You have many easy and efficient options for staying in touch with folks back home. Most hotels will provide WiFi so you can communicate online at the end of your day. Keep in mind the fun of sending a postcard or a letter – there is nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail from a friend on a trip!
Regardless of how you choose to communicate with friends and family back home, you may always be reached at your hotel. Hotel phone numbers are listed in your handbook. The person trying to reach you need only call the hotel and ask for you by name. The hotel will forward the call to your room or pass on a message if you are out.
In case of emergency, your family can also contact American Expeditions, and our staff will contact you through your tour manager. To reach American Expeditions call: 1-802-862-2200 or 1-800-624-0166
The most effective way to contact friends and family back home is by using Wi-Fi either at your hotel or at a Wi-Fi hotspot. Please check with the front desk for any fees associated with using Wi-Fi at the hotel.
Apps such as Skype, Viber and FaceTime allow you to make both voice and video calls for free. The quality of the calls will depend upon the strength of the Wi-Fi signal.
For Apple users, iMessage allows you to text other Apple users for free over Wi-Fi from anywhere in the world. However, data roaming fees will apply if you contact a non-Apple user. To avoid this, go to settings / messages and turn off the “send as SMS” option.
HOTEL ROOM PHONES
The phone in your hotel room is a great way to communicate from room to room and for receiving wake up calls. We do not, however, recommend using your room phone to make calls outside of the hotel as many hotels charge high service fees.
Cell phone service is widely available internationally, but while it can be convenient, calling, texting and emailing with your cell phone can be very expensive, so be sure to check with your cell provider before traveling.
Unless you have an international plan in place prior to traveling, go to your phone’s settings and turn off the cellular data to avoid any unforeseen fees.
Should you decide to travel with your personal phone while abroad, contact your cellular carrier in advance to check the following:
- Ask your cellular carrier whether or not your phone will work where you will be traveling.
- Check the international service plans available with your carrier as rates for voice calls, texting and data vary by carrier and by the amount of data you plan to use while “roaming” (using cellular data and not WiFi).
- Ask how much it will cost per minute to make calls home and how much it will cost to send and receive a text message. This will help you determine if you should sign up for a global plan (best if you anticipate using a lot of data), or a pay-as-you-go plan if you do not anticipate using your device much outside of WiFi zones.
- We suggest that you ask what the overage fees are for voice, data and texting in the event that you use more than the amount your plan covers. Consult your phone company for specifics on overage fees.
*If you do set up an international plan, be sure to cancel it as soon as you return home.
If you want the convenience of a cell phone but don’t want to bring your own, you may decide to rent one in advance of your trip. Just type “rent a phone for international travel” in a search engine and choose from the many options that will best suit your needs.
You might also elect to purchase a pre-paid calling card. These can be purchased at local convenience shops, post offices and newspaper stands in a variety of amounts. They offer dialing instructions in English. As you use your card, the charges for the call are deducted. Please be sure to check the instructions and rates for the phone you are calling from.
To call the France from the USA: Dial 011 + 33 (country code France) + phone number.
To call USA from the France: Dial 00 + 1 (country code) + area code + phone number.
When dialing on a cell phone, you may simply press and hold 0 + the (country code) + phone number. This eliminates the need to dial 011. The same holds true if dialing from a foreign country back to North America. This eliminates the need to dial 00 before the phone number.
Note: It may be necessary to dial additional digits for operator-assisted or non-direct calls.