cell phone

My husband and I will be taking a Rick Steves tour this summer in Croatia/ Slovenia... very much looking forward to it. Any suggsetions regarding cell phones? My current cell phone is not an Iphone and does not have global capabilities. What is the best thing to do while we are there? In the past when I traveled in Europe, I bought a phone card and used it in a regular pay phone as a way of calling home (the US). Do pay phones even still exist? I understand that there are prepaid cell phones that can be purchased while there... Where do you buy them and how expensive are they? Would they work in just one country or across the board? Any suggestions or info would be appreciated!
Monica

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

I liked using Skype. We packed our Ipod Touch and set it up for calling land lines (a couple cents a minute). Almost all hotels have Wifi as do all Starbucks, McDonalds and many other restaurants and bars as well. A bonus is you call as if you were calling from the states, you don't have to worry about international calling codes. After making some test calls at home, I packed ear buds with a built in microphone. I thought that worked better to cut out background noise than the integrated speaker and mike. We spent a month in Spain, making a fairly brief call home almost daily and didn't use up our initial deposit when we set up Skype (can't recall if it was $10 or $20).

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

I have a TMobile phone that has worked from South Aftrica to Moscow and everywhere inbetween. But it can be expensive. If you stay in locations with free wifi skype works. My TMobile phone is fitted with something called wifi calling which is free and as easy as dialing a number. I try to this most often. But as littel as i use a phone outside of my apartment or a hotel room i dont mind paying a dollar to call a taxi if i need to so i dont fool with the sim cards or rental phones or ...... Here is what our host says about it: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/cell-phone-europe.htm

Posted by Carol
Martinez, CA, USA
522 posts

We bought a used unlocked quad band cell phone. It was very inexpensive. It works on the US and European frequencies. We then bought a SIM card for the US from TMobile to be sure it actually worked and we now use it as a second cell phone. When we arrive in a foreign country we buy a SIM card either at the airport or in town when we get to our hotel. They're inexpensive and usually come with 30 minutes of talk time within that country. Additional minutes can be purchased as needed. It works well and for a minimal investment we have a phone that will work anywhere.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
186 posts

Check out Eurobuzz. For $39.99 you get the phone, a set of electrical outlet adapters, a charger, and a SIM card. It is good use in ANY European country to any country, BUT the charge is seventy-nine cents per minute. That may sound high, and if you yak all day, it is. But if you use the phone for emergencies, and confirming bookings, then it is quite good. If you buy a SIM card for each country of your trip and don't use all the minutes, let's say a $27 card (20 Euro) and use 10 minutes...that is $2.70 per minute. And then you go to the next country and do it again. Eurobuzz promises that the UK number assigned to you will stay active to your next trip a year from now. I ordered mine and it arrived in a few days. I have entered my reservation numbers into it, and have it fully charged for my trip. All in the convenience of my home. wayne iNWI