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US to US calling while in Paris

My adult daughter and I will be in Paris next June for 2 weeks. She has a US smartphone and I have a US cellphone. If we get separated and need to call each other, how is this accomplished? I can't find an answer via a web search, which implies to me that we just dial the number as if we were both in the US. Is it that simple, or am I being naive?

Posted by
2081 posts

Welcome Frank,

I wish it was that simple.

However i believe any of you that initiates the call will have to call as if dialing to the USA. What i found out was that when i was in a different country, i could call local numbers as if i had a local phone.

I know my UK and AMS sim know where im at and when i took my USA T Mobile sim on my trip last year, it knew where i was in Europe.

But first i would check your carriers international rates/charges/fees or whatever they do to squeeze more $$$ out of your phones.

your mileage may vary (ymmv)

happy trails.

Posted by
31137 posts


Assuming that both of your phones will operate on GSM networks in Europe and that you're roaming with your home network, this is how it works....

When one party calls the other, the call will be directed first to the U.S. and then routed back to wherever the receiving party is. The caller will pay for an outgoing call to the U.S. and the person receiving the call will pay for an incoming call. Each call will cost both of you some money, and billing is usually to the nearest minute. If a call lasts one minute and one second, you'll be billed for two minutes. The cheapest method would be to use text messages, and sent texts are usually very cheap and received texts are often FREE.

With a Smartphone, your daughter will also need to be very careful with data roaming.

Happy travels!

Posted by
103 posts

You will both need to ensure that you dial +1 before the regular U.S. number to tell the French network that you are calling a U.S. number. So, you would need to dial +1 (555) 555-5555 instead of just (555) 555-5555 which the French network would try to make sense of and probably give you an error message because that number didn't make sense in the French phone network. I travel a fair bit for work, so I just program numbers in to my phone with the +1 (or + whatever country code they need) and it works just fine to have the number in there like that even when you're using it domestically.

Posted by
9110 posts

Where'd the thousands of bucks come from all of a sudden?

For thirty bucks you can put an AT&T phone on the basic European plan which makes all calls a dollar a minute. Without the plan, it's only a dollar and a half per.

For the same thirty dollars the rest of the world plan makes it two dollars per. Without a plan, it's two-fifty.

How much can you yak?

The way it works is fairly simple. No matter where I am, I push the same button I push at home and there she is, no matter where she is. That's with smartphones.

I've forgotten the way it worked with regular phones, but I think I had to stick in the foreign outgoing code and the US access code and it'd find her no matter where she was - - that's 001 plus area code, etc.

Posted by
39 posts

Ed, the simplicity of your suggestion is brilliant. I showed it to my daughter and she smiled and said "how come we didn't think of that.." Thanks much.

Posted by
3696 posts

You can also add 50 international outgoing texts with an AT&T plan for about $10. You do not pay for incoming texts.

Cheap and easy way to be in touch...

Posted by
9110 posts

The question was about voice.

There's a handy KILL switch for cellular data.

Data plans are extant.

Wifi works.

Posted by
1064 posts

Frank, I missed the part about what cell phone carrier you are using. All major companies have international plans, not just AT&T, and most don't require a longterm commitment. We have Verizon and, like you, use our phones mainly to keep in touch and find each other when we are apart. Calling on today's phones is a lot simpler than it used to be.

Posted by
1010 posts

Are you sure your phones will work in Europe? Some U.S. phones won't.

You already have cell service so this may not be of much help, but T-Mobile recently lowered the cost of making a call from Europe to 20 cents and doesn't charge extra for text messages or data (data usage is capped at some point, though). T-Mobile doesn't require a contract, too. If you were going for more than 2 weeks - such as if someone was studying abroad for a semester - the T-Mobile price advantage is substantial.