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Travel Tip: Lowering International Calling Fees

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Smartphone technology is moving faster than most of us can keep up with, and people keep getting nailed by outrageous fees. So what are the latest solutions?

If you’re only planning to travel for a few days, don’t try to use a cellular network. Your best bet is to connect to wireless Internet and use Skype to make free or cheap international calls.

You can create your own wireless hotspot using MiFi. It’s a small device or data card that you can connect to your smartphone—meaning you can send and receive emails and make Skype calls.

For longer trips, it’s worth asking your carrier about international data plans—but don’t just go with the cheapest option. You’re better off getting a larger data package and not using all of it, rather than being charged through the roof for overages.

Traveling more than a couple of weeks? That’s when you want to look for a pre-paid SIM card in your destination. Of course, that only works if your phone is unlocked. You can also find country-specific or international cell phones through a company like Cellular Abroad.

And there’s Telestial, which carries international SIM cards with voice and data, as well as data-only cards, and keeps its costs low by using its own network.

For more information, visit the Gadgets & Gear section.

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