International cellular service has always been available from Verizon, but in the past, and those with older phones will be limited to CDMA coverage which is only available in 40 countries. Verizon customers with CDMA/GSM hybrid phones can get additional coverage, but the standard rate for most popular European travel destinations starts at $1.29 per minute. It can be advantageous or not keeping your usual U.S. phone number while you're traveling - advantageous because anyone can find you on your usual number and disadvantage, well, for exactly the same reason. For example, many people go on vacation specifically to get away from the typical daily calls. In addition, an 8p.m. call in New York means that you will get a call at 3a.m. in Paris!
On the whole, cell phone users tend to underestimate the time that they have spent on the phone, or how much time they will need to spend on the phone during their trip. Verizon has international plans that they will sell you for calls and for data. The problem is, if you buy a bundle of minutes or data, there are high usage fees associated with going over. On the flip side, if you stay under the bundle, you have just paid for something that you didn't use.
If you are a Verizon cell phone user here in the United States and you want to know how to get service while traveling overseas, Cellular Abroad has compiled some useful information for you:
First, your current phone will probably work. There are a few older or entry level phones that Verizon carriers that do not work internationally. The issue is not so much that it will not work but rather, the price you will be paying for the service. Let's face it, most of us use our phones many times a day to check emails, make and receive calls, look up things or to go on Facebook. There are so many useful apps and websites for travelers that, in theory, travelers would want to use their phones even more when going overseas than while back home. They don't because of the cost. And this is where Cellular Abroad comes in. Cellular Abroad was founded in 2002 specifically for travelers who need an efficient way to stay in touch at rates they can afford. See below for sample rates.
If your cell phone is unlocked, such as the iPhone 5, you can just insert a nano SIM card for their destination where you will be traveling in order to take advantage of the local data and call rates. If your phone is not unlocked or you don't want to use it (don't want to risk it being stolen or you don't want to walk around with a phone that costs the equivalent of several months salary in the country where you will be traveling), you can purchase or rent one. If you need data services for your iPad or tablet, we have affordable plans for that as well.
Per-minute rates for the most popular travel destinations