Cell Phone in Hungary, Austria, And Czech R.

Travelling between these 3 countries and looking for recommendatin for cell phone. Option 1- call my provider and get it opened to use in Europe. Option 2- order one from a website. Anybody done this? and if yes, what site, and your feedback would be appreciated.

Posted by Ilja
2124 posts

I go to Czech R. often and have a cell phone which I bought there and buy calling time. I could still use it in Austria and Hungary but calling there would be more expensive. To lower price of calls I would have to buy their SIM card. My phone is with Vodafon. If you don't plan to do many calls then buy your SIM card in the first country. But if you plan to do more calling then probably it would be financially better to buy SIM card for each country.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22101 posts

Cliff, Which option to use will depend to some extent on how you plan on using the Cellphone in the countries you mentioned. Assuming that your phone is compatible for use in Europe, buying a travel pack from your home network and roaming with that should be reasonably cost effective. If you're using a "Smartphone" be VERY careful with data roaming. You could also have a look at Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Telestial, Mobal, Tru-Phone or any of the other "travel phone" firms. Happy travels!

Posted by Cliff
136 posts

Usage will be 20 minutes a day back to the states to check on family. Text messages will also be maybe 20 sent/read per day also. Based on this, what would your suggestion be. We will not be using the phone for any planned local calls, but could make a few if needed.

Posted by Ilja
2124 posts

This is changing situation substantially. Calling the States and talking for 20 min. would be quite expensive. I do it this way: Buy through pennytalk minutes for my phone in US. Then send email from Europe to my relatives in US and give them my landline hotel phone #. To call you on your European cell phone is ten times more expensive. And also time when to call me. Then it's 49 c per call plus 2 c a minute. These rates are for C.R.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

It's really important to know who your carrier is and what kind of phone you have. Example: if it's AT&T, for ten bucks a month you can put in on an international voice plan and calls cost a dollar a minute. Turn off cellular data and then do your other stuff when wifi is available. Take it off the international voice plan when you get back. It sure makes everything simple. I wander so much that I stay on international voice all year. I've never had international data, so the couple of times I've had to use data without wifi I just hit the data switch, used it, and flipped it back off - - the cost was so inconsequential that I don't even remember what it was. Edit: Holy cow! Twenty minutes a day? I thought it was twenty minutes for the whole trip. That much is beyond my imagination. If I'm running solo, we check on each other in a couple of minutes every couple of days! Wifi Skype or something, beats me.

Posted by James E.
3671 posts

I've used US T-mobile with a quad band gsm phone from the Black Sea coast to London and back again to S. Africa. Always worked like a charm but it can be expensive so I try and stay in places with WIFI and I use the WIFI calling feature that came with the phone. I don't know anything about it except it was pre loaded on the T-mobile phone, my teenage kids showed it to me a few years ago and its free and works like a charm. I also have a cheap phone with a SIM card from www?.telestial.com/ which works but is sort of iffy at times. Finally I have a Hungarian T-mobile prepaid phone that I rarely use. I use the US t-mobile to call a cab for about a buck in Budapest and the wifi. to check on the family back home.

Posted by Emma
6 posts

If you're bringing a laptop and planning to use the phone to call home, I'd strongly recommend just using an internet-based service, like Skype or Google. It's something like 2 cents a minute and works just as well.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3276 posts

Cliff... If you have AT&T you can add international texting for $10 (but that is only for 50 outgoing texts while you are there, incoming are free.) So, when I am texting I always make them as complete as possible. Unless you really have to spend that much time communicating with home from overseas I would try and rethink your plan or it can get expensive. What I do is add the texting and international call plan so I can make calls in case of emergency, but I don't call home to chat... I do that after I return.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
286 posts

I have been searching and reading about this very situation and have found Eurobuzz. Seems for $39 which includes shipping you can get a phone that works in all of Europe. Each minute, rounded up so even 61 seconds is two minutes, is 79 cents. Yes, that is high, but considering all costs of other options, I just won't hang on the phone with meaningless gossip. Your credit card is billed as you use it. You are assigned a UK phone number and the phone is shipped to your home in advance of leaving for your trip so you can have it charged in advance of touch down. No need to buy a SIM card for each country. A year later...pick up the phone and use it. No monthly fees. Number is active...so they say, forever, which is a long time, but OK. Reviews are all positive about usage and simplicity.
wayne iNWI