For anyone who regularly travels abroad, whether for business or pleasure, you will undoubtedly by now have experienced ‘foreign phone fury’.

What is Foreign Phone Fury?

‘Foreign phone fury’ is that familiar sense of frustration, coupled with rage, that threatens to engulf you the moment you switch on your cell after landing, to let your loved ones know you are there safely, only to discover the country you have travelled to doesn’t use the same mobile standard as you, leaving your phone virtually useless.

If you are fortunate enough to find a compatible network, you realise the cost of making and receiving calls and messages is astronomically high. In addition to this you discover your travel insurance company is unlikely to cover your cell if it gets lost or stolen whilst travelling.

So, you try to find a payphone but notice you don’t have any of the correct local currency in our pocket. You then try to find a shop to purchase a local phone card from, but they have all closed – Aaaargh!

In the end you stuff your credit card angrily into the payphone and watch your
dollars rapidly disappear while you make the call.

Yes, we’ve all been there.

What’s the cure?

Enter the pre-paid phone or pre-paid SIM card! The pre-paid option allows travellers who need a phone while travelling overseas but are reluctant to pay the high ‘roaming costs’ of using their GSM abroad, to remain contactable and in touch with important people.

You can purchase a Prepaid SIM card or handset for only a few dollars, which
will contain a specific amount of credit with the provider, and can be topped up
as needed. The prepaid option allows the user to talk for as long as they like, within the specified period, using credit that can be topped up at any time.

Prepaid SIMS can also provide a quantified period of Internet usage and a data allowance, which can be upgraded for an additional premium if required. Vital for keeping on top of your business needs whilst away.

Doesn’t pre-paid mean basic?

With 25% of all US cell phone users now opting for pre-paid over contract (or post paid) the choice of pre-paid phones available is pretty incredible, even at the lower end of the market, where you can find sleek looking handsets with a number of cool features, for just a few dollars.

This is great news if you’re worried about your phone being lost or stolen whilst away – replacing it won’t leave such a huge whole in your holiday purse.

This article was written by Kathryn Thompson. Kathryn is an experienced technology blogger, who has covered topics from GPS tracking, to the latest in mobile technology.

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