Phone Foreign Call
Image thanks to Roamer
Summer is here and that means that most of us will be traveling. Whether you are going on holiday, taking a mission trip or a business trip abroad, the costs of using your phone can be enormous. The good news is that there are great apps to slash your costs. So, as it is summer, we thought it would be nice to look at the ones that make sense.

To be honest, the easiest to slash your costs is not to use your phone. You can then check your email and use Skype to call when you find a local WiFi hotspot. But you might need to be reachable during your trip, so you want to keep your phone active. The second cheapest way is to get yourself a local SIM card. Google around for a bit and you can always find a nice deal that you can use during your stay. For instance, if you go to the UK, Three has an offer of a pre-paid SIM with unlimited data, a phone number and 300 local text messages and call minutes. This might just suit your needs to be reachable by your partners in the country you are visiting. However, unless you send everyone back home an email, they will not be able to reach you on your regular mobile number.

Enter apps. An app like Roamer enables you to be called on your regular phone number, even though you have bought yourself a local SIM. How does that work? When you leave, you park your number with Roamer through their app. Whenever anyone calls your number, it will then go to the Roamer service, instead of your regular SIM. When you arrive at your destination, you get yourself a local SIM with internet access. When you have activated the local SIM, you go back to the Roamer app and tell it you are now reachable again. It will then connect your phone to your regular number over the internet. That way people calling you just pay their regular costs and you receive every phone call just the same. Obviously there are costs involved. You need to pay Roamer for their service, but the cost of that is much lower than the cost of receiving calls on your regular SIM. Plus, as you got yourself a local SIM with internet, you can enjoy Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other services just like you would at home.

Roamer is just one option. I have also seen Roaming4World, but their website does not seem to do much. Their service seems to work exactly the same though, and is available on more platforms. Roamer is only available on iPhone and Android with Windows Phone and Blackberry promised soon. Roaming4World already is available on all four platforms. See the short video explaining the Roamer process below.

So, what do you do when you go abroad? Do you roam or do you use an app to limit your costs?