Cell Phones Abroad

Always with Us! Oh, we love our smart phones! They are like another appendage to our bodies. We are constantly on our phones. There are a few things you need to be aware of when traveling internationally concerning your phone service.

So you have flight reservations for a trip to a Caribbean paradise and you are wondering about your cell phone service when you are drinking coconut milk. Fear not, read on…

The World is Smaller! Most smart phones are compatible for global use but you need to contact your service provider to see if you have the international plan. You can contact your service provider and get international calling before you go and possibly cancel it when you return. Your provider may have various international plans, so check before you go so you will be prepared.

Know Before You Go! Just beware that your calls, texts, and data usage may be charged differently than on the home front depending on your international plan. Some folks have returned home with a large bill awaiting them. Even if you have a basic international plan, calls and texting will cost extra and calls are very expensive. Data usage, for internet apps such as emails and social media are often very expensive if you do not have an affordable international plan. It is important to turn off “Cellular Data” if you have a limited or expensive data usage plan even if you intend to send and receive text and calls. If you only intend to use your phone as a camera or other offline usages then it is wise to put it on “Airplane Mode”.

Save Money and Connect! If you have access to Wi-Fi, be sure to connect to the Wi-Fi network and you can make free calls with FaceTime, Messenger, or other programs.

Hola! A great app to have on your smart phone in a foreign country is “Google Translate”. Once you install the app, go to settings and install the “Offline Translation” for the specific language(s) you need; this will allow you to translate even when you are on “Airplane Mode” or have the “Cellular Data” turned off.

Here is a link to Verizon’s international plans:


Here is a link to AT&T’s international plans:


Enjoy the Journey!

Harry L. Whitt