Thursday, July 8, 2010

Russian cell phone?

As we begin to think about our second trip, wanted to get people's opinions on renting a Russian cell phone. Did others do that? Was it worth it? Where did you rent it from? The first trip we really didnt need one, and suppose folks can always reach us at the hotel. Wasnt sure if this was a luxury or a necessity in people's opinions. Thanks!

9 comments:

Jeanette said...

We bought one and hardly used it. We skyped our boys back home. It's free and easy. All you have to do is sign up!

Wendi and Terry said...

We rented one from Peace Travel - they drop it off and pick it up from where you are staying. It was nice to have - quick calls home to let everyone know that court was successful.

Anonymous said...

There is a kiosk at the Moscow train station that sells calling cards that can only be used from hotels. I don't remember exactly how much per minute it was, but it was cheap...like .07. The instructions on the back of the card we had translated (they actually wrote down the numbers that we needed to enter, cues, etc.) We didn't even use the balance, and left it for the next family with our agency.

Shelly and Steve said...

I plan on using Skype exclusively or family calling the hotel. We stayed at the VMI and they have WiFi and Skype is next to nothing in cost. Skype can be used anywhere you have an internet connection. We even called family from the Korean airport on our laptop.

Russian Life said...

As a person who lives in Moscow....

I use skype to call the states) and pingo (calling card with the ability to call from Russia to US). It is sometimes hard to get a line on pingo during peak call times (weekend nights Moscow time), but the quality is good.

Check out this blog (named Soviet City) written by an expat in Russia. He is in the process of writing a travel guide and has a chapter on cell phones. It is excellant and explains how to buy a SIM card / phone in Russia!


http://www.sovietcity.com/blog/?page_id=236

You could always ask your translator, hotel, etc to buy the card for you. There are a lot of people who would do it for 200 - 500 rubles.

And, for some reason, I think you can buy a UK cell phone with a SIM card on line with a US passport. I remember someone telling me they did this.

Finally, my US cell phone does work in Moscow and western Russia. It just costs a fortune. If you want a phone to use just in case of real emergency, I would just call you carrier and ask.

Anonymous said...

We also rented from Peace travel, but then the phone wouldn't work from the region we were in, and then we were charged 12 dollars to call back to Moscow to try and get help on getting the phone to work. They were extremely nice to us,just didn't work out as planned.

Chad and Sarah said...

Our carrier is Verizon and we "rented" an international blackberry for the week. It cost $9.99 and came with unlimited internet access and texting. We had to pay for our talk minutes and it ended up costing about $2 per minute. But we knew we would not be talking that much, mostly updating facebook and texting. The only time we called home was when we gave him his name and wanted my mom and chad's mom to know first without posting it for the world to see. It was also a lifesaver when we were stranded in every airport we flew out of on the way back (BOOO Lufthansa!!!!) We made several calls to our travel agent.
Since we didn't want to lug a laptop, we mostly wanted it for internet and emergency purposes, so for the price it was so worth it. When we got home, we put it back in the box and sent it back, called a phone number and had Chad's other blackberry turned back on. We will definately go that route again when we go back.

Steve and Stella said...

We used Magic Jack $45 only and you can call the States for free and so they can call you it was perfect!!! The only thing is that you need to have internet to use Magic Jack. But since I had ti work anyway while we were on trip #2 it was necessary for me to have internet access so it worked perfectly

Snugglewormy said...

we had a magic jack as well which was great. we skyped a lot as well but not everybody has that capability. between those 2 we really did not see the need for a cellphone.