Over the past few weeks I've been in a few places (to say the least.)
Miami Beach and calling anywhere was easy. My mobile phones with unlimited plans on T-Mobile and AT&T made that easy for stateside calling, and for international there was Truphone Anywhere or on my laptop, Skype.
But the real challenge was once I get to a foreign country. There the roaming rates of the USA operators, and those in the EU don't apply to us Yankees. So I the past two weeks I've been using a combination of Truphone Anywhere and Skype, both laptop, and when I'm in the UK on the INQ SkypePhone2.
Let me make it easy. When I use the SkypePhone in the UK, I simply buy a dayplan for data from 3, the carrier. For a one day pass it's .50 pence, or about .70 cents in USA currency. I made a ton of calls last night over Skype. One was a 25 minute Skype To Skype call where I was called as I was awaiting the arrival of my bag at Heathrow. The next few were to family and friends. Total cost. The .50 pence I spent as the Skype Unlimited World Plan and the Skype to Skype calls were FREE.
Now, when in Spain and France there wasn't 3 or a Skype deal, so I used Truphone Anywhere. All my calls were local, and what's more I was able to route calls to my USA Truphone number via always trusty Grand Central and those calls were sent free also.
That's the easy part.
Now for how I returned calls that were left as voice mail back in the USA in my GrandCentral mailbox. That's simple. I've set up a series of DIDs in countries I visit regularly. These are all SIP inbound DID's that route to a Gizmo5 number. That number is perpetually forwarded to GrandCentral, and since they peer with one another (something I had a hand in helping make happen) it is also FREE. All for the cost of a local call. Once I'm in the GrandCentral system, I simply return my calls based on messages being left.
This may seem like a lot of work, but once it's set up it's really easy.
Oh, and next month, when I'm international again, this time with my wife on vacation, I even picked up a SIM for her to use and give her Truphone Anywhere too, and the second SkypePhone to call on when she's in the UK before we go off to the wine regions of France for my twice delayed vacation with her.