The Cell Phone Dilemma

I am now in a dilemma. The dilemma is whether we should travel with a cell phone. One that actually works in the countries where we are going, of course. This confusion comes about because of our two airline episodes in Tanzania and Botswana. Both situations might have been resolved much quicker, and perhaps with less stress, if we had a phone that worked where we were.

In Maun, Botswana, we would have been able to phone the Air Botswana office rather than going there and making multiple trips to and from the hotel. (Refer to “November 30 – Safari Goodbyes”)

In Tanzania, we might have been able to resolve the issue with our flights the night we discovered it, rather than waiting until the next morning. Although I do not think either of lost sleep over the matter. We also would have been able to phone the hotel in Vancouver and Westjet/Air Miles easier and rearrange our travel plans. (Refer to “December 11 –  Delayed”)

So, do we take the plunge and start traveling with a usable cell phone? Do we incur the extra expense for situations that may, or may not, happen? We have traveled to China, India, Vietnam, France and various Caribbean countries without any issues, so was this trip just bad luck? We managed to get both our travel issues resolved without a cell phone, so in the end everything worked out. I should tell you though that we borrowed three different people’s cell phones to deal with the Tanzanian airline issue. Who knows whether they got charged for the calls to Canada.

I don’t really know that much about cell phones and international travel, but my son was saying there are a number of ways to do it. One option is to get a cell phone plan that allows you to buy a roaming plan for the countries where you will traveling. The other option is to buy an open cell phone, which he says can be quite painful, and buy SIM cards in each country you go to. Either way I would have to replace the antique that I currently own.

So, there are options, but the big question is whether we really need to carry a cell phone. Do we carry a phone for “what if” scenarios? Any suggestions? We do not have another long international trip planned, so I have some time to think about the cell phone dilemma.

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