Tips on taking your own phone abroad
The best thing to do when traveling overseas with a cell phone is to have a cell phone carrier that is GSM. Most carriers (Aside from Verizon, which is CDMA) have GSM systems. This means that you can use your same device when traveling out of the United States-- you just need to get a proper sim card to swap into your device when you are in your country destination. You can usually get the sim card once you are out of the States. Sometimes if you call the carrier they can ship one to you depending on the country. OR you always have the option of buying a prepaid throw away device.
If you do have Verizon as your service provider you can opt to purchase a Global Device. This type of phone has an option called Global mode which works in a variety of different countries. Before you leave the US you would call Verizon and tell them to add the international option onto your account and you would just pay for the minutes/texts used when out of the USA. Only certain devices are Global Ready so be sure to ask the Sales rep if the device you are purchasing has that option.
One last option that I can offer is to use any smartphone with WiFi capabilities and turn your WiFi option on when out of the country and connect to an open (or secured if you know the password) internet connection and download an SMS app like Whatsapp or a universal one that allows you to text anyone. It sends the messages over the WiFi connection, gives you a separate temporary phone number and doesn't charge you anything at all, it sends the messages via the internet you are connected to.
You wouldn't buy an unlocked phone in the US, you would purchase as well at the country you are traveling to. Most airports or drug stores carry them and they are for short term use, no contract or credit required. You put the minutes on as you need them and they normally do not cost more then $50 a phone.
There are numerous ways that you can stay in contact overseas and these are just a few of the ways that I can share with you that are the least costly and most effective. Goodluck and safe travels!
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