Forum Thread

Going to Europe for 2 weeks with mom, how to get USA calls?

misternopants 832 132 June 5, 2016 at 01:14 PM
I don't own a cell phone and would prefer not to (ethical reasons).

How do I get a cell phone for my mom to use while in europe? (france, switzerland, maybe holland and italy?)


I was thinking of something like:

I have google voice number in US.
Get her a local phone in europe at the airport? then forward the google voice number to her European phone?

How should I handle this?

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Joined Jun 2008
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#2
GV currently can't forward calls to international number.
get data only, then use app.

not using any phone in US? maybe upgrade to a roaming plan. t-mobile prepaid no data roaming but voice, text.

or maybe get a prepaid US number, don't answer. (optional: change default voicemail). then call back with another phone, googlevoice or calling card
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Last edited by Left4Deal June 5, 2016 at 02:38 PM
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#3
Quote from misternopants View Post :
I don't own a cell phone and would prefer not to (ethical reasons).

How do I get a cell phone for my mom to use while in europe? (france, switzerland, maybe holland and italy?)


I was thinking of something like:

I have google voice number in US.
Get her a local phone in europe at the airport? then forward the google voice number to her European phone?

How should I handle this?
What does she want to do with this phone? Is it for data? Long calls, occasional calls, or emergency calls only?

If you get anything in the airport, expect to pay a ~10EU premium, but if she's not near a mobile store on her trip that may be worth it.

The trick it seems would be to find a SIM that can be used in france, switzerland, maybe holland and italy. There's no guarantee something she picks up in the airport would roam in those countries. You'll need to do some research on particular plans.

As to how to call her, I'd just call the international number using something like Google Voice or Skype unless you're planning on talking for quite long. Rates should generally be less than $0.10/minute. If WiFi is available, just use Skype/Hangouts/whatever directly.
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#4
if your mom has a home phone convert her to OOMA and then use the OOMA app on a cell phone you can use it with just wifi or with 4G too.

Just get a tmobile phone here and verify you have data or get one there
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#5
Skype is very good for calling phones in Europe, and it's very cheap. I've used it many times. So I agree, just pick up a phone at the airport or at a store near the hotel and she can email or otherwise get you the number, then you can call her phone using Skype. $10 or $20 in Skype should pay for loads of calls to Europe.
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#6
When I travel to Switzerland I forward my US mobile number to Google Voice (GV) number. That way when people call my mobile I get an email saying what number called and when. If the caller leaves a VM message I get an email with the text transcript of it. I also use a international SIM (https://www.swiss.com/ch/en/book/...iss-mobile) for data + voice. The international voice number I only use as backup or if I wanted to call someone in Switzerland while I was there. Also have the GV app on iPhone for when on WiFi.

Some of the US mobile carriers now have WiFi calling. Which I've been looking forward to, but haven't used yet. Believe Tmobile has, and Vz is currently implementing but not complete. Not sure about the others.
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#7
don't forget your pants
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