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WHY do you need a cell phone on vacation in Europe?

WHY do you need a cell phone on vacation in Europe?

May 24th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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WHY do you need a cell phone on vacation in Europe?

Was just reading the international cell phone thread and it seems whether you rent or buy, between the initial cost and the per minute cost it will be a lot more than just getting a phone card and using a pay phone? Am I missing something? Is it for the convience that so many people get cell phones on vacation - it doesn't seem like it's saving any money. When I was in London in March I bought a phone card for 10 GBP and called home about 5 times, for 5-10 minutes each and the card was only about half used up when I left (unfortunately it expires after 90 days). If you only need to call home every day or two and only for a few minutes isn't it cheaper to go with the old fashioned phone card and phone booth?
isabel is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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I suppose many who have a cell (mobile) phone at home want the convenience of it while they are travelling abroad. It's much easier for your family to contact you if you have a phone, especilaly in an emergency, and others want it for business reasons. And while staying in pre-booked hotels allows you to let your family leave a message or phone you through the hotel switchboard, many travel without a set itinerary and cell phone is often the only way to get in touch. If you've never owned a phone or don't rely on it much at home, you can live without it on vacation. If you are, you value the convenience it offers and are willing to pay for it.
Alec is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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In our case, my husband and I don't just take a mobile phone on holiday so that we can contact home, we take it so our family at home can contact us if they need to. As our parents are in their 70's and 80's, it's reassuring to know that we're just a phone call away.

I suppose it's like a lot of things nowadays - we all managed perfectly well before we had them, but now we can't seem to do without them!
Xenos is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 02:59 PM
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Oh Alec - Snap, almost
Xenos is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 04:07 PM
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There are two main reason I could personally justify renting or buying a cell for vacation in Europe.
1) We usually travel by rental car and a cell provides a certain level of comfort while on the road just in case the car has problems or whatever.
2) Often times we don't book hotels ahead of time so we can call on the road when we figure out what town or city we may be sleeping in. Searching for a working pay phone is not my idea of fun.
Digital_Traveler is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 04:23 PM
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I guess I'm used to having a cell phone at home and, having been in Europe on 9/11 and not being able to get in touch with my family, I'm being overly cautious. And I do like the idea that my family can contact me anytime in case there's something wrong back home.
usbeauty is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 04:33 PM
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To me it's all part of 21st century living. In addition to a cell phone, I have call forwarding so all calls to me at home are forwarded to me (of course there are plenty of times that people do not realiz I am in Europe and are unaware of the 5 hour time difference but that's what voicemail is for.

You can be reached 24/7 without the caller having to go through a hotel switchboard...calls are not terribly expensive if you understand the plans.

You know there's been a revolution sort of over the past several years. Look around you; more and more people (even pre teens) have their own cell phones. The time is soon coming the same will be true on international trips.
xyz123 is offline  
May 24th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Interesting timing. Just this afternoon, we went and picked up a couple of the T_Mobile phones as we had enough of Sprint. I don't even use a mobile that much, but as long as we were getting new phones anyway, we picked models that were tri-band and would work when we went to Europe and Australia.

Reasons I can think of where people may want this convenience...

- Not every place has pay phones (countryside)
- Calling to notify hotel/B&B of late arrival without heading off on a phone search.
- Health problems with family at home
- Kids back at home and all the issues thereof
- Becoming separated from each other
- Some folks are their own boss and still have to be able to touch base.
- Some are just workaholics (not me! no work calls for us please)
- Honey, I'm at the grocery. What cheese did you say you wanted?
- A bad mix of rental cars and sneaky trees or inappropriate fuel choices.
- All the same reasons that they want them at home.

Clifton is offline  
May 25th, 2003, 03:52 AM
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I go just the opposite direction. While on vacation I make it as difficult as possible for anyone to find me. I don't even try to get on the internet even though I'm an internet nut at home. Our son is grown, so he can take care of himself, and, in fact, even when he was a little guy we wouldn't have needed a cell phone as he always travelled with us.

The only exception was on trip to Germany last year. Travelcell (I think that's the name) offered a free cell phone so we took them up on it. Never used it, but I guess it might have come in handy if we had an emergency of some sort, though we were never all that far from civilization in Germany.

I doubt we'll get one for our next trip.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
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