KEEPING CONNECTED:

There are a lot of options for out-of-country cell plans. We considered them, but for around $45 per phone, it didn’t seem worth it for 1g of data. Instead, we set our phones to airplane mode and kept it on the entire time. We connected to free WIFI, which was available nearly everywhere and for some reason I continued receiving texts throughout. The Kid made arrangements with Verizon before we left and he was authorized to activate his phone one day at a time. That meant he could begin using his own cell service for 24 hours straight and it was a daily charge of $7.00. We did this twice on his phone only and sure enough, when we returned, our bill was only $14 more than usual. Check with your carrier before you go.

We also downloaded the Viber app and connected with our friends. Despite some dropped calls, the messaging worked well throughout and it was a joy for my homesick heart to chat for a minute with my family at no cost.