You arrive in Barcelona. You call a friend to pick you up at the airport. You stay on the phone for 10 minutes. You still can’t find it so you call again 10 minutes before finally understanding where it is waiting for you = 15 €.
You had a few drinks at a beach party in Thailand. You finally decide to text the boy or girl you met in Bangkok last week. You exchange 20 texts together. The next night, you do it once again. You also send a few texts to friends in France to give them news = 11 €.
You need to get to Buenos Aires in Argentina quickly, but you can’t find the bus schedules from X city. You call the bus station several times without an answer and end up calling a friend of a friend for advice. Since this is a last-minute decision, you also call several hotels in Buenos Aires until you find the one with a free room at a reasonable price. You spent about forty minutes on the phone. = 45 €.
It’s a little expensive!
Unfortunately, many are willing to pay this fortune to use their laptops abroad, just because at first glance, it seems to be the only option. And even if it is the simplest option (what you have to do most often is simply to activate the additional online option), it has very few advantages.
And that’s why I never chose that option myself.
Here is the solution I use today to call, to text or even use the Internet, without ruining myself!
Using your phone number
On my side I have a package at B-And-You; this is a telephone company from Bouygues. With their package, I pay €3 per month for calls, text messages and the Internet when I am in France. This chip only makes me want to keep my French number. I don’t use it outside France because their international options are far too expensive. She’s giving me an emergency number, but also for something else, I’ll explain all this to you right below.
Buying a local prepaid SIM card
I always use a prepaid SIM card. This means that I buy a SIM card in each country I visit (if I stay there for more than two weeks) and reload it as I go along, depending on my needs. Check simoptions.com if you wish to learn more information about buying a prepaid SIM card. This credit allows me to call, send SMS, and connect to the Internet. When I run out of credit, I just stop by any phone store and buy more. As a result, I don’t pay a fixed price and I don’t commit to a long-term contract.
This solution may be enough to call using the WhatsApp or Skype application (feel free to read my article on Best Free Travel Applications). Unfortunately this implies that your interlocutor has these applications installed. In addition, the connection is sometimes very poor, which makes communication difficult.
Download the roamer mobile application
Some time ago a reader contacted me to share this application with me. Dubious at first, I tested it during my trip to Japan last year. I had to call in total, during this trip, more than 4 hours (yes my mother speaks a lot), and it only cost me 2 euros and 40 cents… Yes, the price of a coffee!
Roamer is very easy to use. All you need is to register the line or phone number you want to use when travelling abroad (i.e. your original number from step 1), install the local SIM card of your choice with data (step 2) and activate your line.
Poof, magic! You can call and be called on your personal number (step 1) at rates around 0.01 cents per minute and above all for very good quality!
If you don’t have a local SIM card, you can also use a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, simply!