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communication suggestions

Travel Forums Travel Gear communication suggestions

1. Posted by bsnodgrass (Budding Member 36 posts) 6y

If I am traveling abroad by myself for two months (europe) should I get an iphone? If so, what suggestions do you have on a phone plan to minimize the charges for calls and internet used while abroad?

2. Posted by N1U9F8C7 (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

I havent got an IPhone, but I think they are pretty decent for travelling. The fact that they have WIFI on them means you can connect to the internet for free anywhere there is a Wireless Network available.

Also to keep call costs down, you can download Skype onto you IPhone. I’m not sure if you have heard of Skype before, but if you get all your friends and family to download this before you go (its free by the way) then you can do Skype-to-Skype calls for free, also if you top up with some Skpe credit you can call landlines and mobiles anywhere in the world for a lot cheaper than any other price plan on most phone networks. The only thing with Skype is though, that you can only use it when you are connected to a Wireless Network, which rules out calls on the go.

Hope this helps.

3. Posted by bsnodgrass (Budding Member 36 posts) 6y

I have heard of Skype and have several family members who use it, but I was under the impression that there was some legal battle going on b/w Apple and Skype b/c of overlapping interests. A friend of mine was dealing with this the last time I saw her in October.

Thanks though!!!

4. Posted by michaeltys (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

We've been on the road for the last year, and seriously couldn't live without the iPhone - it feels like it basically turns us into locals wherever we are. Ah, omniscience =)

The catch (albeit not a big deal) is getting set up with Internet access - without which, the iPhone is still really useful, but not as good as with net access. OffMaps and other apps that provide local storage of data are useful, and you can keep all your Lonely Planet books on there!

The trick is to get local prepaid accounts. A lot of countries now have seriously decent offerings for prepaid mobile broadband (I've written some notes on here -snip-), and it's surprisingly easy to get set up, assuming your iPhone is unlocked.

Skype now works over 3G out-of-the-box (not just over wi-fi), without any mucking about required, so it's all good. We use it all the time, and it's wonderful. We even use it for local calls, so we don't pay for phone credit, other than for net access.

So, I highly recommend it!

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

5. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Isn't it funny how some travellers just cant live without an iphone while abroad, just like some babies cant cope without their dummy, while others will travel without any sort of phone at all - and just either make a call from a phone kiosk or read their emails once or twice a week. No offence intended.
I take my laptop when its a working trip, otherwise it stays at home. As for an iphone? No need for one and wouldnt consider bothering to try one while overseas. Not yet, anyway (now.. is that actually admitting to something?).

6. Posted by michaeltys (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Oh, I don't think travelling with technology and those who do so are anything to be disparaged. I find it more amusing how some travellers can see travel as a mere competition for who can be the the most hardcore and bare-essentials (no offence intended )

Any tools that make the experience of other places and cultures fuller and richer are okay with me.

For us, having an iPhone with us at all times makes us feel like we're able to stop looking and acting like 'tourists' and just immerse in wherever we happen to be - wandering around a big city like Rome and knowing immediately what exciting restaurants/cafes/shops are nearby, maybe just around a corner we wouldn't have peeked down otherwise; quickly looking up a translation for some obscure request to ask a local, or looking up and reading the history on a discovered landmark, spontaneously. Even just the ability to wander around between destinations without needing to pull out a map (which I always feel detracts from meandering along, and totally screams 'outsider'!) is quite handy.

Sure, we could get by without the extra help, but I enjoy the independence and spontaneity it gives us!

7. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

It is so true - isnt it, some people nowadays travel with kit to impress more than they actually need. Eg.. iphones, laptops, ipods, mp3's, mp4's etc., then theres the 'Look what I'm wearing' thing.
Honestly, I get on the train or bus in some faraway land - and as a breakdown its something like 70% looking out of the window, 20% chatting to a stranger and 10% sleeping. I prefer to hear the local music, rather than taking stuff from home - and as for pictures, my camera card stores them all till I get back. I only ever take what I need and yes, I have my mobile phone with me. As for keeping in touch, a local internet cafe/room does the job. In an emergency, I have internet on my mobile. I hate travelling with my laptop. Its such a pain.

8. Posted by michaeltys (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

It's not a competition, Bob

Live and let live, I say - you like to travel without tech, people like me find it a useful tool; both are valid choices.