In today’s day and age everyone want’s to know where they’ll have WiFi, how they can check email and will their hairdryer plug into “their” outlets. Some may opt to leave everything behind and try to unplug from time to time. Either way we want you to be prepared should you want to reach out and touch someone from the other side of the pond.
Adaptors & Converters – Electrical outlets in many countries around the world are different than here in the US, so you’ll need an adapter to plug in your devices. Many modern electronics – smart phones, ipads, tablest and computers – have a built-in voltage converter, in which case, you will only need an adapter to plug it in. If you are using a device that doesn’t have a battery pack with a voltage converter (shaver, hair dryer etc) you’ll need to buy a voltage converter. Both items can be found at just about any local hardware, travel or outdoors store. To find out what ada[ter you might need, check out this handy chart!
Hair Dryers – Some of the hotels we’ll be staying in have hair dryers in the room, and others have them available at the front desk. However, if you use a hair dryer regularly, we recommend you bring your own and remember to bring the correct electrical adapter and/or converter.
Cell Phones – Cell phones that support the GSM Wireless system (Global System for Mobile Communications) work in most places around the world these days. Most cell phone providers do provide GSM-capable phones, although you may have to call your service provider to have the technology “turned on” or “unlocked”. You can also rent GSM-capable phones. You must have an international plan turned on in order to make phone calls, and remember you will be charged for both outgoing and incoming phone calls. For more information about using European SIM cards in your smartphones check out Rick Steves’ blog post.
Making Phone Calls – You’ll need to know the International Access Code (sometimes called Exit Code) for the country from which you are calling (IAC) and the country code for the country that you are calling (CC). You’ll also need to know the local number (LN). European local numbers can vary in length; whatever digits follow the country code is the telephone number. For more specific information on how to make phone calls in the country you are traveling to, please check out our country-specific instructions.
VoIP Calls – VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) allows you to make free computer to computer phone calls, and for a small charge calls to a cell or land line telephone. Try Skype, Google Talk or VoipBuster.
Internet/Wifi Access – Throughout your trip you’ll have the opportunity to connect to local internet and wifi hot spots in some cafes, hotels and restaurants. Most of our hotels (on some tours 100%, on others 70%) have wifi, although at times it is only available in common areas.