Before you travel outside the US, please consider these tips for cell phone use!

1.  Call your service provider before you leave and confirm that your cell phone works globally at least for emergency calls and a few necessary text messages.  If you expect to use it for a few calls and text messages, get a global service plan.  If you expect to use it a lot for voice calls, you should investigate getting a global SIM card.

2.  Using your cellular signal for data (emails, internet access, map and other apps) is VERY EXPENSIVE via your home carrier, even with a global data plan.  Turn off cellular data before you land, and use only locally available wifi in hotels, airports and restaurants for downloading emails and getting on the internet or using your internet-connected apps.  If you put your phone in Airplane Mode, it also turns off the cellular signal for voice calls and texts.  You may want to do this while traveling to avoid unwanted calls and battery drain. Take it off airplane mode only when you need to make a call.

3.  Text messages apps that work well over the internet are What’s App and Viber.  Also, iMessage between iPhones works over wifi as does FaceTime and Skype.

4.  If you are moving around a lot, and want wifi wherever you are at anytime, you’ll love the Wireless Pocket Wifi with unlimited data from Wireless Traveler.  As I have traveled outside the country, I have really struggled to stay in touch using only hotel and restaurant wifi.  Next time, I’m definitely taking one of these!

For more information on Global Service SIM cards for your phone and the Wireless Pocket Wifi, please contact our Virtuoso partner, Wireless Traveler.  They’ll answer all your questions.  Please mention Travel With Martha for Virtuoso benefits!