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Phone question

Salt Lake City
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249 posts
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Phone question

Hi all -

I have searched the forum but can't really make heads or tails of the phone threads. So, can you give me a simple answer to my questions?

We are in the US and have Verizon coverage with iPhones (a 4 and a 5). Verizon doesn't have an international travel option. I was hoping to have the phones for maps, downloading apps (say, in the Louvre), and of course, checking tripadvisor about restaurants.

Can we buy/rent a smartphone while we're there? Or, if we take an ipad, is there a way to use it on wifi + buying cheap mobile phones for calls while we're there?

Thanks, as always - BookLover

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Bellmore, New York
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1. Re: Phone question

I used my iPad and got free wifi at the hotel plus many other locations. My iPad is not 3G/4G so in your case you should most likely switch the airplane mode to "on" so you would only be accessing any free wi-fi available.

As for phone service you would need an unlocked cell phone and then you could put in a sim card. Cards are available in Paris but I use one from http://www.07mobile.com which gives me both UK and USA numbers with very low rates, no monthly fees and no credit expiration. I have used this all over the world.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Oakville, Canada
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2. Re: Phone question

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k51998…

Here is part of your answer.

Bellmore, New York
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3. Re: Phone question

If you travel often check out the sim card I suggested. As an example incoming calls from the USA to Europe to your UK phone number are free. The USA number allows friends in the US to call that number associated with the sim card......free for the caller and only .23 cents per minute for you. Outgoing calls from Europe to the USA come out to about .30 cents per minute.

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Europe
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Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Phone question

Here's what you need to know first:

1) are your phones GSM?

2) are they unlocked?

Call Verizon to find out. If they are CDMA they will not work as phones in Europe but will work fine using WIFI for internet access. You could then install an app like Skype to function as a phone.

I live in Canada so don't know about Verizon specifically but in case they are GSM and they DO have some international options be sure to disable the phone data functions.

If the news is good and the phones are unlocked you can pick up SIMs in France to use for calls. Lebara.fr offers rates as low as 1 cent a minute back to the US.

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France
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New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
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21,261 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Phone question

Many apps can be downloaded at home (TripAdvisor Paris, Louvre, etc.) and used offline while in Paris (no connection needed). Then, you can use free WiFi all over.

Agree you should check your phones. Are they GSM? Are they unlocked? If locked, Verizon is required to unlock them after a period of time.

Verizon also offers loaner phones which may be more economical and convenient than purchasing alternate phones and a local SIM if you plan to make only a few calls and not long conversations.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
France Louvre
France Louvre
295 Reviews
Paris, France
Salt Lake City
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249 posts
50 reviews
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6. Re: Phone question

Thank you! Very helpful... I hadn't realized we could use the phones w/wifi or that I could download the ta app for offline. Our apartment has free calls to the US, and we can Skype.

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7. Re: Phone question

I'm planning a trip to Paris in May and have been trying to figure the phone quandary as well! I've read that you can disable your sim card (vacation mode) for a short time (and a fee) through Verizon. If you do this and put phone in Airplane mode, then turn WiFi on manually (yes, it can be done!) in Settings, then you essentially have access to all of your apps, and internet in free Wifi areas, without having to worry about roaming fees. With an internet connection you can use Skype to make calls with a small charge to non-Skype numbers (and free to other Skype users). It does not allow you have the freedom of calling and texting from wherever, whenever...or receiving texts or calls, but it is a cost-effective option that keeps you from having to drag your iPad everywhere. Please note that I haven't actually tried this yet, but I have read that others have successfully.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Phone question

I can't see why you'd want to pay Verizon to NOT use your SIM! LOL If you are that worried about it just remove it. Apple provides a little tool to do it.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Phone question

Verizon does have International plans. I have an Iphone 4s and signed up for a global data plan and used data sparingly in conjunction with my apartment/hotel wifi. The data plan came in handy if I needed it, but kept it off most of the time. And, though, calls were expensive it was nice to know I had the option, but I only received one call.

The plan is $30/mo - but they will pro-rate this if you need for less than a month.

www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/global.html

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Phone question

If your iPad is wifi only, there is a lot of good wifi coverage throughout Paris. If it is on AT&T, you can get a rental simcard from a few different websites. While not exactly the cheapest route, it does provide coverage all the time.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France