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Ned
11-10-2005, 05:58 PM
Some travelers want to stay in touch via their cell phone no matter where they are in the world and have purchased a "world" cell phone which can be used almost anywhere. Their phones can be used to call ahead to the hotel if problems arise, get driving directions, or can be used in other ways in addition to keeping in touch at home. Some need to have a phone so aged relatives can get in touch with them if problems arise.

Some travelers don't have cell phones at home which can access cell phone systems in foreign countries and therefore rent an appropriate phone to have on vacation.

Other travelers want to get away from life at home and wouldn't be caught dead with their cell phone at their side during vacations.

Tell us about your phone and its usage on vacation. Can you use it internationally? Is that an important feature of a cell phone for you? Do you take your cell phone on vacation? Do you rent a cell phone for a vacation in a foreign country? Do you purposefully leave your phone at home during vacations?

REDJIM
11-11-2005, 03:28 AM
Could another choice have been included here: I use my cell phone as a tool only, and only then for emergencies.

I take mine so that hotels can contact me when my room is available for check-in; restaurants can tip me when seating is available; call home at the end of the evening to check on the pups...

Kairho
11-11-2005, 06:36 AM
I see nothing in conflict between communications capability and holidays.

If I lived where I could use a GSM phone, I would have my own to take on travels. But I am forced into the US system. Alas, I'm too cheap to rent one so I rely on land lines when overseas.

tdew
11-11-2005, 06:58 AM
I take my cell phone with me most times, but rarely have it turned on. I consider the phone a very useful tool for my convenience and want it in case I want to make a phone call, but I do not want to be interrupted by it.
I do not take it on international trips though.

mercwyn
11-11-2005, 02:14 PM
I don't take my business cell phone on vacation with me, nor do I take my laptop or anything else that would allow work to intrude on my vacation. I'm on call 24/7 the rest of the time I figure they can make do with my staff during my short getaways.

stephen_s
11-11-2005, 03:50 PM
I take my cell phone with me. It has GSM so it SHOULD :) be able to be used the world over. So far I've only gone to the east coast and Canada (and it worked in Canada).

Ned
11-11-2005, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Nov 11 2005, 05:50 PM
I take my cell phone with me.* It has GSM so it SHOULD :) be able to be used the world over.* So far I've only gone to the east coast and Canada (and it worked in Canada).
13431

Hi Stephen,

Is your GSM a dual, tri or quad frequency phone? Many GSM users assume because their phone is a GSM phone it will work all over the world. It's not true. Different parts of the world use different GSM frequencies. You also have to get your GSM provider to activate the international feature set for your phone number on their system or your phone will not work outside the US.

There are 4 GSM frequencies used in the world.
1. 850 is used in the US, Canada, and parts of South America
2. 900 is used in most of the world (Europe for example) except in the US
3. 1800 is used in most of the world (Europe for example) except in the US
4. 1900 is used in the US, Canada, and parts of South America

The Caribbean uses 900, 1800, 1900 according to the island.

Part of the problem is that different parts of most countries may only use 1 of the 4 frequencies. Therefore, a US dual frequency GSM phone will generally not work in Europe, but may work in some Caribbean countries, but not necessarily everywhere even in a single country. A tri frequency phone has a much better chance of working, but you can only depend on a quad frequency GSM phone to be a true "world phone" and work in any country with GSM service.

So Stephen, your GSM cell phone may or may not work outside the US at all, and/or may work in only some countries or parts of countries outside the US. If you want to ensure your phone will work in the US, Canada, South American, Caribbean, Europe, parts of Asia with GSM service and other areas of the world with GSM service you need a quad frequency phone.

stephen_s
11-13-2005, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Nov 11 2005, 09:38 PM
Hi Stephen,

Is your GSM a dual, tri or quad frequency phone?* Many GSM users assume because their phone is a GSM phone it will work all over the world.* It's not true.* Different parts of the world use different GSM frequencies.* You also have to get your GSM provider to activate the international feature set for your phone number on their system or your phone will not work outside the US.


13440


Hi, Ned.

I don't know, to tell you the truth. I know it works in Canada (I've made a couple of calls from it). I don't plan on going to Europe or Asia any time soon, so I guess I'll find out then :).

Thanks for the heads up.

dba31498
11-13-2005, 10:14 PM
Even on vacation, I am on call 24/7 for work. Have Phone/Email PDA

travel
11-15-2005, 09:23 AM
If I have a group out somewhere in the world, and I'm vacationing somewhere that my cell phone works, I take it, I have it on, and I screen my calls. If there's no group traveling, however, I keep my phone off unless there's an emergency (like a really great sarong I know a friend would love). I work enough hours without having to interrupt my few and far between vacation days with technology.

silver cloud
11-16-2005, 07:51 AM
I always take my phone with me when I travel but in the US only.
I love cruises though....cell phones only worked in port - no worrying about the phone. hurray!

travelgirl
11-16-2005, 08:21 AM
I always take my phone with me on my trips. Since I am the owner of a travel agency, I supply my cell phone number to my clients along with their documents. If the travelers' would have a problem while on their trip, they can always reach me. I would never want anyone to be unable to reach me in an emergency! It also came in very handy while in Jamaica in January with a group. Some of the airports here in the US were closed due to snow, so I had to make other arrangements for my clients. I allowed them to use my cell phone to call home or work to explain the delay in their return home.

jfrenaye
11-16-2005, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by silver cloud@Nov 16 2005, 09:51 AM
I always take my phone with me when I travel but in the US only.
I love cruises though....cell phones only worked in port - no worrying about the phone.* hurray!
13635


Mary brings up another point about cell phones and cruising. There is a push now akin to the FCC looking to put the technology for cell phones on the cruise ships. As with the planes my opinion is YUK! NO WAY!

With that said, it is always wise to be contacted in an emergency, and we always recommend a Satellite Phone for our cruise clients if they have kids left home, or have a n inkling that they may need to be contacted. You can rent a sat phone for $100 a week and the calls are expensive but reasonable. We had a client who had a parent die back home while on a cruise and the ship to shore phone calls totalling 45 minutes ran him just over $1200. SO for $145, he could have had the same thing PLUS instant communicaiton---the ship had to find him to get him the message to go back to use the phone in the cabin!

And you thought it was only the hotels that gouged!

Jeanie821
11-16-2005, 08:29 AM
I found out the hard way that I don't have roaming on my cell phone. :( So I no longer carry my cell with me when I travel out of the tri-state area. Instead, I take a prepaid phone card and use it from land lines whenever possible.

aaronwcpa
11-16-2005, 09:42 AM
Wherever I travel my cell phone is part of me. It is always on and I use it when I have to. It is an essential part of travel and serves as a security blanket, for me and for anyone to reach me, business or personal, in an emergency.

ctrouth
11-16-2005, 09:51 AM
I take my cell phone with me on vacation, but only use it for fun vacation type things, like calling family at home and chatting during down time in the hotel, or travel arrangements. It has come in very handy twice when my flights have been cancelled, as I was able both times to quickly arrange new flights and still get to my destination on time. So far when I have traveled abroad I have either rented a phone or used a phone card--I will have to look into the world phone.

mtp51
11-16-2005, 10:08 AM
I do take my cell phone with me but only turn it on when I'm on my way home. It's there for emergencies if I need it.
There is nothing worse than lounging on the beach watching the sunset, only to be jolted out of vacation mode by someone's cell phone ringing and the incessant babble that follows.....

Ned
11-16-2005, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Nov 13 2005, 07:57 PM
Hi, Ned.

I don't know, to tell you the truth.* I know it works in Canada (I've made a couple of calls from it).* I don't plan on going to Europe or Asia any time soon, so I guess I'll find out then :).

Thanks for the heads up.
13465

Hi Stephen,

Canada uses the same frequency set as the US. Canada and the US form the North American GSM region. If you can make a GSM call in the US you can do the same in Canada and vice versa.

Whenever that trip to Europe or Asia is, come a future trip, call your cell phone provider in advance and find out if it's capable to use where you're going. You could always get a new phone which would work there should you desire.

One thing though, you'll have to have your account activated for international calls. Cingular, for example, has to activate its customers separately for calling back to the US from a foreign country (Canada doesn't count) and for calling from a foreign country within that country and to another foreign country. When my phone was internationally activated by Cingular it took the agent almost 15 minutes to go through all the codes she had to add to my account. The activation is free. You only pay for the calls made and received. Those calls, of course, are outside the minutes within your calling plan.

Ned
11-16-2005, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Nov 16 2005, 10:21 AM
Mary brings up another point about cell phones and cruising.* There is a push now akin to the FCC looking to put the technology for cell phones on the cruise ships. As with the planes my opinion is YUK!* NO WAY!

With that said, it is always wise to be contacted in an emergency, and we always recommend a Satellite Phone for our cruise clients if they have kids left home, or have a n inkling that they may need to be contacted.* You can rent a sat phone for $100 a week and the calls are expensive but reasonable....
13638

John, you and Mary both bring up good points. On my recent cruise to Alaska I found that as long as we were somewhat near land, while at sea, we had cell phone service. On my phone's screen the service provider listed was "Celebrity" so the ship was supplying the link. From what I understand a number of cruise lines are now looking to connect to the cell phone system via a satellite connection. If they do, you'll be connected to cell phone service even far out at sea.

When I absolutely, positively have to be able to be contacted 24X7 to the office while on a vacation cruise because we're in the midst of something really important which requires me, I do rent a satellite phone, but only use it while at sea. The office always has my itinerary and therefore knows when to call on the satellite phone vs. my cell phone.

cruiser
11-16-2005, 12:36 PM
I take my cell phone with me if I'm driving down to Seattle for a flight for emergencies on the way - none so far thankfully - then turn it off until we get back to Seattle. The only reason I take it is that I don't want to leave it in my car in case of theft. If I'm flying from a local Vancouver area airport I leave it at home unless I think I may need to re-book a flight if weather is awful. Mine only roams in Canada & US anyway. However on one trip I checked and got a signal in some other places but wasn't set up for roaming there.
As a sideline we did a Eurpoean cruise a few years ago and whenever we were within cell phone covereage the decks were lined with lots of people using them. We understood that a lot of wives only managed to get their husbands on the cruise if they could take and use their phones! That only worked on deck most of the time though.

Ned
11-16-2005, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by mtp51@Nov 16 2005, 12:08 PM
There is nothing worse than lounging on the beach watching the sunset, only to be jolted out of vacation mode by someone's cell phone ringing and the incessant babble that follows.....
13645

I sympathize mtp51, because I know I've gotten angry when I hear that babble, but...

I've got to be able to stay in touch with my office and family 24X7 no matter where I'm at in the world. The cell phone has freed me to take all kinds of vacations that I couldn't otherwise do.

I own a small consulting firm, and the office and clients sometimes need to be able to contact me regardless of whether or not I'm on vacation or doing something else on my own time, and if I want to stay in business, well...that's life. I love my work and it's a small price to pay to get a business call every once in a while while on vacation. My wife and I had a fabulous land/cruise vacation in Alaska this past summer for two weeks. I got 5 short and to the point business calls during those 2 weeks on vacation. Without the cell phone capability I couldn't have taken that trip.

I have an elderly father. He's in pretty good health for 90, but he's starting to slip noticably at this point. He needs to be able to call me when he needs me, or other members of the family need to be able to get me if he gets sick. My only sibling, a brother, died years ago. I could not possibly enjoy my vacation knowing I was cut off from him. In fact, I couldn't even go on vacation at this point in our lives, if cut off from easy communication with him. I got 8 calls from him while in Alaska. He definitely held back from his usual call volume to me. He probably would have found a way to speak to me each time without a cell phone to call, but the cell phone was much better, if for no other reason than he didn't have to figure out where I was, what number to call, etc. and instead could just dial the number he uses for me hundreds of times a year.

The cell phone keeps costs down for the calls, and makes it easier and far more convenient than any other way for me to make and receive the calls.

susanliber
11-19-2005, 08:12 AM
I usually have my cell phone with me for emergencies....I have an 83 year old father and an 88 year old mother in law....

Even if I don't have it turned on, I check it a couple of times a day for messages.

Ned
11-19-2005, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by susanliber@Nov 19 2005, 10:12 AM
I usually have my cell phone with me for emergencies....I have an 83 year old father and an 88 year old mother in law....

Even if I don't have it turned on, I check it a couple of times a day for messages.
13940

I have the same situation with my father who's about to turn 90. His girlfriend is 80. My mother died a few years ago. It's important to be able to have him be able to contact me if there's a problem, regardless of where I am. Sometimes, like yesterday, however, I had to ignore him for a while, as he called me from Florida 15 times to get help with Quicken, even when I explained I was busy with clients.

Sancha
12-02-2005, 01:06 PM
I bought a GSM tri-band phone shortly before a business trip to Hong Kong. The day after I returned home I left for a vacation in Ireland and Scotland. As soon as I landed in Shannon and turned the phone on, it rang; it was the hotel in Hong Kong calling to let me know that I'd forgotten a few hundred dollars' worth of punts and pounds in my room safe and asking how I'd like it returned to me! The phone already paid for itself with that call -- if I hadn't had it, I wouldn't have gotten the message until I returned home to Chicago two weeks later.

I also find it comforting to know that friends, family and pet-sitters can always reach me in an emergency, or even airlines calling with flight changes. Generally everyone knows when I'm out of the country and won't call unless they really need to -- with all the int'l travel I do, I'll never own a U.S.-only phone again!

DCTravelAgent
12-02-2005, 01:41 PM
Anyone who could possibly need me has the phone/fax number of the resort I'll be at.

I do take my cell on FAM trips - I am after all working.

Ned
12-03-2005, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Sancha@Dec 2 2005, 03:06 PM
I also find it comforting to know that friends, family and pet-sitters can always reach me in an emergency, or even airlines calling with flight changes. Generally everyone knows when I'm out of the country and won't call unless they really need to -- with all the int'l travel I do, I'll never own a U.S.-only phone again!
14827

I feel exactly the same way way. Actually it's more than comforting. We were recently on an overnight trip when I got a call from our alarm company that there had been a power failure at home. That meant that our dog was going to be in darkness until morning. If we're going away we normally have a house sitter, but we had an emergency and our sitter wasn't available, so the man who gives our dog some extra walks when we're away was taking care of her. That call on the cell phone gave us the opportunity to call the dog walker who then took her to his house for the night. That may not mean much to many people, but I think those who have canine or feline friends understand.

Ned
12-22-2005, 06:22 AM
Chris Elliott's article A costly call from Costa Rica (http://www.tripso.com/archives/2005/12/costacall.html) illustrates beautifully why carrying a cell phone on vacation makes real sense. With an "international" cell phone you are able to control your phone costs while traveling, and have the ability to call from virtually anywhere, should the need or desire arise. Frankly, while traveling in one's home country it makes just as much sense to carry your cell phone. Hotels the world over, charge way too much for the use of their phone service.

Mile High
12-22-2005, 07:49 AM
Having to justify carring one is not necessary.

P.J.
12-22-2005, 08:10 AM
[FONT=Times][SIZE=7]Originally posted by Ned@Nov 10 2005, 06:58 PM
Some travelers want to stay in touch via their cell phone no matter where they are in the world and have purchased a "world" cell phone which can be used almost anywhere.* Their phones can be used to call ahead to the hotel if problems arise, get driving directions, or can be used in other ways in addition to keeping in touch at home.* Some need to have a phone so aged relatives can get in touch with them if problems arise.

Some travelers don't have cell phones at home which can access cell phone systems in foreign countries and therefore rent an appropriate phone to have on vacation.

Other travelers want to get away from life at home and wouldn't be caught dead with their cell phone at their side during vacations.

Tell us about your phone and its usage on vacation.* Can you use it internationally?* Is that an important feature of a cell phone for you?* Do you take your cell phone on vacation?* Do you rent a cell phone for a vacation in a foreign country?* Do you purposefully leave your phone at home during vacations?
13351


When on "Vacation" one's cell phone (ideally) should be off and only used for outgoing calls. Some employers take advantage of employee's compulsive behavioral characteristics and come close to "requiring" that they be accessible.

This should be completely at the discretion of the person "on vacation" and accepted by the employer without prejudice.

I take my cell phone, which can be used worldwide, but I keep the pesky thing off!

(By the way, many talk louder into their cell phones because THEY cannot hear the other person very well and because of the nature of digital cells, there is rarely any background "analog" noise to indicate that the connection is still live.
E.G., when someone puts on headphones they talk louder - because they cannot hear how loud THEY are.)

Good manners and being considerate of others when in the company of others is important for civilized humans. (I am addressing "Mile High" and his comments.)
Justifying carrying (sp!) a cell is not the issue - the behavior of the person carrying one is. It's spelled "Ridiculous".......)

bkstar
12-22-2005, 08:40 AM
I don't have a world phone, but when I fly domestic I do take my phone but only turn it on at arrival to check hotel/car/dinner reservations and departure for the same reasons. My son tells me to lock it up and enjoy - so as a good mom I do!

There was one occasion that I was asked to have it on due to a work related issue but that lasted for 1 day.

bk

Ned
12-22-2005, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by P.J.@Dec 22 2005, 10:10 AM
[FONT=Times][SIZE=7]

When on "Vacation" one's cell phone (ideally) should be off and only used for outgoing calls. Some employers take advantage of employee's compulsive behavioral characteristics and come close to "requiring" that they be accessible.

This should be completely at the discretion of the person "on vacation" and accepted by the employer without prejudice.

I take my cell phone, which can be used worldwide, but I keep the pesky thing off!

(By the way, many talk louder into their cell phones because THEY cannot hear the other person very well and because of the nature of digital cells, there is rarely any background "analog" noise to indicate that the connection is still live.
E.G., when someone puts on headphones they talk louder - because they cannot hear how loud THEY are.)*

Good manners and being considerate of others when in the company of others is important for civilized humans. (I am addressing "Mile High" and his comments.)
Justifying carrying (sp!) a cell is not the issue - the behavior of the person carrying one is. It's spelled "Ridiculous".......)
16118

Hi,

I can't disagree with anything you've said (except for one item), however, some of us don't have the luxury of turning our cell phones off. I run a consulting company and as a result my cell is on 24x7 even while on vacation. Fortunately, my employees and clients are judicious about when they call. I don't agree with you that while "on vacation" employers should not require you to have your cell phone "on". That may be true of many or even most people, however, when I worked for a multinational oil company, essentially being on call, even while on vacation, was part of the job. Some employees may not feel that way while their employer does, so they need to work that kind of thing out. Even before cell phones being as "portable" as they are now and as good, many of us were still "on call".

I agree with you about people yelling into their phones. I've caught myself doing it a few times.

As for good manners and showing consideration, I feel that it's become lost in today's society, and that's mighty unfortunate. This would be a far better world if manners and consideration were back in vogue. Manners and consideration are a subset of the "Gold Rule". It's a shame people just don't understand that if you treat someone right, they'll do the same for you. "Right Back at You" is part of human nature. (My cell phone is never off, although in restaurants, meetings, theater, movies, etc. it's set to vibrate only. If a call comes in which I can't afford to miss, I excuse myself and go nearby where I won't disturb people. It's easy to do that.)

Arizona Road Warrior
12-22-2005, 09:44 AM
Before I go on vacation, I make arrangements with my associates to cover my responsibilities; send out e-mails to customers and co-workers telling them who to contact during my vacation; therefore, I don't get calls during my vacation.

My wife and I do take our cell phones with us in case if our families need to get hold of us, emergencies, call family and etc. However, I don't take my laptop with me on vacation. I want a relaxing vacation not a working vacation.

We have Cingular service and Motorola phones and we didn’t have any problems using them in Europe and Asia.

Sancha
12-22-2005, 10:33 AM
I don't understand taking a cell phone and keeping it turned off, only turning it on if you need to use it for an outgoing call. What if a family member or friend needs to reach you in an emergency? This may sounds strange, but I think it's inconsiderate to only be available for other people at your own convenience; personally, I can relax MORE if my phone's on, knowing that if someone needs to reach me, they can do so without jumping through hoops. But maybe that's just me. And admittedly, I have the luxury of a job where if I'm on vacation, I'm gone, noone at the office would ever call. :D So, by all means turn the work phone off, but leave your personal one on!

Probably alone on this one. Flame away, I'll have the fire extinguisher ready. :ph34r:

Ned
01-03-2006, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by Sancha@Dec 22 2005, 12:33 PM
I don't understand taking a cell phone and keeping it turned off, only turning it on if you need to use it for an outgoing call. What if a family member or friend needs to reach you in an emergency? This may sounds strange, but I think it's inconsiderate to only be available for other people at your own convenience; personally, I can relax MORE if my phone's on, knowing that if someone needs to reach me, they can do so without jumping through hoops. But maybe that's just me. And admittedly, I have the luxury of a job where if I'm on vacation, I'm gone, noone at the office would ever call.* :D So, by all means turn the work phone off, but leave your personal one on!

Probably alone on this one. Flame away, I'll have the fire extinguisher ready.** :ph34r:
16129

You're not the only one Sancha. Many of us leave their phone's on for just such an emergency. My father (He's the only one left of my wife's and my parents.) is almost 90. We want to make sure he can get in touch with us any time he needs us, no matter where we are. It's for our peace of mind as much as his. I'm not so sure how easily he could get in contact with us without my number being programmed into his phone so he only has to press one button to get me. Frankly, I don't think we could get away so easily and often if it wasn't easy for him to contact us.