Cellular Devices

No matter how hard you want to resist and/or think having a phone while overseas is not necessary, it is. You might use your phone once a week to never at all, a cellphone is still important. 

1. Safety
2. Having contact with hosts (if volunteering)
3. Convenience (Need a cab? You don't have to walk a mile just to use the payphone to get one)
4. Emergencies I learned this the hard way. I never thought I would be put in a situation where my family from the US would NEED to speak to me right away. I ended up finding out about a very tragic event hours after it had happened. 

Biggest problem about cellphones overseas: The outrageous overseas fees. 
Solution: 1. SIM Card OR 2. Buying a cheap prepaid phone

SIM Card: 
If you select this option see if you can suspend your current cellphone account while gone.
What you will need before you leave home: An international phone with a SIM card slot. (FOR iphone users like myself: Iphone 4S or 5)
What you will need to buy while in Europe: A SIM card (that you will 'top up' = load money/pay as you go) I have a Vodafone SIM card. 

Prepaid Phone:
What you will need before you leave home: Nothing.. other than your important phone numbers. 
What you will need to buy while in Europe: A cheap pay as you go phone (starting at $25 for old-school no-touchscreen bricks) that you will top up = pay as you go. 

Important reminder for everyone with smartphones: 
Keep cellular data turned OFF at all times when not in use. 
Data is still being used when you aren't using your phone because apps continually update themselves.
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