How to Communicate in Europe?

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    John Galvin Jr, MD
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    This little blob is about the most reasonable ways to communicate in Europe.

    Before leaving for Europe:

    -1- Bring with you power adapter for European electrical outlets. You can find those for $3-4 in hardware stores.

    -2- Check with your cell phone provider on on call abd data rates abroad. For Verizon you can enable $25 per 100MB of data and $15 for 100 minutes of talk and 100 messages to anywhere in the world. Also, check if your phone is unlocked. If it is (they mostly are unlocked, even from Verizon) you would have an option to by a local SIM card.

    -3- Remember to bring with you paper money, SIM cards, tokens etc. from previous trips.

    -4- Have at lest $10 balance on your Skype account

    -5- Install navigation APP on your phone that allows off-line navigation

    While there:

    Please consider these options to communicate.

    LOCAL PROVIDER

    You can decide to by a data plan from a local provider. To do that you would need to by a phone number (€10), and a data plan (€20) for 600MB and unlimited local calls. But you can’t call to US and you can’t send text messages. You can receive texts message from US though. To do that you need to add a credit to your local plan.

    Also, you cannot use you local data plan as a hot spot with you laptop. To do that you need to buy another €10 worth of data for tethering. If you try to enable a hot spot on your phone, this request will be intercepted, and you will be redirected to a local provided (in this example – Orange) to purchase Hot Spot data.

    YOUR USA PROVIDER

    If you decide to keep using your current provider, please remember these features:

    – Reset your cell data counter, so you know exactly how much you used up;
    – Make as much data usage in Wi-Fi zones (hotel, restaurant, office).
    – Use Skype dollars to make phone calls to everyone from Wi-Fi zones.
    – Use Skype for free to call toll free numbers (to call banks, credit cards, phone conferences).
    – Your USA data plans allow you to use you phone as a hot spot (at least Verizon does).
    – To save cell data, Use text messages to save data
    – To bypass any local restriction, use emails as a replacement for text messages.
    – To navigate on your phone and not use up any cell data, enter your destination in Goolge maps while still in hotel room. And turn off your cell data. Now when your are driving Google Maps will navigate you as long as you not deviate from your route.

    After you return:

    -1- Remember to turn OFF your international plan.
    -2- Store paper money and coins, your SIM card, tokens etc. to use on your next trip.
    -3- Write down your European phone number, that your purchased. Do not let it go to waste.

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