Using Your Cell Phone Abroad

Woman using her cellphone abroad

Do You Need a CellPhone Rental?

As you plan a trip to a foreign country, you are probably focused on the fun that you will have and what needs to be packed in order for you to make the most of your trip.


While your cell phone may not be the focus of your planning efforts, failing to consider differences in cell phone coverage and use abroad could leave you isolated from friends and family members as you explore a new country.

Here is everything that you need to know about using your cell phone abroad.

Charger Compatibility
One problem that you may face when you arrive in your destination is that your charger is unlikely to fit in the outlets in a foreign country. There are over a dozen different types of outlets used throughout the world, and finding a country that uses the same type as the United States is no easy task.


There are adapters available that will allow you to use your charger with different types of outlets, but you may have to do some searching to find one. If you plan ahead, electronics stores and online retailers can supply these adapters. If you wait until you are already in a foreign country, travel stores, airports or your hotel may have an adapter that you can use during your trip.

Access to Wi-Fi
Finding free Wi-Fi is a waste of your precious vacation time, but what else can you do when you need to send an email or check on travel recommendations?


One way to skirt this issue is by purchasing a service that allows you to access Wi-Fi in hotspots around the world. The downside is that you typically have to commit to the service for a full month.

SIM Cards
If you use your current SIM card when making calls while traveling, there is a good chance that you will be hit with significant roaming charges.

Switching the SIM card out with a local card when you arrive at your destination allows you to save money by avoiding these out-of-service-area fees.

The Benefits of Cell Phone Rental
One way to avoid encountering the issues outlined above is to go with a cell phone rental when you travel abroad. The first step to renting a cell phone for your trip is to contact your service provider.

Major service providers are usually equipped to provide rentals for overseas trips. Ensure that you have information like the destination and travel dates ready when you call. The phone that you rent will depend on the destination country.

Rental cell phones are designed to be used in the country you will be staying in, and the charger that is provided with the phone is made to be used in the outlets in the destination country. You can take care of some of the more complicated items on your travel checklist when you opt for cell phone rental.

If you find that your provider does not offer a rental option for your destination, there are national companies that specifically provide this service. However, there is no need to panic if your trip is just around the corner.

Many countries offer local rental services to travelers, so there is a good chance that you will be able to secure a phone that will be operable in your destination once you arrive there.

Traveling without a cell phone is not recommended, but ensuring that your phone will work abroad can be confusing. The best way to make sure that you can keep in touch and have a means of calling for help in case of emergency is by renting a cell phone.