Out of Country Calling - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Out of Country Calling

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WSVN -- Michael Calderin is planing a trip to Mexico.

Michael Calderin: "I love to travel."

He and his family are always ready for their next adventure.

Michael Calderin: "Europe, the Caribbean just about anywhere that's outside of Florida."

The first thing he does before he goes on a trip is get the cell phone plan in place.

Michael Calderin: "I'll call Verizon, my carrier and advise them that I need the international service activated."

All major carriers have discounted plans for international travel with online travel guides to show what will work best for you including voice and data plans.

Kelly Starling: "You literally enter your itinerary, all the places you're going to visit, then you enter the wireless device you're going to be using and it will let you know do we have voice in this country. Do we have data? Do we have both?"

Mobile technology varies abroad. Make sure your phone works in the country you're visiting.

Kelly Starling: "Do your homework."

If not, you buy or rent an unlocked phone and buy an international sim card.

Prepaid sim cards also offer good rates.

Michael Calderin: "The plan takes effect whatever date I want it to and it will end whatever date i want it to."

Texting is an affordable way to stay in touch abroad.

Michael Calderin: "It's about 5 cents to receive and 25 cents to send."

Travelers should also take advantage of wi-fi.

Kelly Sterling: "What you can do is supplement your wireless services with wi-fi hotspots. They have them at most international hotels airports and restaurants."

When you have wi-fi, a $3 Skype subscription gives you unlimited calling to the U.S. and there are apps for low-cost calls and texting.

Michael Calderin: "If I didn't utilize the apps then I would imagine that my phone bill would probably be about $300 more."

If you're cruising, international rates apply at sea and non U.S. ports of call.

Kelly Sterling: "When you're on a cruise you're on that cruise ship's private cellular network so it's a lot more expensive so keep that in mind if you're concerned about cost you might want to use that device judiciously."

Doing your homework before you travel so you can dial up and keep costs down.

If you don't have a data plan, make sure you turn off your international data roaming option. That will block e-mails, downloads and web browsing and save you a bundle.

If you have story ideas for Money Monday, e-mail us at moneymonday@wsvn.Com.

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