Tuesday, June 01, 2010

London Calling

Tools of the Trade: ekitV520, iPhone 1G, MacBookPro.

Slowly, I seem to be amassing a collection of phones.

One of the biggest challenges of travel is chatting on your cell phone. Travel anywhere in the world with your iPhone and ATT will give you a discount but it's not difficult to quickly run your monthly phone bill into the hundreds of dollars (don't ask me how I know). Beating the system of exorbitant roaming fees is a game that I've just started playing.

In Nicaragua, I was able to secure a VeryKool phone from Claro. Cheap rates, easy to use and very small. Unfortunately, the phone is also locked and my Spanish isn't good enough to call Claro and ask them how to unlock the phone.

Europe, even with its declining Euro, can be wildly expensive. Even if you grab a phone in the UK, taking it elsewhere will cost you the other leg. Dial a number and toss in your arm as well.

While purchasing my EuroStar tickets, RailEurope asked me if I wanted to purchase an unlocked, ekitV520 for use across Europe for $39, including $20 in calls. Hmmm, not bad. An unlocked phone means that if the rates are too expensive, I can dump it for a SIM card from another service.

Twenty-one days and counting before takeoff...