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    Posted September 23, 2014 by
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    Keeping in touch when traveling overseas with rented cell phones, GPS devices


    I’ll admit that I’ve yet to truly travel outside the country. Yes, I’ve flown off the mainland of the contiguous, continental United States to visit Maui – and I’ve even visited Paradise Island in the Bahamas. While the former is located in one of the 50 states, the latter seems like a U.S. territory, even though the Bahamas are their own independent commonwealth nation – and they didn’t require passports when I visited back in 1996.  


    Either way, my travels aren’t like the thousands of miles away journeys that some Americans take to places like the Middle East, wherein certain travelers choose rent cell phones from sites like Travel Cell, instead of (or perhaps in addition to) bringing their own smartphones with them on their jaunts around the world. Beyond the various popular brands of cell phones offered, there’s also the choice to rent GPS devices that tell foreigners how to arrive at their destinations by providing directions in English that tell them exactly where to turn along the way.     These factors are important when you’re considering visiting a country where you haven’t mastered the language as of yet – especially if you plan on launching off on journeys without an experienced native chaperone with you at all times. If you want to venture out on your own, it’s best that you do plenty of prep-work beforehand to discover the lay of the land. Using a language-learning tool that teaches you popular phrases and complete sentences via object/photo lessons can’t hurt either. Therefore, indulge in such tasks months prior to your planned trip.    


    Learn how much your flat-rate fees will be with your current carrier    Equipping yourself to undertake a big overseas junket means you need to be prepared to avoid hidden fees within your current carrier’s plan when it comes to international charges. Learn the exact costs for renting a smartphone for any country versus how much your own phone company would charge for bringing your iPhone, BlackBerry, Samsung Galaxy or other device along with you so that you know what to expect by the time the bill arrives.  


    As phone firms get smarter and realize that customers are willing to shop around for the best bargains possible, they’ll continue to offer competitive rates in order to secure clients away from other carriers. For example, if T-Mobile keeps expanding the benefits of their international plans and introduces a $0.20 per minute flat rate for global customers, Sprint or Verizon could come along and try to offer an even better international rate fee. And it’s easy when companies decide to charge a flat fee with no hidden extras, because participants in the plan therefore easily understand that at twenty cents per minute, a 10-minute phone call from overseas should only appear as a $2 charge on their bill for that call alone.  


    The bottom line is to do your homework on all the options – renting cell phones, GPS devices, or bringing your own – when you decide to travel abroad to be able to plan the costs in your travel budget.

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