Using your mobile phone overseas

A recent CNN article made me smile as it coincided with my post on Brightroam that hit my blog recently.

I would encourage anyone looking to save money on their cell phone bill while traveling to read this article written by Christopher Elliot, the ombudsman for National Geographic Magazine, that was republished on CNN.com on Friday, April 28, 2009. He really hits the nail on the head and brings to light some issues that travelers face when they try to use their US-based mobile phones outside the country. Mr. Elliot highlights some problems faced by travelers – for example, one gentleman whose wife went abroad and made $8000 worth of calls and text messages. It’s important to know that just because your phone works in Italy, it doesn’t mean it’s the best and most affordable way to make calls. Who wants to come back from an awesome vacation only to find that their checking account has been sapped dry?

Read the article – he gives some great suggestions for keeping costs down.

My take on this: Check out his suggestions, specifically numbers 3 and 4 — swapping out your SIM card for a card native to where you’re visiting or using VoIP, such as Skype. In Italy though it might be difficult to find free wifi, especially if you’re outside the larger cities.

Before you travel overseas, buy a prepaid Sim card and save up to 90% on your cell phone calls abroad.