When I started traveling, there weren’t many options besides paying stratospheric values for a calling card or making a collect call via an operator. Unfortunately, monopoly leads to poor service and high prices. Nowadays, there are still these two options but also a few others brought by the blessed internet. I will mention here the one option I consider the cheapest and most suitable for backpackers and budget travelers. If you want to keep using your cellphone’s 3G network while abroad, the loss will be completely yours!!
- Using Skype Credit
In my opinion, this is the best option to talk to anyone anywhere you are in the world. Therefore, this is the one I use most often.
The only downside is that both speakers need have access to a computer with internet and Skype installed. You can also use a smartphone which accepts Skype. Once all this is done, just open a free profile on Skype and both people should add each other as contacts (you can search by username or email). Once everything is ready you can start talking as much as you want about you trips, gossips and so on, including being able to use video conferencing. Best of all…. it’s all for free!!
Besides using Skype to call family or friends who also have Skype, I use this program to call landlines and cell phones anywhere in the world. The rates are very reasonable and it’s easy to use.
Once you have the program installed on your computer, use the function ACCOUNT and you can put money on the account with a credit card. Quite often, when I’m planning a trip I have to call some hostels and tours around the world to ask specific questions or request more information and I always end up using Skype for this process. It is extremely practical and you can use your account on any computer that has Skype installed just by logging in. It is also useful if you have to call your bank, doctor, etc. or anything while abroad.
How much does it cost to make international calls using Skype??
You can also subscribe to the country you call the most by paying a monthly fee so you can call landlines and mobile at lower prices or even unlimited , depending on your plan.
For example, by paying US$ 6.99 per month you can make unlimited calls to any landline or mobile phone in the United States using your computer or smartphone with Skype on it. You can even cancel the plan at any time without penalties.
Since my girlfriend lives in the United States and she is not always at home to use a computer with Skype, I subscribed for the United States unlimited plan so I could call her cell phone at any time.
It even works if you are not traveling and just want to save money on domestic calls. You can also think the other way around. If you’re traveling the world and want to constantly talk to family and friends at home, you can make the same plan. Or, you can even call unlimited to the whole world (US, UK, China and 60 other countries) for only US$13.99 per month!!
That’s it, now there are no more excuses to not calling your Mom!! Stop letting everyone worry about you while you’re traveling!!
What about you?? Do you have a better or cheaper idea to make calls while traveling?? Please write me if you still have any questions not clarified in the text so I can try to help you the best as I can.
To learn about my favorite travel companies and resources that let me travel so much for such a low cost, take a look at my special page of “travel resources.”
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