I can understand why you'd want to keep your gadgets to a minimum as you're traveling around the world,
and luckily for you, there are a number of options. Before I get to recommendations, here are a couple of things to remember. First, I'm not sure which phone service you use, but your best bet is to go with a GSM phone, since a number of countries operate on a GSM network; in fact, it's the standard for Europe. Also, make sure you look for a triband (GSM 900/1800/1900) or quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) model, as these true world phones will work in the most countries. Check out our quick guide to world phones
for more information.
As far as handsets, it would be best to get an unlocked GSM phone. That way you can buy a prepaid SIM card once you get to your destination and use a local number and carrier. Alternatively, you can buy a world phone from one of the GSM carriers here in the United States--Cingular or T-Mobile--and keep the same number. Just be aware that roaming charges can add up quickly when you do so. With that said, our phone recommendations include the Cingular 8525
, the Samsung BlackJack
, and the T-Mobile Dash
. Another option: Sprint Nextel offers two world phones, the Samsung IP-830w
and the Nextel i930
And since they are all smart phones, you'll get the PDA functionality you need for keeping track of your travel itineraries and other information.