free WiFi service.
Get a local SIM card
This is the first option that comes to our minds when traveling and using an unlocked phone. Prepaid SIM cards usually have a very low cost ($5-$10) and are used for phone call, texts and data. Some important things to consider when buying a local SIM card are:
- Check first which the most reliable providers are. Try to invest in a provider that offers the best service possible, that is, the ones with better coverage and lowest charges.
- Depending on your destination, you can easily get a local SIM card at any street kiosk. But some countries claim a government-issued ID registration to get one. This way, local operator ensure you won’t use their mobile service to carry out terrorist activities. So check local operators’ requirements to purchase a SIM card.
- Buying a SIM card may take some good time of your limited traveling days.
Buy a SIM card online
If you are arranging your travel with time, take a few minutes to check this option. Many operators sell their SIM cards online. They’re also available in online stores like Amazon or eBay. It is best to go for global mobile operators. Among their most remarkable advantages, we can find the following:
- Forget about spending your first day of travel in a store setting your local SIM card. It’s instantly active once you arrive at your destination.
- It is a prepaid line for one-time use and valid for 30 days. So you don’t to pay recharges.
- You can choose your credit for calls, texts and MB of data.
- Some options require ID registration but most global operators don’t, making it easier for you.
- You can use the address of your hotel In case of having local shipping only.
Get a free virtual phone number
Virtual phone numbers are commonly used by international companies to help them be contacted by local users. Besides, they can easily forward calls, record voice messages, and also share the same number among several devices. This is why its use has currently extended to travelers who don’t want to miss a thing while away.
It is super easy to get a virtual phone number. All you have to do is download the app on your device, and get started. Google Voice is a great app this tech giant created to allow individual users to call anywhere in the US and Canada for free.
Using VoIP services
Voice over IP, commonly known as VoIP services are means that allow users to make phone calls, send instant texts and files over the internet. They are very popular, if not vital, among today’s users. WhatsApp, Viber and Skype are just some of the many applications available. Main disadvantages when using these options are:
- Your video call/phone call/text receptor must be a user of the same platform you choose. So you must coordinate what means to use with friends or family before leaving.
- Free WiFi may not always be available, so you must have a data service provider if you want to be always connected/available. It means, it ends up being a paid service anyway.
If any of this option ring to you, just stay tuned and wait for our next posts where we will bring expanded information about all the topics above and more. Thanks for visiting!