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May 4, 2007

Traveling with a BlackBerry

This is the gadget that could get me to leave my computer at home someday. Not yet, but maybe someday.

I finally bought a BlackBerry (and have been driving everyone crazy by emailing them from it). I did a ton of research online and when we were in NYC at Christmas, Stella gave me a demonstration of her BlackBerry.

I bought the BlackBerry 8700 from T-Mobile. There is a new BlackBerry 8800, but T-Mobile does not have it yet. I did not want the BlackBerry Pearl (although Stella loves hers), because this is all new to me and I wanted the larger keyboard and screen. Mine is pretty simple - no camera, no wifi, no GPS.

I selected T-Mobile instead of Cingular because T-Mobile has better prices and can be used internationally for a fixed fee. I have the cheapest plan - $50/month. This is a $30/month phone plan plus $20/month for unlimited email and internet access. I use the BlackBerry as my cell phone and use it for email and accessing the web.

BlackBerry
This photo shows the main menu on the BlackBerry. You have a separate icon for each email address. Use the scrollwheel on the side to move between icons and click to open the icon.

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June 12, 2007

International Roaming with a Cell Phone in Europe

On this trip we will be in four countries: Switzerland, Italy, France, England. I want to bring a cell phone that I can use from all these countries to make local calls (not many) and to call back to the US for voicemail (every day). I also want to receive calls from other people in Europe, so would prefer a European phone number so it easy for them to call me.

I have a World Phone that I use in Europe: unlocked, GSM phone, tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 (European frequencies 900 and 1800, North American frequency 1900 - a quad-band phone has an extra North American frequency 850). Because we travel to England every year, I have an United Kingdom SIM card for this phone (Vodafone), but the rates when roaming in Europe with a UK SIM card are high, so I have been looking into other alternatives.

If you are traveling to ONE country in Europe, get a SIM card for that country

If you are traveling to one country in Europe, the answer to the cell phone question is simple.

* If you have an unlocked World Phone, buy a SIM card for the country ahead of time from Cellular Abroad or Telestial, or when you get to the country you are traveling to.

* If you don't have an unlocked World Phone, buy a phone you can use in Europe from Cellular Abroad or Telestial or when you get to the country you are traveling to (or get your World Phone unlocked).

Buying the SIM card ahead of time costs more, but you know your phone number before you leave and you don't have to spend vacation time in a cell phone store.

If you are traveling to several countries in Europe, there are several options

If you are traveling to more than one country, the question is a bit more complicated because you need a SIM CARD that works well between the countries. These are the options that I considered.

Continue reading "International Roaming with a Cell Phone in Europe" »

July 1, 2007

Test Driving the Talk Abroad Phone

Cellular Abroad loaned me one of their new "Talk Abroad" phones that they sell/rent in conjunction with National Geographic. I needed a phone that I could use from several countries - Switzerland, Italy, France, and England - and thought this would be a good opportunity to test drive their new phone.

Continue reading "Test Driving the Talk Abroad Phone" »

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Views from the Slow Lane in the Travel Information category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

SlowTrav/SlowTalk is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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