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In our January newsletter, I wrote an article about our experience with Internet connections on a cruise to the Bahamas. I let my smartphone roam for a data connection in the Bahamas and got a $29 charge just to download my email one time! Now, I'm reading Peggi McDonald's RVLiving.net weekly newsletter and she's discussing Getting a New Phone.
Peggi spends half her time in Canada and the other half in the US so she would be subject to Verizon roaming charges of $2 per MB while in Canada if she got a smart phone. Therefore, she can't get a smartphone! Geez … isn't there any way around that? I don't understand why Verizon can't offer some kind of reasonable plan for people who go back and forth. I'd love to hear from any of our readers here who go back and forth to Canada and what they do. Or Mexico … same issue.
It seems such a shame to not be able to get a smartphone – I just can't imagine life without my Droid now. But, there is a $30/mo data plan that is a requirement with the phone. You can turn off roaming so as not to incur the extra charges, but if you're in Canada for 6 months – then you're paying $30/mo for nothing!
Peggi mentions the possibility of two phones, but doesn't want to juggle two phone numbers. I think Google Voice could solve that by passing the one Google Voice number back and forth between the two phones. We love our Google Voice number that we use for business.
There are also several options available for part time Internet access with MiFi devices. Millenicom is a good example of a no contract plan, read more in this article Part Time Mobile Internet connections.
Sure would love to hear from some members who have figured this one out!
August 5, 2010
Yes, it sucks to be a snowbird. We do not have a smart phone. We do use our current Verizon phone as a Mobile Broadband Connect tethered phone for our data needs when we are travelling. We use a Nationwide plan when we are in the US and then switch to a Nationwide plus Canada when we go back to Canada. For Data in Canada, I have had to acquire an air card and related plan for Canada while I am there. Now, I have difficulty in putting that plan on Vacation while I am down here. That costs me $15 a month. Friends cannot put their air card on Vacation and pay full price for their plan.
So Much for Free Trade.