Cell phone question

Mar 30th, 2013, 11:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Cell phone question

I'm a Verizon customer and have never been able to use my phone in Europe even after they told me I would be able to.
However, I recently got a Motorola Droid 4 G. Verizon assures me I'll be able to call the States from Spain.
Any advice, experience, etc?
julieah is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
You shouldn't have a problem. Just make sure that Verizon sets it up to be used outside of the country. You'll need to sign up for their international plan.
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Found The Verizon Trip Planner Verizon site:
which gives rates and plan for your phone by country. However, I'm also looking at going the prepaid phone route since advice is that is the cheaper option. However, that means you have a country-based phone number, so it might depend if you're planning to use it more locally (for reservations, restaurants, etc.) or to keep in touch in the States. I went to the Vodaphone.com site for the country to see what was available for Prepaid and used phones.

Information seems to be changing monthly on this.

I'm considering even getting a phone and changing my plan since I have elderly relatives, but also want to have lots of plans in Spain and France. Good Luck!
Wellsnet is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Is the phone just for voice or for data also. Assuming it's just for voice, going the prepaid phone route with a local sim card is probably by far the better option although I'm not all that familiar with Spanish sim cards and their rates especially making calls outside the eu.

Receiving calls is always free and there are a variety of ways to do this. One way is to hook up with a company that sells local numbers (localphone.com) seems to be a good one. Assuming you're from the USA which I'm pretty sure you are as you use Verizon, they'll give you a local number for $2 in any area code in the USA of your choosing. And then you set your Verizon phone to forward to that local number which can be set to forward via the web calls to your Spanish sim card. Totally transparent and rates are very good. or

You can text message those who you want to call you with the Spanish number and have them call you (not necessarily a nice thing to do as most American ld carriers charge a surcharge to European mobile phones).

Of course if it's just for the odd call or you want some way for the dog sitter to reach you in case of an emergency, the Verizon phone will do fine.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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I don't know if the Motorola Droid 4 G uses Skype, but we use both it and the AT&T Call international app on the iPhone. Very inexpensive. There's also google voice and Messenger.
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 04:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Thanks for all the info.
Yes, I'm in US.
We'll be in Spain for 10 days. The only thing I want to be able to use my phone for is a phone call home (probably 4 or 5 times) and text messages or even an email or two.
So I would want the best least complicated way to do this.
I'm pretty sure I can get Skype but that might not work for only because I would have to make sure the two people I want to be able to stay in touch with would be available at the same time as me.
Again, thanks!
julieah is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Julieah--You certainly can use a Verizon plan, and I think they also now allow you to buy a local SIM if needed.

But you may want to consider merely using your smartphone for its "smart" features rather than buying into any calling plan.

Let me explain.

We have cheapie GMS phones we take to Europe for which we buy local SIMS when we are on a cycling trip and need to keep in touch with each other on the ground. HOWEVER...

...for non-cycling trips, we don't even bother to get a local SIM anymore. Free WiFi is ubiquitous, and as long as you put your Droid in airplane mode(otherwise, be prepared to go bankrupt with data charges), you can keep in touch with family by email easily for free, and you never have to worry about differences in timezone.

Then you can just use Skype if you need person-to-person stuff.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
This sounds like good advice. Would I be able to text as well email?
The timezone thing is always tricky and calling and Skype are not as convenient when there's a 7 hour time difference.
julieah is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I'm checking, but I don't see anything that's an easy fix for using text (SMS) without burning some sort of phone minutes. I think it may be doable on an Apple. I'd check with one of the Android forums about that.

The timezone thing is the real reason we thought it was stupid to shell out more money for a SIM that we won't use. You can often buy an international calling card or printout for a ridiculously low sum of money while you are over there if you need to chat.

We send our home folks a spreadsheet of our itinerary with everything from hotel email addresses to phone and fax numbers anyway, so we certainly can be reached in an emergency. One figures that knowing about a crisis one or two hours later doesn't make much of a difference if it takes 1/2 day/night to get home anyway.

We have become extremely cheap about this. I refuse to pay for hotel WiFi anywhere. Our last hotel in Ireland would have charged us at least 10 Euros for "iffy" WiFi. Instead, we used the business center for free to keep up and hit Starbucks every morning to drink updates with our coffee. Plus we (two Androids and one Apple) had our phones in airplane mode but WiFi locator on wherever we went. We were able to snap photos at leisure and zap over rather well.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
May 20th, 2013, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Hi - I'm in Calahonda Andalucía right now. Have the HTC Trophy and set it up for international before I left. Works better than most areas in the US. HOWEVER, I modified my address book to add the REQUIRED 001 in front of the phone numbers for my US numbers. The front desk at your lodging can probably help you with that. Also, it works perfectly for local (in Spain) calls. Before I left, I printed the instructions for the local carriers (I have Vodaphone ES). The bill? Don't know but should be reasonable. I leave it in airplane mode most of the time.
Cheers from Espana! -g
Wellsnet is offline  

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