Author Topic: Phone Usage Abroad  (Read 1002 times)

cap396

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Phone Usage Abroad
« on: May 31, 2018, 11:21:06 AM »
My wife and I are going to FIRE this summer and spend several years traveling all around the world.  We are planning to cancel our cell phone plans here in the USA.  We are trying to figure out a free way we can send texts and make phone calls over wifi, and want to have a phone number that we can use as our contact number for banks, credit cards, financial institutions, etc.  I am looking for advice on the best way to do this.  I've been trying to research Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Skype, etc. but I can't figure out what is best for what we need.  Thanks for any advice you can give.

MNBen

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Re: Phone Usage Abroad
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 11:28:28 AM »
Check out Google Fi:  Free texting, high-speed data in 170+ countries, and free calls over wifi.

That might be all you need.

galliver

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Re: Phone Usage Abroad
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 11:54:11 AM »
BF used Google Fi on a trip to India 2 years ago. Can confirm: was great! You do need a compatible phone...

Voice, Skype, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp will all be free to use over wifi for SMS/instant messaging, calls, video calls. If you call to PHONES with international numbers it might cost you, but the rates from Google and Skype are pretty low.

I would say given your stated needs, Google Voice will do it, free. https://support.google.com/voice/answer/115061?hl=en

If you want to have data service so you can get those calls away from wifi, you could look into getting a local SIM. It's harder in some countries than others (India had a lot of security around the process).

cap396

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Re: Phone Usage Abroad
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 11:59:45 AM »
Thanks.  I think there might be a couple of issues with Google Fi and Google Voice:

- Google Fi is $20 a month and can't be used with an iPhone.
- Google Voice requires that the account is linked to a permanent phone number, which we will no longer have once we cancel our cell phone plans and start traveling.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about those things.  Thanks

galliver

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Re: Phone Usage Abroad
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 02:23:03 PM »
Thanks.  I think there might be a couple of issues with Google Fi and Google Voice:

- Google Fi is $20 a month and can't be used with an iPhone.
- Google Voice requires that the account is linked to a permanent phone number, which we will no longer have once we cancel our cell phone plans and start traveling.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about those things.  Thanks

I think you need a permanent number to set it up, but it looks like you can turn off all the message forwarding features and then you don't need it.... If you still need a number attached, could you ask a friend/family member to use theirs for whatever one-off case/situation requires it? I've had GV for years and it has never called my real number except for the forwarding features...

LAGuy

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Re: Phone Usage Abroad
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 02:26:45 PM »
Thanks.  I think there might be a couple of issues with Google Fi and Google Voice:

- Google Fi is $20 a month and can't be used with an iPhone.
- Google Voice requires that the account is linked to a permanent phone number, which we will no longer have once we cancel our cell phone plans and start traveling.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about those things.  Thanks

I use Google Voice for exactly the same thing you're looking for. Works great. You just migrate your current phone number, the one everybody probably already has for you, over to Google Voice. One time fee of $20. That's it. They don't require any other number on record. Google Voice is 100% what you're looking for. Works great for me.