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Using SMS when I travel overseas?

Travel Forums General Talk Using SMS when I travel overseas?

1. Posted by Sammys68 (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

I will be travelling across a few continents over the next couple months, and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about the best way to stay connected to friends and family? I heard SMS (text messages) are good for global communication, but I'm not sure how to set this up. Anyone have any experience with this?
Sam

2. Posted by GretaGarbo (Full Member 48 posts) 11y

Well, you just text messages with your mobile phone.

I don't know if you have to set it up? You have to have a mobile and a simcard. Different companies and countries have different tarifs of course, but the one I use (vodaphone prepaid) is expensive to call and to answer outside Sweden, (as you pay for the international part of the incoming call, the person calling can't tell if you are abroad!) hence I have no voicemail.
But the fares for international and national text messages are more or less the same, it's a very easy and convenient way of staying in direct touch with siblings or whoever worries about you at home.

It is also a good way of contacting locals. I like it.

3. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 11y

when I go abroad I leave a message on my answer phone to send me in emergency text messages and just call them back from the nearest telephone box using local card.

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Any dual (or depending where you are, tri) band phone, and just use it as normal. You need roaming set up, and also talk to your provider to forward all your calls directly to a number - ideally a voice mail system which you can access as and when - in your home country, as incoming calls can cost you a sh1t load.

Apart from that, then try and avoid making calls wherever possible. If you go pay as you go, its easier to avoid racking up big bills by mistake, but means you have to get someone to send you the numbers to top up credit, which can be time consuming to arrange and has some risks to it.

Other ideas are to set up a mailing list (either one through something like yahoo groups, or a basic one through your email address book) and group mail to people every few weeks etc. This can be much easier and quicker than a web page which can eb hard to keep updated in less technologically advanced countries due to the speed.

Set up a photo album online as well, and show links to it, so people have a visual link to your experiences etc.

5. Posted by GretaGarbo (Full Member 48 posts) 11y

When I was away for a long period, I just closed my landline. No need to tell random callers that this house is empty for five months...
Friends and kin had my mail and mobile # and stayed in touch that way.

Another good thing with a prepaid card is that the number is unlisted. That way you don't have to worry too much about giving it away to "strangers". Like people you meet on internet

And btw, I just remember I had to fill in some form with vodaphone to get international access.

6. Posted by Sammys68 (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Wow, thanks for all the great tips! I'm in the U.S., and we don't really use the same technology as you do do overseas (as far as sim cards, prepaid, etc.)

I will most likely be doing a lot of e-mails,, and I signed up for SMS.ac, wich is what my sister used when she was in the Netherlands to send SMS. You can sign in and send SMS from a computer also, if need be.

I appreciate the advice,
Sam

7. Posted by DakLak2 (Budding Member 18 posts) 11y

The most common hand/cell system is GSM - usually the 'low' band - and is found is almost every country except Japan who do everything cell different.

Forget about 'roaming' from your present cell system - unless you want to waste money.

The best thing to do is to buy a PREPAID service in each country you visit - buy from an independant dealer as they will likely be able to unlock your hand/cell phone.

Locking is where a system makes the sole supplier themselves.

When you have got your new SIMM card simply send a SMS/TEXT message to your home or contact person to let them new your new number (don't forget to send the country code).

Caution: Some systems have a software glitch that means you have an error when you click on reply and try to send a message. Often the answer is to paste the calling party's number in your directory and then use that to get the addressee info.

If you need info on what a country's best supplier is check out < http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml >.

North America requires multi-band cell phones as they use a different frequency plan.

8. Posted by nowayjose (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y

Quoting Sammys68

Wow, thanks for all the great tips! I'm in the U.S., and we don't really use the same technology as you do do overseas (as far as sim cards, prepaid, etc.)

I will most likely be doing a lot of e-mails,, and I signed up for SMS.ac, wich is what my sister used when she was in the Netherlands to send SMS. You can sign in and send SMS from a computer also, if need be.

I appreciate the advice,
Sam

Sammy--

Yes, a service such as SMS.ac will aid you in sending text messages, but you will also need to purchase a prepaid service and have your SIMM card changed in each country (new phone number). Once you get the phone set up, then I suggest using SMS.ac for the texting.

J