Smart tips for using your smart phone overseas

I’ll admit upfront that I impulsively (and stupidly) bought a smart phone that I cannot use in Europe. So even though I love my Droid here at home, I don’t have to worry about racking up big bills with it when I travel. For those with shiny new iPhones or Blackberries, though, international charges can be a very unpleasant surprise.

A recent article in the New York Times describes the hazards of unfettered roaming (a bill for a $1,000 waiting for you when you get home?!) and outlines some great ways to limit your exposure. Some of the strategies are simple (turn off the data roaming option, or sign up for a data roaming plan) and some require a little more technological know-how (replace the SIM card or use VOIP instead), but any traveler should be able to pick up some good ideas from this article.

And if it all leaves you more confused than before, just ask your travel agent to rent you an international cell phone for you to use while you’re away. Rates are reasonable, and it couldn’t be easier!

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You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)