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!