One thing we’ve been doing a lot of research on running up to the last days before we leave is telephones and phone cards. Keeping in touch with folks back home is really important to us so we want something reliable, but we also don’t want to pay a lot for that muffler.
Telephony Without Hassel We looked at Skype, GSM phones, etc. but phonecards just seemed like the easiest way to go. But since we’re both turning off our cell phones we’d like for there to be some way besides email for people back home to contact us.
Enter eKit, it’s a global phonecard with access numbers in most of the places we’re going and it offers subscribers voicemail accounts, eureka! Chocolate AND peanut butter.
Enter the Crackberry The phonecard should cover 90% of our calls, but there was some concern about making emergency calls, recieving urgent calls from home, etc.
That’s when our friend Lynn Reisdahll entered the picture. She works at T-Mobile and very generously offered to give us her old Blackberry 7100t. Convieniently, T-Mobile will unlock their subscribers phones for free so it was pretty easy to turn the phone into a GSM phone that will work on any network …with the right SIM.
SIM Hunting There are a lot of SIM services out there. We plan on using two SIMs on the trip, both from Telestial:
SIM Explorer – It’s has great rates, free incoming calls in many countries and coverage everywhere we’ll be traveling except Africa.
Mobal SIM – Crappy rates, but good coverage, especially in Africa. So that’s probably the only place we’ll use it.
So the phonecard/GSM phone combo is what we’re going with swapping out SIM’s as needed to get the best coverage.