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Power strip and Wifi phone question

I already read the thread about Whats App and Skype. I still need a solution to my issue. I want to call my mother when I am in Ireland next week and prefer to use WIFI. Mom does not have a Smart Phone. She has a landline and regular "flip" type (i.e. Jitterbug type) cell phone. She also refuses to use a tablet or computer. I have a cheap Android phone that will NOT WORK in Ireland for phone calls but it does connect to WIFI. If I can get a WIFI connection on my Android, what is the best way to make a call to my Mom without having her have to do anything except answer her phone?

BTW...I do have a UK Mobile phone I bring with me when I travel to Europe but it is still pretty expensive to make calls. It is a Mobal phone. Not a smart phone. Just a basic cell that I use to make restaurant reservations or call a hotel if I have questions. I can use it to call the USA but it is very expensive.

Also...I purchased a small power strip with USA type AC connections with one USA type AC connection to use when plugging into one source. If I plug the strip into an Adapter suitable for use in the UK/Ireland and then plug that adapter into the wall at some hotel, will this be a problem? I do not want to start a fire or blow out my devices. The devices I plan to charge are 1) Android Tablet, 2) I-Touch, 3) Android Phone, 4) My friend's Android Phone.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Posted by
21155 posts

Critical - make sure the power strip does NOT have built-in surge protection. Straight power strip no problem. And, of course, this assumes that all of your devices are rated for 100-240v input. Should check each just in case.

We just used skype and dialed the number directly - makes no difference if land line or cell phone. Were not trying to face time. Should be able to dial her number directly.

Posted by
1171 posts

Skype will work over wifi. It needs to have a decent wifi and broadband internet connection. I've found some hotels where it doesn't work well due to insufficient bandwidth. You do need to buy credit in $10 increments.

ETA: Your mom would just answer the phone as she normally does. Nothing special she needs to do on her end. If she has caller ID it might show and odd phone number if you haven't associated your number with the Skype account.

Posted by
238 posts

Thank you all for your help and advice. I would prefer to use Skype on my I-Touch and not my Android Phone.

The I-Touch would be ideal since it holds a charge the longest. Once I download Skype on the I-Touch, what do I do next?

I would like to try to test it with my Mom before I leave.

Posted by
238 posts

Frank said:

Critical - make sure the power strip does NOT have built-in surge protection. Straight power strip no problem. >>>

Why?

My strip does not indicate anything. Just a strip with plugs. I bought it at a cheap store called "Five Below" for $4.99

Posted by
3457 posts

Why?

A regular power strip built for use in the US that has surge protector built in may see the higher voltage you get from the line in Europe as a surge and flip the built in breaker rendering it useless.

Posted by
238 posts

Thanks! But I have no idea if this has a surge protector. So...I am guessing I should not bring it?

Posted by
1171 posts

Skype calling. Download app. Setup your account and add credit. I think it's a minimum of $10 but the rates are cheap. Then use the dial pad to enter the number and press the little phone symbol.. Or set numbers up in contacts. Don't forget to use the right format for the US use the +1 area code then the phone number.

More info here:

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA34608/call-phones-from-skype

Posted by
5629 posts

I just take a standard extension cord -- like the ones you can get at the grocery store.

Posted by
13 posts

The AC power strip unnecessary, frankly. You'll be plugging device cords into their adapters, the adapters into the strip, with the strip into an a converter, into the wall. That's overkill:

Devices > Cables > USB chargers > Power Strip > Plug Adapter > Wall

Just bring along your regular device cords and chargers, and get a couple cheap Irish plug adapters (no need for a voltage converter). Alternatively (and to save even more space), get a multi-USB power adapter - they make them with up to 6 or even 8 USB ports, with a single plug, which can be plugged into an adapter, into the wall:

Devices > Cables > Multi-USB charger > Plug Adapter > Wall

Posted by
4700 posts

Too late for the OP - but Google Hangouts works great to make free calls home to the US (even to landlines) - works for Americans, anyway. Hangouts needs to be setup before you leave the US in case Google needs to verify an existing phone number before letting you call phones. But works on WiFi or with mobile data, so you don't even need a SIM to use it.