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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:44 PM   #1
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I am leaving in less than two weeks, and as you can see by my many posts lately, I am trying to firm things up.

What would you all recommend for calling back home. Buy calling cards here? Buy them over there? Rent and take along a cell phone? Call home collect?

Let me know your thoughts!!
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Old 09-28-2005, 02:37 PM   #2
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Definitely buy calling cards - they're pretty cheap. Renting cell phones is so expensive and so are collect calls!! When we just bought inexpensive ones, you had to buy different ones for each country. I think you can get universal "Europe" ones, but not too sure.
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Old 09-28-2005, 02:39 PM   #3
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You can buy them in advance from here. I just bought like 6 - 10 Euro ones in Europe.
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:20 AM   #4
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^ditto on the calling cards. You can't use the ones from the US in lots of places, so mostly you have to buy them in country.
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Old 09-29-2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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Calling cards are easier if you just want to check in with home now and then, but if you want to call somewhat frequently in and around the countries you will be in or want a phone handy for emergencies, purchasing a used cell phone in Europe might be best - then you can buy additional prepaid sim cards to use in different countries. Just to be clear...a single GSM phone will work all over Europe, but you may need different prepaid sim cards to use the phone in different countries - it all depends on the type of sim card/plan you get.

You could also buy a used phone here on Ebay - but make sure you buy a phone with an un-locked sim card that is tri or quad-mode if you buy it here - U.S. and Europe GSM networks are different.

I would recommmend you just wait to decide to buy a phone or not when you get over to Europe to check out and see how much the phone plus a prepaid sim card will cost in countries that you will be staying for any length of time and to see how much you really want to use the phone.

DO NOT rent a GSM cell phone - it is outrageously expensive. You could buy a phone, lots of minutes and at least several different sim cards for the cost of a rental.
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:07 PM   #6
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Yeah, if you pla on maing calls in Europe buy a phone in London. They have Nokia 1100s there for something like 9 pounds, which is a basic but reliable phone with great battery life. You can top up your minutes pretty much everywhere in Europe too. Phone cards in Europe for some reason never seem to work for me (through no fault of my own) and the cell phone saves a lot of frustration.
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Old 10-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #7
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I didnt really call home that often while i was in Europe, ok i didnt call home at all, i was just having too much fun. I did call home from Guatamala once and that was from a computer at an internet cafe. So based on my international telephone experience i would say use internet cafes, but perhaps it would be wiser to listen to the others.

.....hmmmm i think i might go and call home, i suddenly feel guilty...
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Old 10-03-2005, 03:07 AM   #8
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Yeah, a lot of internet cafes offer cheap-ass international phone calls...

Personally, since I already have a GSM phone, I just take it with me to use. It costs me a fair bit extra ($.99/min) but it's sooo handy to have for the occasionaly quick call home or to call and confirm things with hostels & stuff.. Or better yet, for sending TXT messages to people for meeting up, etc.

For my next trip, since I'll be spending a month in Australia, it's going to be more economical to just buy a prepaid SIM card for the phone while i'm there.
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