Few topics are as rich with options, or as deeply disorienting, as the modern international call. As straightforward as a scheduled Skype-to-Skype conversation might be, overseas travel tends to unravel the best-laid plans, as wifi connections become scarce, phones refuse to connect to local networks, and hidden fees reach into the hundreds. Here are some tactics and strategies for staying in touch while trotting the globe.
Buy an International SIM Card
Although it requires planning and the right kind of phone, buying a SIM card is one of the more hassle-free approaches to making and receiving calls while overseas. Instead of renting or buying an entire phone that's local to wherever you're headed, you can order a dedicated SIM card and slot the tiny chip into your existing handset. Rates vary based on provider and whether you choose a multi-country international sim, or one that's specific to a region or country, but Telestial's $29 Explorer SIM comes with $10 of calling credit, with rates starting at $0.20 per minute for calls, and $0.35 per MB for data.
To note: Only models that connect via GSM will work in most non-U.S. mobile networks, and they must be unlocked. You'll want to confirm both details with your carrier.
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