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Talk 'N Travel Around the World for Less

  • The Cheapest Option...
    for Voice calls is using a smartphone app through an available Wi-Fi connection. This includes phones that support "Wi-Fi Calling." For greater mobility you can buy a Local SIM to use in your unlocked GSM phone to access a cellular data connection that will allow you to use an app, such as Google Hangouts, that will allow free incoming and outgoing calls to & from the US.  You can also get Data access with most SIM's available in different denominations and some are refillable.  Local SIM's also have a wide variation of capabilities including cellular voice calls to the US at "regular" rates, or Free Texting back home.

  • The Best Option...
    for making and receiving calls outside the US is subscribing to a carrier and a plan that includes International Roaming.  Choose wisely and your phone should work the same wherever you turn it on in the world.  Some carriers offer packages that include International Roaming, especially for data. It may be at the same price you're paying now, but beware, some International plans don't include certain features like Text Messaging, so you may have some extra charges. Also, data outside the US may be "capped" or operate at a lower rate, as low as 2G, sometimes based on your phone model. There are many benefits dealing just with your "home" carrier, not the least of which is US-based, English-speaking customer service.

    Since contracts are no longer required, there's nothing wrong with signing up for a regular or postpaid plan, roam around the world without limits, and cancel before the end of the first month.  This works best when you bring your own phone.

  • The Easiest Option...
    is to either use your carrier's roaming add-on features or just pay roaming fees, if your phone works at your destination. Check before leaving or you'll be depending only on luck. Paying per usage may cost less than you think. SMS (Texting) is often an economical, or FREE, alternative, but make sure any Texting package you have includes international usage. If you're dealing with your "home" carrier, customer service should be available by calling 611 or their non-800 US number which is usually a Free call. You also save by not having to buy a foreign SIM that you can't use at home. Make sure you know what the charges will be for cellular Data roaming, they could be significant.

    Wi-Fi is normally your Free data option, but Wi-Fi is not the same in every country.  Get more info about using Wi-Fi outside the US.

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