One the hardest things about traveling is being away from and out of touch with family and friends. Fortunately, cell phones make it easier to stay in touch and connected but unfortunately, can be very expensive. Using cell phones when traveling, especially international travel, is still considered an expensive luxury and inconvenience to acquire.
Though most cell phones now work most places traveled, using your cell phone internationally could cause you to remortgage your house. But not to worry, there is a way to have an affordable cell phone, when traveling to a foreign place do as the locals do.
First, you need a GSM compatible cell phone. GSM, global system for mobile communications, is a standard cellular system.
Next, you need to have your GSM cell phone “unlocked”. This means that your phone not locked to one service provider and can be openly used where ever you travel.
Now the key piece, you will need a prepaid SIM card to give you cellular network access. The SIM, subscriber identity module, card( or chip ) is about the size of a postal stamp and fits into your cell phone usually under the battery. It is this card that allows your cell phone access to the local cellular service.
There are two basic types of SIM cards you can use:
– card issued in a particular country for use within that country
Advantage: you will receive that specific country’s service rates.
Disadvantage: you can only use your cell phone within that country.
– international card for continuous roaming from country to country
Advantage: you are not limited to where your cell phone will work
Disadvantage: service rate will be higher, though still far cheaper.
And finally, some countries do not allow non-residents to purchase SIM cards. Check with your travel agent or visit www.cellularabroad.com, it is possible to purchase SIM cards for your cell phone at home prior to your trip.