save money using technology when traveling.

Save Money Using Technology When Overseas

Technology is a wonderful thing but, we are not all “tech-savvy.” We all like to save a little money though, don’t we?

When we arrived in Italy, we decided we wanted to keep our US phone numbers so we found a US service (before we left Arizona) that let us do so with a minimal monthly fee. For us, at this time it was T-Mobile who let us put our US service on “hold” for a fee of $3.00 per month of non-use.

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Now, let’s move forward to arriving in Italy. We went to TIM (our choice for Italy) and purchased a basic plan and SIM cards. With TIM, you do not get texting but we’ll discuss that later in this post. So we have an Italian phone number and are able to make phone calls within Italy with no problems. Good, right?

The only issue is that all our family and friends are back in the USA. Here is where technology is saving us money.

skype graphic


Most people have heard of Skype and it is for Android users. Facetime is for iPhones. Both you and the other party both need to have the app (application) downloaded. For our purposes, we use Skype. We are able to call the US and speak with our children, grandchildren, and friends using Skype at no charge. You can also video call so we get to keep in touch by seeing our grandchildren as they are growing so fast. There is a message capability with this program but we don’t really use Skype for that. So again, free phone calls (or video calls) when both parties are using Skype. Great!


whats app graphic


This technology and FREE service have been a lifesaver! You can text, voice message, and send pictures! Again, both parties need to have the app downloaded but it is truly amazing. Sometimes we’ll just send a voice message wishing the grandchildren a good morning and to have a good day. When sending pictures, you can send them to more than one person using the group function. This app has telephone capabilities but it is not a free service. The cost is low compared to other international services but there is still a fee.

Both these methods of technology have kept us in touch with our loved ones while we are here in Italy. They both get a 5-star rating from us!



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Other Technology

  • There are other resources you can use for communication such as Facebook Messenger.
  • We use the Voice Translate app on our smartphones in case we are stuck on how to explain or ask for something in a restaurant or store. Love this app!
  • A great tool to use for navigation is CityMaps2Go. It is great because it can be used offline! It has some great features you can you to walk from one place to another.


Please let us know if you found a great app to use when traveling! We’d love to add it to our list!

For more information about travel, see this post:

Top 12 Important Things Before Traveling Overseas

Editors Note:  This post was first published on September 29, 2016, but has been updated with current information.

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