Taking Your Phone When You Go Calling Abroad

BY STEVE DINNEN

When I telephoned real estate agent Dave Ryan last month to talk about buying property at Lake Panorama, there was a clicking sound on the line and then I heard a distinctly European ring tone. Turns out Ryan was not sitting in his office in Panora but traveling in Ireland.

A telephone is a Realtor’s trusty sidekick, nowadays even overseas. Depending on the carrier, you just contact them ahead of your travels, or they may even know when they sense you working your smart phone from an offshore address. They’ll ping you and ask if you wish to invoke their foreign travel package, and away you go. The daily cost is minimal.

Ryan said his phone in Ireland worked the same as it does in Iowa—complete voice service, and emails. Currency converter apps will help, as will a very worthwhile mapping service that will give you directions on unfamiliar roads (but will they constantly remind you to drive on the left side of an Irish roadway?). We found this to be most helpful last year during a driving trip through Greece, as road signs were in, uh, Greek. Our U.S. phone worked way better than the loser GPS system that came with the rental car.

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