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tech prep for trip to paris??

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hi all -- i'm looking for advice/clarification on how to prepare my mobile devices for an upcoming trip to paris. i have seen other topics on here, but none that seem to address ALL my questions (i think i'm on a learning curve here!!), so i apologize for any redundancy.

basically, in the US i use an iPhone and an iPad. . both with 3G on AT&T network. there is wifi where we are staying, so i *think* i will be able to use both there to connect to internet and email (and skype), without a problem/charges. i was planning to use free wi-fi spots around the city, to snag some free tech time when we are out and about. that should work fine and not require $$ or preparing devices in anyway, i'm assuming.

however, i understand that i wil notl be able to make telephone calls. what are these "prepaid SIM" cards? are they for the purpose of making phone calls, or for accessing internet. . or both? is this something that seems to be a necessity? i'm thinking it might be wise (moreso to make local phone calls -- not so much for the internet access). these prepaid sim cards seem pricey. i read about LYCAMOBILE, as a cheaper option for a sim card. . . .any thoughts about this company?

is there anything else i'm missing?? i'm so afraid of incurring hefty (surprise) charges. i also understand that i will need to turn off 3G and roaming on both devices. i will stop by an AT&T store to make sure i get all this correct.

but any info or advice would be so appreciated. thanks.

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