Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Save a dime on calling while abroad

When you are abroad from home, you may find it necessary to make a few calls time to time. Whether it be long distance or local calls to talk with others as you meet new friends, having a plan will save you money. Here are a few tips to consider for making a good and cost-effective talk plan for yourself…

First: Depending on the length of your stay- If you talk a lot internationally, (over one hour per month) the best buy is investing in a local call plan and phone. That’s all there is to it. There is no other way to save more money. Using calling cards and/or paying per call at internet cafes is an option… however, it is expensive if you start to use over one hour of time. Again, if you plan on staying for a long duration, the local domestic call plan is the best plan… and in most of Latin America you will be dealing with TelCel or one of its subsidiaries.

It is also important to know that when it comes to buying a plan from telcel, it will be of immense value to spend a little time negotiating with their local stores and clerks, as you can generally get a local plan at much better rate than US or Canadian companies offer.

Second: Bring your laptop if you got one! Wifi is almost everywhere. If you don't have a laptop, you can use skype to arrange your calls at internet cafés, and talk for free (though you will have to pay for the rate of the computer at the internet café, which is usually around 1 USD per hour.) As well, you will have to be sure to coordinate the time with those whom you plan on “skyping with.”

The bottom line is to be sure to give some thought to your preferences and have ‘some system’ in place that works for your communication style. Whether you are someone who can use email mostly, or calling cards, or cell phones, it’s worth taking a close look at what will work best so you don’t run into a high phone bill while abroad.


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