Phone (Service) and Communicacion! - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Members Lounge > General Travel Tips, Education, Advice > Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers

Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers Rule number one- There are no dumb questions!
First time travelers, please ask your dumb questions here=)!

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
ride_natty_ride
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: michigan
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to ride_natty_ride Send a message via Yahoo to ride_natty_ride
Default Phone (Service) and Communicacion!

Hey y'all ~

I thought it might be cool to start a thread about phone usage, accessibility, service, etc. when traveling to other countries. As for myself personally, I am wondering what would work best while in Central America (i could totally do without the phone myself, but need to reassure the parents that i'm still alive!) - would getting a 'local' phone be good when i'm calling the States, just a phone card to use at payphones or... ? email? who knows!

But yah! if you'd like to contribute to this post and say where you went and how you chose to stay in touch there, it might help out some newbies, myself included!

namaste, blessed b,
~ melissA
ride_natty_ride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 04:14 AM   #2
expatben
lover of Germany
 
expatben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ontario,Canada
Posts: 2,660
Thanks: 4
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

I find phone cards work but results vary. In Britain the phones cards are pretty good so if I am traveling I tend to get one of those or a special international ones. I don't do cell phones even when I am home so for me if I wanna call someone a phone card is the best way.
__________________
I have been to: Canada, USA, Iceland, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Germany, Sardinia, Switzerland, China, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Morocco.

Do to list: [color=blue][color=black] Australia, New Zealand, Austria India and Bolivia.

[color=blue][i][font=Verdana][color=black]"I'm just another stranger lookin' for the promised land"
expatben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 05:10 AM   #3
Elizabeth
TPunk Moderator
 
Elizabeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Hey Melissa...I think I somehow got the impression that you're from the States? (correct me if I'm wrong) If so, you can use Skype to call home. Its only 2 cents a minute!

For making local calls you may want to take an unlocked GSM phone with you so you can get local SIM cards to be able to make local calls.
Elizabeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
ride_natty_ride
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: michigan
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to ride_natty_ride Send a message via Yahoo to ride_natty_ride
Default

Hi Elizabeth ~

Yup, currently in MI... i'll look into this Skype bizness, as i have noo idea what it is (but do know that it exists... hehe). no, i generally just stay as far out of the technological loop as possible; i have a $10 walmart tracphone that does me just fine. how does one access this skype? is it via the web, or... what? interesting, interesting times with interesting, interesting toys... hehe.

namaste, blessed b,
~ melissA
ride_natty_ride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2010, 09:41 AM   #5
marc873
Tpunk Senior Moderators
 
marc873's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: in transit
Posts: 2,063
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default

In Central America, you just buy a $20 phone upon arrival, change SIM cards as needed by country, and then just purchase minutes ($20) as you go.... Pretty easy and the service is decent and you can top off your minutes literally anywhere....
__________________
When an adventure ends you can never go back, never relive it, never hope to feel the same emotion. The secret is to not try and go back but to keep searching for new adventure....
marc873 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 06:46 AM   #6
Legitikick
TPunk Recognized
 
Legitikick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 578
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to Legitikick Send a message via Skype™ to Legitikick
Default

You don't know Skype?!! Yeah, its definitely the way to go for calling home. Make the most of Skype - free internet calls and great value calls You'll find it in many internet cafes all over the world now.

Cell phones for local calls, but not for calling home. One exception though, if you're in Germany, there's a pre-paid SIM called Fonic that lets you call the States and Canada for the same price as land-lines throughout Europe (9 euro cents/min). Still expensive, but good for the occasional 'I want my mommy, now' calls.
__________________
So Far: Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, England, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Morocco
Right Now: Grad schoolin' at the Columbia School of Int'l & Public Affairs
Next Up: The real world ... where one has to work, hopefully doing some sort of mediation/conflict resolution gig.
Legitikick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
maracle
Rabidly Xenophilic
 
maracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin Texas, but originally from Ann Arbor!
Posts: 1,223
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Skype is confusing as shit in terms of understanding all the different aspects of the service, but the long and short of it is:

1) You can call computer-to-computer for free. So if your parents install Skype on their computer and get a headset or microphone you can call em (and even video chat) using the software at no cost.

2) If you want to call landlines and cell phones from a computer with skype, no problem. You either pay by the minute (plus a per call connection fee) or you can get a subscription for 3 euros that includes unlimited calls to North America. Its super cheap either way but the subscription is a bit better if you call for more than a couple hours a week.

3) If you want a number for incoming calls, you can buy one for $60 a year or $30 if you've signed up for a subscription (and you can cancel the subscription after 1 month if you want to go minute-by-minute I think)

4) The subscriptions also include other useful stuff like voicemail.

A cell phone can be useful for local calls, but I wouldn't sweat it. Tracfones are difficult to unlock unfortunately... I've not traveled much in central america, but in every country I've been to in south america there are shops with phones available for local calls on just about every block.
__________________
Flickr!
maracle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2010, 07:44 AM   #8
ride_natty_ride
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: michigan
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to ride_natty_ride Send a message via Yahoo to ride_natty_ride
Default

good posts, y'all, much thanks! this is a wonderful place for getting those random, middle-of-the-night-what-if questions answered!

how about other places (not for me, at least not for the moment!) but for other first-timers. phone service in europe? SE asia? i had never thought that i could be this devoted to a post re. phone usage, as i really do not enjoy them, for the most part... but if it helps someone else, then hooray!

namaste, blessed b,
~ melissA
ride_natty_ride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
juliagulia
Tpunk Senior Moderators
 
juliagulia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 1,872
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to juliagulia Send a message via MSN to juliagulia
Default

I think that for long term travel (like, 5 months or something) in the UK, getting a three phone with a skype app is pretty awesome. My boyfriend got me the cheapest phone (60 GBP at the three store but he found it for 20 GBP) and it already had skype on it. I got the N. America subscription (something like $3 a month) and could call my parents for free essentially.

Though, in my situation it was a bit different because I also wanted a cheap option to call my boyfriend. He already had three/skype to contact me when I was in the US, so getting three made sense because we'd both have free three-to-three while I was in England. But I also got 300 free texts to anyone that was valid for three months so I could text my roommate and a free internet allowance on my phone. It was also nice because I topped up with 10 GBP and was able to use my phone in Portugal in case of emergencies/to text my boyfriend back in the UK/receive calls from my aunts, etc.

Anyway, it was cheap for me because I got the phone as a gift and it was used extensively to call the US and local over a period of 5+ months. Plus, I'll be using it again when I go back to the UK next winter. So, it might not be an option for most people, but if anyone is going to be abroad in the UK, I'd definitely recommend it.
__________________
Reminiscing about: Brazil, Canada, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Portugal, The Netherlands, USA

Living In: Belfast, Northern Ireland


Next up!

Poland (February!)
juliagulia is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:57 PM.



 

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0 (Unregistered)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121