Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Staying in touch in Europe is cheaper than you think

Europe is a dream destination for travellers worldwide, we have always said that one day I will take that dream vacation to Europe. If you're like most travellers, you probably do a lot of things automatically without thinking much about it, you may look for the biggest or the cheapest hotel chain, or you may bring your own cell phone or use payphones to stay in touch and keep those ties back home warm.

Over the last few years payphone use in Europe has been steadily declining and operating at loss, as a traveller this means that first, functional payphones are hard to find and second, rates are increasing. It would certainly be more convenient to connect from your hotel, if the hotel has good phones, and reasonable charges for International calls. But that's rarely the case, especially the reasonable charges part. Many hotels charge 4 to 5 times the normal rate for phone calls.

By this time you might be wondering if carrying a cell phone is the only option you are left with, the option you feared the most because of the high International roaming cost and the limitation of your cell phone being non-compatible to work in Europe. Even though few carriers in North America share same GSM system as used in Europe, their cell phones run on different frequency. There a 4 frequencies used by cell phones, the frequencies are 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 Mhz. Depending on the country only some of the frequencies are used, for example in the Europe only 900 and 1800 are used, while in the United States 850 and 1900 are used.

Using Your Own Phone

Most cell phones manufactured today are either Tri-band or Quad-band, which means they can receive all 3 or 4 frequencies required to work across the Continent. If you have such a phone u may want to consider roaming with your current service provider only if you know you will use it seldom, as this can really have a big dent on your pocket. Call rates can run anywhere from $1 - $3 per minute for all Incoming & Outgoing calls, depending on which Country you travel.

Ironically, what was until recently, one of the most expensive ways to stay in touch in the Europe has now become one of the least expensive, if you're willing to switch gears and break some of these long-time travel habits, you may come out money ahead.

Use a local solution

As they say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

The most economic way to use your own cell phone, if it has the correct bands (most phones today are), is to swap out the SIM card (the chip in the phone giving you service) and insert a local Europe SIM Card. Chances are you already have a cell phone with required bands but do not realize that you can use them with this SIM by simply asking your carrier for the unlock code.

These cards are not available everywhere in the Europe as they are designed for tourist but you can get them through RebelFone at

Though there are several other SIM cards you can get online or at your arrival in Europe, this solution is offered keeping in mind that visitors to Europe often travel to more than one Country and need low fixed & flat call rates everywhere.

This service is available to any traveller worldwide and can be ordered online with a convenience of getting the SIM before you leave, which means you will have the number to give out to your contacts before your trip.

Don’t have an un-locked cell phone with required bands?

No problem, you can still enjoy the benefits of a Europe SIM card and stay connected at low rates. Gone are those days when un-locked multi band cell phones used to cost a fortune, in fact RebelFone offers low cost SIM & Cell Bundle for Europe. You will own the cell phone that comes with this bundle and since it is un-locked you can use it next time you travel in 200 other Countries worldwide and save even more by just ordering a SIM card then.

Now that you know how to stay in touch & still stay money ahead while in Europe, we say “auf seine Kosten kommen” (“to get one’s money worth” – German).