Travelling is all about budgeting. You have to budget your flights, accommodations, meals, tourist destinations and hopefully find a way to have a little left over for the nightlife. The reality of budgeting is that if one aspect of your adventure incurs unexpected costs you will have to make sacrifices somewhere else. The word ‘sacrifice’ is one word that we want to leave out of our travel plans.
Though most of us don’t account for our cell phone bill as part of our travel budget, we should. Simply put if you don’t plan ahead and just use your home phone while away, you could be incurring hundreds of dollars in unnecessary expenditures which can translates to less sites visited, less events attended and a shorter overall trip! Thankfully there are measures that can be taken in order to prevent you from wasting money while making sure you stay in touch at all times.
Companies such as Brightroam specialize in offering specific cell phones for world travellers, appropriately called a world phone, though other terms like international cell phone also apply, though in reality they are just unlocked GSM cell phones. This means that these phones have been programmed (unlocked) to be able to run off any network with the corresponding SIM card. Most cell phone companies in North America sell ‘locked’ phones, which means that they will only run on their network, at their rate.
These global cell phones on the other hand give you the ability to use local networks in whichever country you happen to be in. All you need is a country or area specific SIM card and your world phone will work at local rates wherever you are. This means you can keep one number, one phone and take advantage of the great rates of local network providers where ever you are going.
Furthermore you don’t need to dial any extra numbers or enter any lengthy codes to make a call. Simply open your phone and dial as you normally would. You also get all the benefits of many local plans like free incoming text messages and very cheap data rates. You can choose the plan to suit your needs in terms of data and minute requirements, but know that you never need to sign a contract so plans can be changed or dropped at any point in time, and conversely extra minutes or data can be added without incurring ridiculous extra fees. It is important to stay in touch while travelling, and staying in touch shouldn’t come at the expense of visiting a museum while abroad. World phones really do help you to see the world, and stay in touch while you are at it.