Thinking about taking your cell phone with you on your trip to Russia or Ukraine? Here are a few things to consider, as well as other good alternatives and tips.
If You Take Your Own
Some countries use different cell phone frequencies so the first step is to make sure you have a quad band. This means your phone should work on all frequencies. Also, you’ll need to bring the proper plug adapter and transformer that can handle 220 volt electricity so you can charge it. Once you have all the correct equipment, contact your cell phone company to see if they offer service where you're traveling to. You’ll most likely need to upgrade to international roaming if you don’t have that feature already.
Buy a SIM Card There
An alternative to expensive international roaming charges is to buy a SIM card once you arrive in Russia or Ukraine. As long as your phone is unlocked (meaning it will function with a different card) you can use it for local calls at the local rate. Check with your cell phone company to make sure your phone will work with a foreign SIM card. They usually cost less than $10. Prepaid phone cards can be found at airports, stores, markets, and even street booths and kiosks.
Buy or Rent a Cheap Phone Instead
Many gentlemen travelers don’t want to worry about losing their personal cell phone during their trip so they opt to just buy or rent a cheap, yet fully functional cell phone abroad. A helpful salesman, or your translator, can change the language so it’s easier to use. A basic cell phone including text messaging, SIM card, and prepaid minutes can be bought for less than $50, or rented for around $10 per day. Expensive-looking electronics, like your smart phone, can attract thieves so leaving it safe at home while using a temporary phone is a wise option.
While texting and emailing has become more widely used in Ukraine, some gentlemen have found there is still a time delay on delivering messages this way. Texts or emails may arrive a whole day later, making it more difficult to meet Ukrainian women for dates.
Research the codes needed to dial within Russia or Ukraine and outside of the countries. For example, if you are dialing a place in Ukraine within the same city code, you can just dial the number. However, if you are calling a different city code, you’ll have to first dial 8, then the city code, then the number. If you want to make a call to your home country, first dial 8, then 10 (the international prefix to dial outside of Ukraine), then your country’s international calling code, followed by the full phone number.