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Calls to US from Egypt and Jordan

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I will be in Egypt and Jordan for three weeks soon, and have been trying to figure out the best method for calling my elderly parents in the U.S. when I am there. A related issue is that I would like to bring my laptop computer (so I could use Skype, although I can't figure out how much that costs to use for calling a landline phone in the US), but am not sure what to do with it on days in which I check out of one hotel in the morning and don't check into another hotel until that evening. I will be going on a tour organized by Lady Egypt, including a Nile cruise. Any advice/information/recommendations concerning (1) the most convenient/reasonable way to call landline phones in the US and (2) whether it is possible to take a laptop on a Lady Egypt tour would be much appreciated!

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