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Advice - best options for mobile phone whilst travelling

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Advice - best options for mobile phone whilst travelling

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1. Posted by anouska.pattle (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y


I am venturing to several different countries across a six month period starting in September.
My current mobile is very unreliable and I will be ending the contract end on July.
Does anybody have any advice as to options regarding a mobile phone whilst travelling? I know when using my current phone abroad it charges a fortune.
Do I buy a phone and get a sim in different places? As you can tell really not sure where to start. Or are Ipads a good idea??

Places I am visiting -
Kenya - Masai Mara - volunteering 2 weeks
Ghana - volunteering 5 weeks
Marrekesh - voluteering - 2 weeks & 10 days exploring
Europe - spain, Italy and thats as far as I have got at the mo.

I would need the basics of texting home and the occasional call within the country. Possibility of internet I am unsure with regards to charges etc??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)


2. Posted by noincue (Budding Member 32 posts) 2y

Depending on where you're coming from you may want to look in to your country's home providers.

I know Vodafone offer domestic text/calls on unlimited plans if you pay an additional 5p/month on your contract. From there you can easily buy phone cards in your host country and that way you would only be paying for local calls.

3. Posted by anouska.pattle (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y

My home country is England - probably should have mentioned that - whoops!!
Thanks noincue that is very helpful. I will have a look at the Vodaphone plans.
I hadn't even thought about phone cards.

Thank you very much, appreciate it :)

4. Posted by bananamonkey (Budding Member 16 posts) 2y

I usually just take my UK mobile to use for texts (and emergency calls) and use skype for calling home. But depending on how often you're planning on calling the UK, like noincue said; speak to your current provider and ask them about packages/tariffs abroad. If you're planning on taking a smart phone with you then it might be worth looking at downloading skype or a similar app. Just make sure you insure your phone!

5. Posted by anouska.pattle (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y

Thanks Manfred for the advice.
I will definately be downloading Skype.

Much appreciated!! :)

6. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 183 posts) 2y

I've used Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangout or Google Voice in the past. All of these work on wi-fi, which seems to be readily available in a lot of places (although I can't speak for the African countries as I've yet to go). I have heard buying a SIM is the cheapest there though from friends that have worked in Kenya and elsewhere. That being said, different countries have different carriers and options, so I would start there.

You can also buy phone cards and use them with various VOIP (voice over IP) or local connections with a cell or landline so you pay as if it's a local call, but are able to call long-distance for much cheaper. I hope that helps.

7. Posted by anouska.pattle (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y

Thanks very much mapsand moxie. Some great advice. Having spoken with vodaphone they recommended the best way was to take an unlocked phone and buy a sim as not really going to be in countries for very long that way I just pay for what i use. I will lokk at the carriers and options just to check.

Thanks :)

8. Posted by ellaheire (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

Because you're traveling to so many different countries, I suggest using an unlocked phone and checking out G3 Wireless's international SIM cards and packages. It's a pre-paid service that you can use with cell service and/or a data plan (depending on what you'll need while you're traveling). I like G3 because I was in Europe for 4 months and I visited 10 countries. When I entered a new country, my phone automatically switched its service to wherever I was. G3 was great because I had a phone to use when I arrived in Europe instead of trying to contact people through pay phones until I bought a local phone. Have an amazing 6 months!

9. Posted by anouska.pattle (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y

Thanks Ella I will definately look into that- very helpful!! Wow -10 countries in 4 months!
Really looking forward to it!! Mega excited :)

10. Posted by LucyStanmore (Budding Member 13 posts) 2y

Skype is definitely one of the best ideas. It saves you money and it also allows for video calling. However, if you don't have internet connection, this might be a problem. So, a phone without a contract might solve the problem. You could use the British SIM for international calls to your country and the local SIM for local calls.