There are several options you can use. We have done these three:
1) Use our own phone with an international plan and roaming charge. First you have to set this up through your carrier. They transfer you to someone to verify who you are and to check your records to make sure your not a terrorist (and they go way back in your files). And then when you do get to your destination your phone sometimes works and sometimes doesn't but you do have a phone to connect to your family and work back home. Now it's a little easier because you can send a text and when you do get a slight signal it will go through.
Not all carriers have international plans:
AT&T – YES
Verizon – NO
Sprint – NO
Nextel - NO
T-Mobile - SOME
2)Rent a international phone. This is pretty handy. You can rent a cell phone for a short period of time without a contract. They will send you your phone via mail carrier and it is all set up and ready to go. All you have to do is rent the phone and prepay for your minutes. Possible rates as shown*
|*Rental Rates|| |
$3 per day (Min 7 days)
|Optional Theft & Loss Protection||$1 per day (with $40 deductible)|
|Incoming Calls||$1.50 per minute|
|National Calls||$1.50 per minute|
|International Calls||$2.50 per minute|
http://www.mobal.com/cell-phone-rental/ and there is plenty of companies out there with different rates.
Now you can buy an international phone cheaper than you can rent one. Just find one that doesn't charge monthly fees. Mobal I think has a phone for $50.00 bucks without a big contract.
And you can preorder your phone before you get there, and have it delivered to your hotel or airport.
It's a lot easier than you might think. Most computer shops have them also for rent.
We have also tested our Majic Jack phone. We packed a simple phone and when we got a wireless signal we were able to use the Majic Jack. And since we were calling home, it didn't cost anything extra!
So if you will be staying more than a week, I would suggest buying one of these and a cheap phone to bring with you. It was worth it.