We finally realized we need to be able to make phone calls within countries that we travel in (this resulted from standing around for a pay phone after a flight was cancelled). Duh, huh?
Anyway, what we want is a cell phone (not ours, not with our number) that will work in Australia and other GSM countries. We do NOT want to make/receive calls to/from the USA on this phone. We want an Australian number (so it's a local incoming call there) and want to use it to make ONLY loca/in-country calls in Australia while we are there for a couple of weeks at a time.
Verizon does not seem to offer what we want. Most "international phones" sold/rented here in the USA have US/UK numbers and the business model assumes we want to stay in touch with the USA. No. Email handles that just fine, using the iPad or office facilities provided us in Australia.
I came across a National Geographic affiliated company that offers a $109 unblocked quad band phone and sells German, Austrlian, etc. sim cards for about $59 each, some time included. One issue is that I'd have to replenish or buy a sim card at least yearly to keep the phone active. That does not seem a problem but it would be nice to just have an unlocked phone and a source of sim cards that I understood how to use and replenish!
Any other suggestions? Don't expect to make a lot of calls but nice to have the security to call airline, etc.
Also, I have often seen sim card promotions right in the airports but am unsure of which are legit and how one replenishes the time for those.