General discussion

Phone for Europe for 3 wks

We'll be in Europe for 3 weeks and are considering a
cell phone for emergency calls and possible limited
use(texting) for our 17 year daughter who will be traveling
with us.

I've searched on Fodors Europe forum where there is a fair
amount of info - wondering if any of you have experience
with Mobal World phone: www.mobalrental.com

I was also going to try to call Verizon today
as I understand you can rent an international phone from them.

Thank you!

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Comments
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What I'd do

What I'd do, is just get a pay as you go phone that has international service in the country/countries you'll be in across the pond.

You will pay much higher rates internationally with US carriers, but it's worth it compared to being stranded somewhere. There's also no contract that I'm aware of, besides being on the hook to pay for what you use. You probably also have to pay the full, unsubsidized cost of a phone to use.

I know Verizon offers some kind of international service and pay as you go phones. Whether the two can be combined might be something to ask about.

If you already have cell phones, you should just check with your carrier about using it abroad. It'll likely just cost extra for every call you make or text you send, but it would simplify things a great deal. Also, if you're making limited calls, it shouldn't be a big deal.

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Verizon Global Travel Program

I just got off the phone with Verizon
and their Global Travel program seems amazingly good!

We would be on the 21 day or less program.
$9.99 to ship the loaner phone (they provide return shipping)
$1.29 per minute for incoming and outgoing calls
Text messages 50cents to send, 5 cents to receive
WE GET TO KEEP OUR SAME CELL PHONE NUMBER -which is cool!

We are going to be on a cruise ship while in Europe
and they did say the phone won't work on the ship
but we'll be fine when we are in port.

I am wondering if someone tries to call us while we are on the
ship will it go to a voicemail that we can retrieve
while in port?
Would that be the $1.29 charge to get a voicemail?

Thanks for any additional insight.

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Its true!

Bless you Annie! I saw your post and this is just perfect for my family trip to Europe. My wife just got off the phone with Verizon. Yes, it is $1.29 a minute to pick up your messages. The Verizon guy suggested getting people to text you, as it is 50 cents to send a text, 5 cents to receive.

Our trip is with some of her students, and my son and I might want to break off from the group and want to be able to get in touch in case we get lost, so we may borrow 2 phones. If we need to call each other it would be $1.29 times two a minute. If we don't, nothing!

This is a great alternative to what we were going to do, buy a pay as you go when we hit London and get the tour guide's phone number for emergencies!

Watch out, if you lose the phone or keep it longer than 30 days, they charge you $199.00.

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One more thing . . .

No free nights and weekends or in-calling while overseas. We asked. Darn.

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Buy a Pay as you go card there

I would check if your mobile phone can accept other sim cards, then buy a pay-as-you-go for that country - although this may be complicated if you are roaming around Europe a lot which sounds like you might be. Typically UK tariffs are 12p a text/min (about $0.24)

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Verizon Global Travel Program

I just returned to the US from a trip to Paris and Lisbon. The "Einstein" at verizon who set up my account blocked texting, although texting was the main reason why I took the phone in the first place. I don't have money to make and receive calls at 99c a min, but I thought I coudl swing the texting fees once a day. Plus, there was the safety issue. I wanted to have a recourse with me at all times. But relying on the phone was a hassle when in Europe one of my flights was cancelled. I was not notified via text (from the airline and from my husband) and still lugged my suitcases for over 1 hr via metros and trains, towards Charles De Gaulle airport, only to get there and be told "Hmmm we texted you... your flight was cancelled." I was not happy.

So in case you get the same Verizon "Einstein" I did, test your phone fully while still in the USA, and tell them that you DO NOT WANT to pay for the costs incurred by those tests, because they are necessary and for not fault of yours. Once you traverse the ocean.... you can't reach verizon, no matter what numbers they might have given you to call from overseas. I tried to call Verizon using the 908-559-9899 many times, to no avail.

So I was not able to receive or send texts, I could not reach verizon and sometimes the phone would not ring. Yes, I do know how to set the sounds on my phone. It just would not ring - sometimes... randomly. The sceen would light up with the incoming call, but the ringer would act as if it were off, though it was on and loud. Theuy sent me a defective phone. So I was able to make and receive calls (at 99c a minute) but even that only happened when the phone decided to work. Verizon has refunded $4.99 of the $10 I paid for shipping, but frankly I feel that it was a worthless hassle. I am about to now drive 20 mins into town to drop it off at a Fed Ex depot and would like to stick Verizon with my gas expense. I hope things work well for you. Just, like i said, test the phone fully while still withing Verizon stateside territory.

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Sorry to hear that

The problem is, you cannot test the Verizon international phone features stateside. Once you leave the domestic coverage area and connect on a foreign network, all bets are off unfortunately.

Next time grab a cheap prepaid SIM and GSM/UMTS cellular phone. It will be an entirely different experience, trust me. IME and O Verizon is not the best U.S. provider for provisioning their customers during foreign travels Sad. FWIW, I've had to bail out friends with dual-mode Verizon "world" <ahem> handsets (mostly blackberries) that somehow had their services completely messed up much like you've described. Not fun.

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Have a back-up plan

I signed up for the Verizon Loaner plan for a 3 week work trip to Spain. Half way through the trip my Blackberry quit working completely and has left me without a way to contact my employees back home. I have to use the hotel phone, which is a fortune, or email. I'm certain they sent me a refurbished phone. It shows no signs of ever having been wet, and the functional decline was gradual. When I return home I'm having my company switch me to AT&T. Their coverage isn't the greatest, but at least the phones worked overseas. Lesson learned.

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Sorry for your experience.....

...but next time start a new thread. This thread was started in 2008. Thread closed.

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