SHORT TAKES

Using Your Cell Phone in Europe

Traveling without a cell phone seems unbearable these days. Here's our guide for avoiding pesky fees—because who factors "astronomical cell phone bill" into their vacation budget?

Verizon
Will your phone work? Maybe. Verizon has seven models that use the GSM technology that works in Europe, such as the BlackBerry Tour and HTC Touch Pro2.
Costs If you have one of the seven models, voice is $1.29 a minute. You can add a monthly $5 plan to bring that down to 99¢ a minute. Texts always cost 50¢ to send and 5¢ to receive. Download data for $20 per megabyte, or buy an international data plan that will offer a 100 megabyte monthly allowance (rates vary depending on the phone type).
Other options Verizon offers a free rental phone for up to three weeks. Standard calling rates apply. A new SIM card won't work in phones that are not GSM-compatible, so buy a disposable phone at the airport.

Sprint
Will your phone work? Maybe. Sprint has five models that are compatible with Europe's wireless technology.
Costs $1.29 per minute for voice; 20¢ per text. Data download is about $16 per megabyte.
Other options Sprint has a rental program that includes three phones that will work in Europe. One-week rentals range from $29 to $70, and insurance is suggested (starting at $9 for a week's rental). Otherwise, buy a disposable phone when you get to your destination.

Your cell phone
may work perfectly in Europe. Here's how to figure out what it'll cost you.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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