Cellular Abroad has compiled a list of travel tips associated with your Italian cell phone rental or purchase. Some of these have been passed on by our customers and some are based on our personal experience. A few of these tips may seem obvious but others may be less obvious and can prove to be invaluable resources. Please feel free to comment on our tips or to add more based on your own travels.
Leave your new Italian phone number on your current cell phone
Before you depart, you may want to leave your new Italian cell phone number on your current cell phone’s voicemail. Remember to mention the proper dialing procedure to call to Italy, including the country code (011-39-phone number). Another option is to forward your home number to your Italian one. However, Cellular Abroad does not recommend this approach as the costs to forward calls from cell phones are high.
Enter phone number into speed dial
You may safely enter phone numbers onto your phone from the US or Canada. Please remember that from Italy, to call North America, the dialing sequence is 001, followed by the area code, then the phone number (ex. 001-212-555-1212).
Get non 800 numbers
You may need to call back home to 800 numbers (ex. Credit card companies to pay your bill or report losses, etc.). There is nothing more aggravating than calling a toll free number from abroad to resolve an issue and not having that number work from overseas. In fact, the majority of 800 numbers do not work internationally. The ones that do by the way are not toll free from overseas so you might as well get a non toll free number.
This is quite a common issue and we highly recommend that this step becomes part of your trip planning procedure.
Call credit card company and let them know you are traveling
Another aggravation, and a common one at that, is for your US or Canada based credit card to stop working while overseas. Imagine attempting to pay for your meal at that French Bistro only to find out that your credit card use has been temporarily restricted due to your own “suspicious” use pattern. It very much makes sense to let your credit card company’s customer service know that you will be using the card overseas so they do not think that it is being used fraudulently. Also, it is useful to give them your Italian cell phone number just in case they need to reach you.
Give your Italian number to airline carriers and hotels
One tip that we have received is based upon a travel nightmare. A well known Italian airline (without mentioning any names), lost but then found a traveler’s luggage. The traveler had given them a US cell phone number that worked in Italy. However, due to restrictions, this particular airline carrier could not contact the customer until well into his trip. The moral of the story is, make sure that all parties that you will be doing business with in Italy that may need to contact you have your new phone number.
Don’t pack your phone in your suitcase
Speaking of lost luggage, we do not recommend that you pack your phone in your suitcase. If it gets lost or stolen, that means that you will be without cellular communication for the length of the trip.
Don’t forget your charger in your hotel
This may seem obvious but it happens more than you know. One trick is to wrap the cord around something that you know you will not forget, like a book or a shoe. This may sound like strange advice but it is effective.