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Thanks for everyones help so far, its been great. I wonder if someone can tell me the best process for getting an international phone. My wife will be in the USA and she wants to be able to contact me in case of emergency. I have a calling card to call her. Rent/buy? What plan? Where do you get the phone?
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If your wife wants to be able to contact you on the road, a cell phone seems to be the only thing that would work.

It is very expensive to call from a mobile phone in Spain to another country, so this is not recommended. I would recommend calling cards for outgoing calls. Incoming calls however does not cost a thing to receive on your mobile.

The phone
If you decide to walk with a cell phone, I would recommend buying the phone at home. Then you could spend some more time to figure out what you need and who has the best price. Just make sure that it is of the tri-band type which covers 900/1800/1900 MHz. The person in the store would know what this is if you are not sure yourself. If you do this, then you could use the phone when you come home as well.

Remember to get a converter for the charger.

Pre-Paid plans
Each of the 3 big mobile network providers in Spain (Telefonica Movistar, Vodafone and Amena) all has pre-paid plans. Traditionally Telefonica Movistar has had the best coverage, although the two others are catching up fast and by now may have the same coverage.

The pre-paid plan from Telefonica starts at 25 euros (19 euros can be used to call for) then you can add to the pre-paid plan at any time.
For example, calls to USA with Telefonica Movistar cost 0,34 euro to connect then after 1,29 euro/minute.

More on prices and features on the Telefonica Movistar pre-paid plans here: ... atotal.htm

Note: You will usually loose your balance on your pre-paid card if you have not added more money to your card in a 9-12 months period.

What to ask for
When you are in the store, and want to get a Spanish phone number the pre-paid plan is called “tarjeta”. They will probably ask, “tarjeta o contrato”? You want “tarjeta” (pre-paid). “Contrato” is when you get a long term contract.

I hope this was not too complicated, and somewhat useful.

global phone

Hi , I got a global phone just for my upcoming camino. I bought it through Verizon. yes, it will be expensive to use , but my family wanted me to get one in case of emergencies. A calling card will be a good supplement. IDT Global Call has a great calling card. I hope this helps.
Calling card

For all the Aussies and Canadians (i'm not sure which other countries, but these are the 2 I call) who plan on taking the camino, or live in Spain. I use a calling card Eurodirect, its 6 euros and from a landline to a landline I get 800 minutes.

I have lived in Spain for 2 years and tried many phone cards and found the Eurodirect card to be the best
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