How to Invest in an International Cell Phone While Traveling CheapOair Staff April 12, 2011 general Can you hear me now? The constant traveler always needs to keep up with life back home, or simplyneeds to be in contact while traveling. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the proper cellular phone service while traveling. Whether you are on a business trip or traveling around the world for pleasure, having cell phone service can sometimes seem almost impossible. Everyone has their different needs; whether you want to tweet about the awesome sites in Venice, or the leisure traveler who only needs a phone for emergencies. Investing in the proper phone can save lots of time, hassle and money. Invest in a Quad Band Phone: Ideally, if you are a frequent traveler, you'd like to have a phone that works in every part of the world. Often, these are rare and expensive. The problem is different regions of the world use different frequencies, which means you need to be aware of what frequencies your phone can receive. This is simply a matter of how the phone is designed; there is nothing you can do to make it work abroad if it does not have this feature. Be aware that a quad band phone can be extremely pricey, especially if you'd like to have many smart phone features. Buy an International SIM Card: In order to use an international SIM card, you must first make sure your mobile device is capable of changing its SIM card. Also, it needs to be unlocked; available to read and accept the SIM card. This can easily be done by calling your cellular phone provider, or in a cellular phone store. One can avoid international roaming charges by using a SIM card in each country you visit. You can do this by either buying one SIM card that can work in many countries by finding the network while you are there, or you can locally visit a cell phone store abroad for a local SIM card. Both options use networks in the country you are traveling in, or a fixed rate as opposed to higher international roaming charges. Rent an International Phone: For short term travels, it might be a better idea to invest in renting a cellular device. Once again, the kind of phone you should get depends if you are traveling in a single country or multiple countries. One can easily find services online for these products in order to have rental service that is pre-paid without contracts, minimum use requirements or running up a large bill. If you simply want to make local calls, international calls back home or emergency calls only, this is your best option. Save even more money by renting a simple phone without high tech necessities such as a camera or touch screen capability. Set up Pro-Rated service while Traveling: With so many options to set up cellular service abroad and to save money on roaming fees, you'd wonder why anyone would want to use their regular service abroad. For some travelers, it might be a bit more convenient to do so. If you're simply going on a family vacation only a few times a year, there might not be an ultimate need for some of the options above. There is no need to switch plans or purchase a new phone if you already have a phone you use at home to make calls during your trip. Also, you don't have to worry about having a new phone number whenever you travel. It is advisable to be aware of using your cell phone abroad, especially in countries where smart phones may stand out as a target for thieves. Also, international calls can be pricey if you use your phone the way you do when you are at home. Be aware of how often you will use your phone on your trip to determine how much a pro-rate will cost. Invest in a phone that uses Skype: One of the latest options with smart phones is to use Skype during your travels. If you already have a computer, many travelers use Skype to make free calls to Skype members, or to save a lot of money on services through low rates. Take it a step further if you have a phone that has a Skype application and find a Wi-Fi area to make local or international calls with your Skype plan. This is the most efficient and affordable options for travelers, especially for young travelers who simply want to keep in touch at home or contact local friends. The only down side is always having to find adequate service in order to utilize this option.