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son backpacking in Europe--question about SIM and charging mobile

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Hello Fodorites. It's been a long time since I've been on this forum. This community has been an invaluable resource to me. My son will be backpacking through Europe this May for 1 month. He'll be travellling in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. He will be taking along an unlocked GSM phone. Can he purchase a SIM card at CDG or is it better to buy in town? He will only be using the phone for "necessary" calls, not for chit chat. Also, would a calling card be a good idea to limit costs for calling home? Finally, can you plug in your devices on the trains, as we can do here in Canada? Thanks for all your help.

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