Other than a calling card, what is the best way to call US from Europe. I will have access to the internet, so Skype or Viber? This would be from my iPhone to a land line.
I normally just dial the calls as I would at home using the cellular network. I'm not familiar with how Skype works, but I believe calls to a land line on Viber will result in charges, using pre-purchased time. I haven't tried calls on Viber yet, but have been told that the audio quality can be a bit "erratic" (I'm sure that will improve in time).
Depending on country, a local SIM can be as low as 3cents a min to US landlines.
I'll assume your phone is network locked..a basic unlocked phone can be as low as $20 bought in US
We use MagicJack, we have the small usb device that we can connect to any computer that has an internet connection and also we have the magicJack app on our mobile phones. You just need to have access to the internet and the calls to any local number in the USA are free. it's very easy to use.
Here's Rick's page summarizing your options; follow the links to learn more about each option: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/phones-tech/stay-connected-in-europe
Or you could just email, which you can do on your own schedule. Actually easier than coordinating schedules and time zones.
Thank you for all the suggestions. Will check each of them out.
If I always had net access, I would probably use Skype. For one, as long as the other person has net access, they can sign up for Skype, and Skype-to-Skype calls are free. This is probably the ideal. If they don't have Skype, calling the US is still only a few cents a minute, and a landline might be slightly cheaper to call than a cell phone (it works this way calling Europe from the US). Text messaging is also quite cheap. As long as you're on a decent net connection, I'd say Skype actually drops/garbles less calls than Virgin, AT&T, Vodafone, or any of the other horrible services I've used. Unlike when I've traveled with a US # that people can call worldwide and "free" international calling attached to my plan (this was a non-Iphone smartphone with T-Mobile), Skype has no hidden charges. You literally just charge up your credit and can speak until it runs out; just make sure when you use your credit card to leave the "automatic credit top-up" (something like that) option blank! Otherwise it will top your credit up for the chosen amount (if you start with $20, it will top it up with another $20) when you run out! hope that helps :)
Get a free Google Voice number, then use Google Hangouts on your iPhone and call US phone numbers for free on WiFi.
Hi everyone: Thank you for all your responses. We just got back from Slovenia and we ended up just getting a SIM card from Telecom and it worked out great (it only takes a few minutes to get it and they are always so helpful). We had unlimited data and I just used Viber and Facetime for communication. We had done the same in Ireland and it is so handy. I highly suggest it.