Posts Tagged ‘ Travel

Simplify With Unlocked Cell Phones

You may have heard of the iPPeel, a new device the puts a cell phone on the back of your iPhone. It’s designed to hold 2 extra SIM cards for people who travel a lot and want to avoid roaming charges by easily switching from one carrier to the next.

The thing is, there’s an easier (cheaper!) way. Unlocked cell phones work in a very similar way, you just have to change the SIM card yourself.

Unlocked cell phones are phones whose software has been unlocked so that you can use the SIM card of any network with the phone (Sprint is the only major American cell phone company that does not rely on SIM cards, although an unlocked cell phone originally sold by Sprint works on everything).

So, the upside to unlocked cell phones is that you don’t have to pay $70, and you can make calls with your own phone and phonebook without having a silly looking extra phone strapped to the back that elicits silly jokes.

The downside is that you have to keep track of SIM cards and physically switch them in and out of your unlocked cell phone, rather than having them ready to go, as the iPPeel lets you have two extra at all times. Of course, if you’re travelling so much you actually need such a device, there may be a better chance that two isn’t enough.

In any case, unlocked cell phones may be a better option for many people.

Looking For A Worldly Unlocked Cell Phone?

In the US, Apple reigns supreme, but for worldwide smartphones… look to Samsung.

Samsung is the leading retailer for smartphones worldwide (Nokia leads phones in general). If you’re looking to be cool when you travel with an unlocked cell phone, look into Samsung.

Unlocked cell phones allow you to switch SIM cards so you can get the rates of the local cell phone service provider.

When travelling, you can go on roaming…which gets even worse internationally! Prepaying for minutes and texts on a reginonal sim card (or getting a tempoary plan if you need to use data) is a much smarter option, but only if you have an unlocked cell phone!

Make sure that you pick an unlocked cell phone that is manufactured to work globally. Depending on your needs, you might pick a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S or go with something simpler like a Nokia.

Even if you’re not travelling this winter, think ahead to summer with your next cell phone purchase. Dream of Asia, of Europe, and of all the exciting restaurants your phone can guide you to (as well as the help it can call in an emergency).

Of course, some people may prefer to travel tech free. Even then, it might be wise to bring at least one unlocked cell phone per group.

Say Goodbye To Unexpected Fees With Unlocked Cell Phones

Your data plan lets you use cell phones like mini computers, but did you know that when you travel (especially abroad) your data plan can rack up thousands of dollars in fees as your phone roams?

Unlocked cell phones are one good way to avoid this. Simply buy a prepaid plan in the country or region you’re visiting, temporarily trade SIM cards, and let everyone know what phone number you’re using.

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone, trading SIM cards may not work since the phone is “locked” against other service providers.

Alternatively, you can buy a phone card for the region’s phone company and use it with your unlocked cell phone.

If you’re going to be on vacation, you can always just turn your phone off. Data roaming charges can rack up fees, even if you never actually use the phone.

If you don’t want to change plans with unlocked cell phones, contact your service provider and see if they have any special offers for roaming, or arrange to have them turn off service if you hit your data or minutes cap while roaming (bit of advice: get it in writing!).

What are other ways to avoid fees while travelling?

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