Stay connected overseas without spending a fortune. When traveling internationally with your cell phone or other device, it is important to be aware of (1) how to adjust the settings on your particular phone to avoid unplanned costs; and (2) available international voice and data plans from your carrier to reduce your planned costs. In our experience, this information can be surprisingly difficult to hunt down and is often buried and scattered across carrier websites. Plus the terminology, explanations, and organization of this information is not always intuitive. Fortunately, we have done the digging for you on the below major carriers. (Note that you may need to access your device-specific information on the carrier website per the below or call the carrier’s customer service line to figure out issue #1 for your specific phone or device.)
- AT&T International Calling / Data:
Visit AT&T’s International Information page. On the left side, under Support Topics, choose “Features,” then “Device features,” then “International.” You can enter in your phone type for tips specific to your particular phone. AT&T offers International Plans for calls, text messages, and data. Visit the AT&T Travel Guide and enter information such as your destination, cruise ship, and phone type for tailored information. On the final screen, click “Details,” under the last column, for a breakdown of coverage and options. AT&T also offers a searchable coverage map. Just click the “International” tab. To have an AT&T representative walk you through these issues, call the AT&T International Care customer service number at 1-800-335-4685 (or 001-916-843-4685 if you are traveling overseas).
- Sprint International Calling / Data: Visit the Sprint International Services general page, International Dialing or the International Texting page. Go here and enter your specific Sprint device and destination to get tailored information sheets with pricing information, dialing instructions, troubleshooting tips, and Sprint customer service contact information. Also visit Traveling Internationally with Your Phone and scroll down to “Most Viewed Topics” on the bottom right to see more information on topics such as data limits or whether your Sprint phone will work overseas. Search international coverage areas to get specific instructions and tips for your destination. To talk to Sprint customer service about wireless issues, call 1-888-226-7212 (wait for the menu options to begin, then press 2. If you press 2 too early you’ll access the Spanish language option.) Use the info sheet option described above to get customer service contact info for when you are overseas, or use the below toll-free numbers to call from a landline/payphone. Just note that your hotel may charge you for making this call. Canada: 1-866-805-9890; Caribbean Islands: 1-866-313-6672; France: 1-866-634-3843; Germany: 0800-180-0951; Mexico: 001-877-294-9003; Italy: 800-787-986; Trinidad & Tobago: 800-201-7545; United Kingdom: 0808-234-6616; all other countries: +1-817-698-4199.
- T-Mobile International Calling / Data: Start with the T-Mobile International Services page and the travel checklist page. Visit the roaming page and enter your destination or cruise ship to get country-specific pricing and other information. See T-Mobile’s international voice and text plans. You can also review T-Mobile’s international phones. To speak to T-Mobile’s customer service team about international issues, dial 1-505-998-3793. Use the same number when calling from overseas, use the “+” where needed to indicate the US country code.
- Verizon International Calling / Data: Visit the Verizon Wireless Global Support page. The company’s trip planner lets you choose your country/cruise ship, trip duration, communication preferences, and wireless device to get customized plans, rates, coverage information, and even international dialing instructions. You can also shop global devices. Make note of the Verizon Wireless worldwide access toll free numbers for your travel destination. To speak to someone at Verizon Wireless, call the Global Services Activation Team at 1-800-711-8300 (or 1-908-559-4899 if you are traveling outside the US).
Note: Keep in mind that Skype may offer you flexibility and cost-saving options to supplement your calling plan.
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