When you travel abroad there are many things to plan for. Besides figuring out what you need to pack, where you are going to stay and your transportation accommodations, you need to think about communication. This is almost as important as what you pack. If you do not properly prepare for communicating while you are abroad you might find yourself very upset. Making phone calls while you are traveling can be very expensive if you do not properly plan. The necessity of a travel cell phone will quickly become apparent to you. You might think that you can just go to your current cellular phone company to get a plan that you can use with your current cell phone. Yes, you can do this but it is not recommended. The main reason that it is not a good idea is because of the astronomical charges your cell phone company will charge. The U.S.-based major cell phone companies do not offer discounts for communicating abroad. They consider communicating while in another country a luxury. Luxuries usually mean high prices. Luckily there are companies that specialize in phones that you can use abroad at affordable prices. When you are searching for a solution to your communication needs while abroad, consider a company that strictly sells GSM phones for travel abroad. Most cell phones come equipped to work abroad, but they are locked. In order for them to work in another country, you need your cell phone provider to unlock it which could be quite pricey. Avoid those costs and purchase a travel cell phone. This phone will strictly be used while traveling in another country, but will be much less expensive than using your current phone. You can choose to rent or purchase a cell phone for traveling. If you are an infrequent traveler, renting might make more sense. If you are a frequent traveler, however, it is probably more cost-effective to purchase a phone. Once you decide whether you are going to rent or buy your phone for traveling you need to decide what type of SIM card you need. A reputable company offers prepaid SIM cards that allow you to control your expenses while traveling abroad. If you know exactly how many minutes you have available, you are less likely to overspend on your communication needs. Most reputable cell phone companies that will sell you a travel cell phone will offer round the clock customer service to allow you to add minutes at any given time.