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Keeping in touch abroad

In these days of mobile phones, it's tempting to think that staying in touch will be easy. Oftentimes this is the case. But you need to think about a few things if you're going abroad and still want to be able to keep in touch. This simple checklist should help: 1. Can you use your current cell phone in the country you are visiting? For instance, many European phones are dual band and won't work in America.

Check your cell phone supplier's web site for information about using your phone in the country you are visiting. 2. Assuming you can use your phone, have you set up 'international roaming'? To keep fraud down to a minimum, when you first buy your phone it will likely be restricted to use in your home country. Call your supplier to make sure that you can also use your phone abroad. If you've already set up roaming and it's been a while since you last went abroad, double check that it is still set up on your account. This is MUCH easier to do at home than when you've landed elsewhere! 3.

Check that you've set up a PIN number for your voicemail. This will allow you to check any messages received when you are abroad. 4. If you are on a 'pay as you go' phone, check that you can purchase top-up credits in the country you are visiting. If you can't, you may need to organize someone who will still be at home to buy top-ups for your phone if necessary. So long as you can use your phone, that's it.

If you can't use your phone in the country you are visiting, you'll need to make alternative arrangements. If phones are cheap enough (for example, in countries such as the UK) it may pay you to buy a phone just for your trip. Otherwise, look into international calling cards. These allow you to dial a number, followed by the number you really want to contact.

International calling cards are almost always cheaper than using regular payphones. But beware using them from your hotel room - check what charges are applied BEFORE you call. .

By: Trevor Dumbleton

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