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Keeping in touch with stateside family while traveling thru Italy and Greece

Keeping in touch with stateside family while traveling thru Italy and Greece

Feb 23rd, 2007, 02:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Keeping in touch with stateside family while traveling thru Italy and Greece

What's the best way to keep in touch..it is necessary for a variety of reasons...we will be on a tour of Italy and Greece for 16 days..should I take my laptop? Cell phone? Any advice greatly appreciated...
sumreknot is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 170
buy calling cards from tobacco shops to use in either hotel or pay phone. They are pretty cheap and worked well for me in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Edinburgh..... so assume Italy and Greece would be similar.... Some hotels have internet access in their lobbies (usually free) and some cafes have internet access for a fee.
queener is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Oh ya - most cellphones in the US are not programmed for international use. I asked Verizon if mine could be "activated" for int'l for a month and they said no - it would take a separate plan and a different phone.
queener is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 03:03 PM
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No matter where we've traveled in Italy and Greece, there was always an internet cafe available.This includes very rural areas.
SuQue is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 03:04 PM
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My tmobile phone works in Europe. I text from it or use it to call in an emergency.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 03:07 PM
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I believe that in order for a cell phone to work in Europe, it must be a tri-band or quad-band phone.
jrjcolllins is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 07:14 PM
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actually, a dual band or even a single band phone will work in Europe -- as long as it has s the European frequencies 900 and 1800 ... but the U.S. carriers use 850 and 1900 so a quad covers both areas.

But if you're just buying a cheap phone to use in Europe, a dual 900/1800 is all you need. The good news is nearly all European phones allow incoming calls for free.

If you've got a tri or quad band GSM phone with a U.S. carrier you also will likely need to get it unlocked.

It's been discussed on these boards forever, search for "GSM" or user "xyz123"

The cellphone scenario isn't for everybody and there are other simpler/more expensive options. But defending on your needs and your tech comfort level, you can have a pretty convenient cellphone setup.

repete is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 112
if you buy a calling card from tobacconist will the same card work in different european countries or do you need to buy another one every time you move onto another country?
we will be in
France 5 days
Germany 10 days
Eastern Europe 15 days on bus tour
Italy 8 days
I will use my mobile to send SMS to family home and want to use calling card for when we want to speak direct from time to time. thanks
64kerry is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I think I've seen one card that's supposed to work in various countries, but I wouldn't count on it. That was a British Telecom card, and it had ridiculously few minutes for the price.

Note that you only need to buy a 5 Euro card for each country, so you won't be out much money.
WillTravel is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:53 PM
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Posts: 91,353
if you don't need to actually talk person to person, a hotmail or yahoo free email account & using internet cafes works great most places.
suze is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 09:04 PM
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I wouldn't bother with a lap top. There are plenty of internet cafes and hotels with an internet corner.
Carolina is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Another thought, if you know where you will be staying give telephone nos to family etc so they can phone you, or arrange with them before you go that you will phone them, hang up and they will phone you straight back. It is much cheaper to phone Greece from the US than from you to phone them from Greece. If they put in 10 10 2 20 infront of the number it will be cheap, alternatively, all the phone companies have a cheap international plan.
Carolina is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Is it possible to connect to the internet from hotel rooms in Greece? We will be there for 2 weeks this summer and trying to decide whether to bring laptop or not. Would prefer to go on-line from hotel instead of cafes if it is possible as we will be travelling with young kids and won't have quite the same flexibility as without. Thanks.
mish42 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 04:56 AM
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Just like in the U.S., it depends on the hotel. My last Athens hotel had fine wi-fi, but the islands places did not -- although I'm sure some do. I doubt trying to do dial-up would be worth it.

My place in Naxos had two internet PCs in the lobby off the pool.
repete is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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We purchased a phone card for calling home and used internet cafes for e-mail and posting pictures. Public phones are numerous (unlike the States). As for internet cafes, the cost was reasonable and they were easy to find everywhere. I was happy not to have to drag a laptop around Italy and actually enjoyed the freedom from all the electronic devices!
BarbaraJ is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,473
Nowadays with cell phones, we forget about the ol' fax machine. I give all of our relatives the fax number of where we will be and it is great to wake up in the morning to a nice fax with news and even pictures from home.
kelliebellie is offline  

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