Traveling in Europe with your cell phone

If you are planning a trip to Europe and just cannot do without your cell phone or smart phone, there are at least two questions you should ask yourself before determining what type of plan and phone you will need while traveling abroad.  One: How long will you be traveling in Europe and in what countries?  Two: How much will you use your phone while you are traveling?

Depending on your carrier, your cell phone may or may not work while traveling in Europe.  Most AT&T and T-Mobile clients have phones that will work overseas; however, if you have service with Verizon or Sprint, you should check your cell phone’s operating manual or check with the company before assuming the phone would work while out of the country.  If you are not going to use your phone very often, want people to be able to reach you on your local number in case of emergencies and will not be traveling very long, you can set up an international calling plan through your provider.  Special charges apply; however, this is the easiest way to travel overseas with your cell phone.

Obviously, some people use their cell phone, even during vacation, much more than other people do while traveling.  For example, if you are an individual who will want to call your hotel to verify your Zermatt accommodation upon arrival in Switzerland or if you use your smart phone to find Zermatt restaurants or attractions in Zermatt, you may want to consider an unlocked cell phone during your Zermatt vacation.  You can purchase or rent an unlocked phone, buy a SIM card and have unlimited telephone access while traveling in Europe, all without purchasing a contract.  In some instances, you can have your own cell phone unlocked (most are locked to work only within the United States and only with the carrier that provided the phone) by contacting your carrier.

If you decide to rent a cell phone for your Zermatt vacation, remember to read the fine print.  Even though you can rent a phone from your provider, some hotels, car rental companies or other companies, they often have hidden fees and high per-minute charges.  Rental phones are best suited for travelers who will not be using their cell phone very much, will only be traveling for a short time or do not have access to any other options.

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