Using Pay As You Go Phones in Canada or the USA for Vacation
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter) Fridays are Travel Article Days:- After several years of traveling across the United States of America as a Canadian, I finally have a livable cell phone bill to come home to after being gone for 6 weeks. How did I do this you ask? I bought a prepaid cellphone from 7-Eleven (From T-Mobile) and bought a one month unlimited Talk-Text and Web phone. Sure I took some ribbing on how ancient the phone looked and worked (It still has the abc-1 buttons to press in order to send out messages,) but I pressed on. Having unlimited domestic(USA) talking minutes was actually the best feature of the whole deal. I also used this phone for texting, Facebooking and tweeting. I also took numerous pictures from each baseball park and sent them to my Gmail account. This made it easier to post on social media outlets. On a couple of different occasions I was able to reserve hotel rooms online directly from surfing the web in different cities.
The total cost of the phone and one-month unlimited plan was $83, then I also added an additional week for $17. I understand that paying $100 for 5 weeks (while keeping my usual Canadian plan rolling) was about $150 for the 5 weeks, but believe me this was a steal. I am not sure how the conversion goes from buying a Canadian Plan if you have an US Carrier to begin with, however I am well versed in how much the Canadian Cell Phone providers operate. The cheapest plan I could have found for what I was doing, would have been around $250 per month. This doesn’t guarantee you anything either. The last time I went away for 5 weeks to the USA in 2009 chasing all 30 MLB Parks, I was promised that would be the rate, only to find out I was charged around 3 times that by calling 1-800 numbers. 1-800 numbers are supposed to be free, but ended up costing me through the roof for various reasons I am still not certain of to this day.
Anyways, with the 7-eleven Mobile Phone, I was able to create cost certainty on this aspect of my budget. I ended up taking about 200 pictures with the phone and sent them to email for free. I sent out 1300 Tweets from the ballparks and probably used about 500 minutes of free long-distance. Next year I will probably upgrade the phone to at least have a keypad. The extra $50 will totally be worth it. The Pay As You Go Phone experiment worked and was a small cog in a record trip. You can even choose to buy a daily rate for $3 for unlimited everything for a minimum 4 day buy in. The maroon phone(at top of the article) I used will be an emergency phone from this point forward in case I ever lose or damage my Samsung Canadian Phone. For now, it still gives me Facebook updates for free while the number is no longer in use. This I find pretty funny.
So when traveling, you should really shop around and do your homework if you are going to be in another country for a while. Either that, or have a friend that is willing to put you on their plan for a short stint. Don’t leave anything to chance on vacation. Not knowing how much money you are costing yourselves with roaming charges can really dampen a good vacation fast. Next week we tackle –(How to acquire free car rental days for trips in the USA by using your Canadian Friends Air Miles.)
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his successful Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book please click here . ***
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Posted on May 18, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 7-Eleven, Air Miles, canada, Chuck Booth, fastest thirty ballgames, Rogers Wireless, Samsung, T-Mobile, Travel Article Friday, USA. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.