Should you use a cell phone while traveling in Europe?

This week in my Yahoo! News travel column, I field a travel question from Stefanie in Bremerton, who asks:

I am planning a trip to Europe for an undetermined amount of time. Should I bring my cell phone for emergencies? What is the protocol on that?

Bringing a cell phone from the U.S. on a European journey, I tell her, is never a sure bet, since most U.S. phones aren’t compatible with European cellular networks. If you want to have a cell phone during your trip, your best option is probably just to buy one when you arrive in Europe. But before buying a cell phone, I’d consider not using a cell phone at all while in Europe, since being “connected” is sometimes a distraction when you are earnestly trying to experience new countries.

For my full advice on this topic, including advice on buying a cell phone in Europe, click through to my latest “Traveling Light” column here.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | May 30, 2006
Category: Vagabonding Advice

4 Responses to “Should you use a cell phone while traveling in Europe?”

  1. jane Says:

    you’re right on the technical aspects, but I reckon you’ve missed an important plus of having a cell phone: it’s the perfect way to make new, local friends. Being able to give out your number so you can meet up later, or having the option to trade texts with some cute Czech boy (for example) is a great way to get immersed in the culture. Europeans love their phones.

  2. Ethan Says: Sim cards are better & cheaper, you can either get a local Country specific SIM card for the Country you are traveling to or a Europe SIM card, which works at low & fixed call rates through out Europe.

  3. Sonja Says:

    Recently used the Roam Simple World sim card – luved it. What did i luv about it…well i much preferred this over any prepaid service, my rates in Europe were fixed so no suprises…and the service itself was first rate – not a callback service. Pleased customer…