Using Your Phone in Europe and South America

Here are Solutions to Save Money

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, October 30, 2013/Categories: General Travel

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I hear stories all the time of travelers receiving the shock of their lives upon opening their cell phone bill upon getting back from Europe.   Although technology and cell phone plans change all the time, there are a few ways to dial down the charges while overseas:

Skype (or similar):  Most smartphones have a Skype app for inexpensive calls.  However, an internet connection is needed in order to use Skype on a smartphone or computer.

Cell Phone:  The easiest way is to visit your cell phone provider and check out international plans, but it’s probably not going to be cheap.  A relatively simple money-saving alternative is to pop in an international SIM card into a world phone from Sprint or Verizon (an iPhone 5, for example) or into a compatible unlocked GSM phone from AT&T or T-Mobile.  The best solution depends upon equipment and texting/talking needs.  A helpful website is

Calling Cards:  I recommend using calling cards when dialing from a land line.  If dialing from a hotel room, check their access rates (if any) for using calling cards on in-room phones.

Pay-As-You-Go International Cell Phones:   Starting at €34, a cell phone may be purchased at a local Paris post office (la Poste).  They also sell SIM cards.  Here is some info (in French only):

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