tips for cell phone usage outside the U.S.

MSNBC published a good article last week about cell phone usage outside the U.S.   Columnist Tim Leffel writes “Start asking people about international cell phone and data bills and you’ll get a lot of scary stories. Most aren’t as shocking as Steve Surjaputra’s tale of a family who was billed $19,370, but what’s surprising is how often people get socked with hundreds or thousands of dollars after what they thought was minimal use.”  Read what to be aware of and some good tips in Tim’s column.

For my trips to Europe I have used  a Mobal phone   I like with Mobal you buy the phone and can use it on multiple trips – you are only charged for the cell time used.  This is good if you only need to call home rarely.  The Mobal phone worked great on our 12 night Mediterranean cruise but I found it did not work as well in Austria when I attempted to use it on my Avalon river cruise.

A friend of mine reports he has had good luck with his AT&T cell phone when traveling internationally, but that the phone doesn’t work as well back home.

There are lots of different options for international calling, as the msnbc article explains.  What option is best for you depends on your particular trip and needs, but a little advanced planning in this area can definitely save you significant dollars.

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