How To Use Your Phone Everywhere While You Travel

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I love my iPhone, but the problem? I’m not taking it traveling with me, no matter how useful it would be. I’d rather take some disposable phone I bought from a drugstore or, better yet, nothing at all. However, I’m the first to admit, there is nothing I miss more while on the road than the ability to quickly give someone a call or send them a text. (I also miss my neighborhood coffee shop too, but that’s basically it.) Which is what makes National Geographic’s new phone, in partnership with Cellular Abroad, so cool. The phone is pretty basic, but for those Americans who aren’t on AT&T or T-Mobile (like the metric system and soccer, many American phone carriers differ from the rest of the world, and do not adhere to the international standard of GSM), this $99 phone will work pretty much everywhere you go.

For those of us who do have a GSM phone (like an iPhone), Nat Geo offers up their branded SIM card. For $50, plop it in, and beginning with $29 of credit, you can make calls in more than 150 countries, including unlimited free incoming calls in more than 70 countries. You get both a U.S.-based and a U.K.-based number, and you can also set it up to have your U.S.-based number forward your calls and texts to the new number. The trick: remembering not to answer when your boss calls.

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