One of my regular clients asked me today for options regarding solutions for calling home or making other phone calls while traveling abroad. This client does not have the need for an international plan from his wireless carrier as the travel is not often enough to necessitate this cost.
There are a couple of options for this situation:
1. Rent an international cell phone: vendors like CellularAbroad.com provide phones for rental or sim cards for purchase. Depending on the country, you can obtain very reasonable calling rates and free incoming calls…though watch out on your total calling time as countries without free incoming calls can have rates up to $3.00 / min!
2. Use your computer with VoIP service or a wireless VoIP phone wherever there is a wireless hot spot: there are several providers which offer free PC-to-PC calls over the Internet including Skype, Yahoo Instant Messenger, etc. Skype has devices available that can be used to connect to their service without a computer wherever there is a WiFi hot spot (such as the Netgear or Belkin WiFi phones). As long as your family at home has access to a computer with Skype installed, you can talk to them for free.