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Thread: Which Cell Phone is best to use in Germany and Switzerland?

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    CK1
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    Which Cell Phone is best to use in Germany and Switzerland?

    Hello,

    This year I might go to Germany and Switzerland for a little vacation. As I need to stay in touch with my family in the USA, I need a cell phone while on vacation. So far, I always just used a simple Tracfone which is fine within the US but would not work overseas. Or, I just rented a cell phone while vacationing in Aruba. I don't think this would be possible in Germany or Switzerland.

    My question: Has someone experience with using a cell phone in Europe? What would be the best way to go? Just buy a cheap cell phone for this purpose? And if so, which kind? Or get rid of the Tracfone and switch to a good cell phone with the option for international calls? Again, which one would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    CK

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Andrea and I both swear by this man's advice

    http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clar...-states/nfYqK/

    http://www.clarkhoward.com/categorie...ones-overseas/

    I am sure if you search his site further you will find additional info.

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    CK1
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    WOW! That's a ton of great info! Thanks so much, Arubalisa.

    I'll check it out right away.

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    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    We have made various trips to England, Belgium, Holland, France, and Italy over the last few years and have just always used our same cell phone that we use in the U.S. (Samsung Galaxy and T-Mobile is our service provider.) We don't use it alot over there - mainly for calls when we arrive for our pick-up service or for meeting our concierge for our apartment rentals when we're not staying in a hotel. We mainly use the free Wifi in our hotel or apartment to stay in touch with family, etc. That, for us, is the cheapest and easiest way to go (we bring a Netbook along with us when we travel.)
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 --
    36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018





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    CK1
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    Thanks so much for your input, Amy. It's very much appreciated.

    I have been checking out the links Arubalisa provided and liked the T-Mobile so far the best as there will not be a contract and we could cancel it if not really needed (we just got a new Tracefone and lots of minutes but it will not work abroad).

    It's great to know that you are using a Samsung Galaxy, that is what I have for our Tracefone. If I can not use our phone for the T-Mobile plan and I would need another one, at least it's familiar to me how to use it. I have to admit I don't like cell phones and had a very old-fashioned one until beginning of this year. I sooo missed jumping on the bandwagon for all the technical "toys"! LOL

    Said that, I don't even know what a Netbook is. My husband just bought a "Table" (?) recently, maybe it's working in hotels with free WiFi. It's a great idea and I'll have to check this out as well.

    Thanks again for all the great advice!

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    Senior Member sunscreen's Avatar
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    CK1, I too have T-Mobile and you may know, but if not they adopted international call service which is added to your plan. The cost per call/text is very competitive with what you would obtain whichever country you are visiting. On the other hand, I too have the Samsung III, as well as a Samsung Tablet so my point is unlike years past you can make affordable calls, and in the case of Aruba there are plenty of WiFi hotspots - so connection is pretty good. On the other hand if you really want to mitigate phone calls, simply have those with a little bit of tech awareness to use SKYPE - it's free!!!! But for those who don't, then you can use your international plan. Hope this helps.....if in doubt call T-Mobile and speak to a representative because (in my opinion) the days are trying to get an unlock code or local phone is OVER!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Amy~ View Post
    ... We mainly use the free Wifi in our hotel or apartment to stay in touch with family, etc. That, for us, is the cheapest and easiest way to go (we bring a Netbook along with us when we travel.)
    I'm sorry to relativize this statement. WiFi in Europe and especially in Germany, Austria or Switzerland is very often not free of charge. It's available in most areas, but you have to pay for. Even if you stay in a midprice hotel it's quite often not free.
    I travel a lot around the world and appreciate the free WiFi access which is offered in most of the countries not only in Hotels but also at public places like airports or train stations. In Germany you find these Hot Spots too, but not for free!
    If you have a T-Mobile account you can ask for an easy access to their Hot Spots, but it will be charged to your phone bill.

    Simple mobiles can be bought for around 20 €.

    Regards from Germany,
    Volker

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    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    I guess we've been lucky then since the apartments and hotels we've stayed at in Europe have had free Wifi. But.....it is one of my stipulations when looking for a hotel or apartment - need to have free Wifi in our room and a terrace (my two "must haves"). Our upcoming apartment in Rome this summer also has free Wifi.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 --
    36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018





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    CK1
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    Amy and Volker63, thanks for the additional info.

    I just looked up the one hotel I considered to stay, it says "Free Internet access in your room over DSL".

    Is DSL the same as WiFi?

    Thanks in advance.

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    CK1
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunscreen View Post
    CK1, I too have T-Mobile and you may know, but if not they adopted international call service which is added to your plan. The cost per call/text is very competitive with what you would obtain whichever country you are visiting. On the other hand, I too have the Samsung III, as well as a Samsung Tablet so my point is unlike years past you can make affordable calls, and in the case of Aruba there are plenty of WiFi hotspots - so connection is pretty good. On the other hand if you really want to mitigate phone calls, simply have those with a little bit of tech awareness to use SKYPE - it's free!!!! But for those who don't, then you can use your international plan. Hope this helps.....if in doubt call T-Mobile and speak to a representative because (in my opinion) the days are trying to get an unlock code or local phone is OVER!!!!!
    Thanks for the info, sunscreen.

    The whole thing is still a little confusing, I'm still learning.

    I had looked up the Simple Plan with T-Mobile for $50 (one person) with International Calling. Plus 20 cents/min.

    I need the phone mainly to be able to stay in touch in case of an emergency, so that I can be reached at any time. In addition, to make a longer call in the evening (calling home) and if a free WiFi would work, that would be nice.

    Last night, I looked at Samsung Galaxy phones from T-Mobile for International Calls. It seems Best Buy has some good offers, starting from $49 and up.

    We are not sure if we will keep the T-Mobile service after my return or just cancel.

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