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Hola,
Just wondering if a traveling newbie really needs a cell phone for any reason other than to call back to the states? I have read that one can purchase an "unlocked" cell phone in the U.S. and then after crossing the border purchase a sim card for use in Mexico rather than take a personal U. S. phone and incur international charges.
Do many expats use Skype?
Not being fluent in Espanol at this point, it seems that a cell phone might just be something else to keep up with or possibly lose while traveling.
Any thoughts on this subject would be appreciated.
Thanks expat members.
 

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lots expats use skype....

but you should purchase a cheap tel cell pay as you go cell phone... "AMIGO" its called. that way when you drive through mexico you have a way to communicate...

roaming fees are horrible... usa sprint does offer a vacation mode for 5,00 per month... as long as you dont answer your cell phone.. but you will see who is calling you.

when i drive down mexico , if i see a tow truck i write the number down just incase i have any car problems i have a tow truck to call.
 

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I do things the old fashioned way and have no cell phone. There are public phones everywhere and dialing 090 will get you an English speaking international operator, who can make a collect call to anywhere in the world if you have an emergency.
For 'chit chat', use a cybercafe; also on every corner, it seems.
 

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If you want to be reachable by people who need to call you, you will want a cell phone.

But if the direction of your calls will be basically outbound, you can do fine with public phones and/or skype at cybercafes. With public phones, your calls will be much cheaper if you buy a long distance card (like Hola or Bueno, for example, there are many other brands, too), and use it in the type of coin phones that offer 99 minutes for a fixed price of a few pesos, instead of so much per minute.
 

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These days, I would always have a cell phone if you can afford it, either plan or prepaid. My American cousin had a plan phone from his company down in Mexico and realized he used it a lot more often for situations he would get into (car breakdown or other issue) and at least felt the need when he went back to the U.S. to at least get a prepaid phone for certain emergencies. Driving through Mexico, a phone can be very useful in that respect. I have used a prepaid one from Telcel, though you will find that if you use the phone more often than you expect, the plans are better.
 
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