Traveling is a real disruption of your normal day-to-day life and may limit your ability to complete needed responsibilities. One item that is a necessity for many people is continued cell phone service. Here are three steps to having cell phone service while traveling.
Contact Your Carrier to Understand Your Coverage
The cell phone service that you will have access to will depend significantly based on the area that you are traveling to. Understand your phone plan and the location that you are traveling to and see if you will be hit with roaming charges for cell coverage while you are away from home. This is often the only consideration to have for domestic travel and you can generally easily change your cell phone plan for national coverage even for a short period.
International travel is different. You will need to understand the type of network available internationally and whether your phone works in the international location you are traveling to and what fees are charged when traveling there. Some countries have the same network as your home country and your cell phone can be used with an international option added and perhaps a new SIM card inserted. Other cell phones will not work at all when traveling internationally. Do your research starting with a call to your cell phone service provider.
Consider Phone Rental Options
If you won’t have the ability to add international or national cell phone service or don’t feel comfortable carrying your cell phone, then you may want to consider renting a cell phone while traveling. While the cost is generally reasonable to do so it can be a bit of a disruption as you will have a different phone number. Look at getting your phone calls forwarded to your temporary cell phone number if you need to which can be as easy as using an online app to do so or calling your cell phone provider.
Buy a Prepaid Phone
If the former items fail you can buy a prepaid phone and plan to use while traveling. While there is a cost associated with this option and calls are higher in cost than other phone options, if you are using your cell phone for emergency purposes or for the Wi-Fi access than it may make sense to keep this option open. Buying a prepaid phone for international travel makes more sense when you are repeatedly traveling to the same country. The cost of a burner cell phone is not significant but is further reduced when amortized over several trips.
Having access to a cell phone is a near necessity in the modern age. Try the three steps noted above to make sure you have cell phone service when traveling domestically or internationally.