Making International Phone Calls from Miami
Learn how to stay in touch with friends and family when you are away from home
Staying in touch with friends and family is important when you are far from home. Here are the different ways to stay in touch when it’s long distance.
Skype is a free way to make phone calls to anywhere in the world, as long as you both have a Skype account. Used with a webcam on a computer, you can sign up to Skype to contact the other person via video calls, regular calls or Instant Messaging. You can also download skype onto an iPhone to use this service. It costs nothing to download the program or make and receive calls and is my number one choice for contacting my family back home in London. The only thing you will need is wifi, which is free in the City of Miami Beach.
A new version of Skype for Apple lovers, Face Time is an app for iPhones, iPads and Macs. It is a free way to chat on the phone using the built in web cam so you can see the other person. This is only good for those of you who travel with your high tech accessories.
Pay as you Go Phone with International Calls
If you plan on staying in Miami for more than a few weeks, you may want to invest in a Pay as you Go cell phone. These cheap cell phones can be bought at various electronic stores such as Radio Shack or Best Buy. You only pay for the amount of time you spend on the phone and there is no contract required. For international calling, AT&T has a great deal for $10 which gives you 250 minutes to any landline in over 50 countries. T Mobile also has a deal for $10 that includes both international calls and text messaging. If you intend on being in Miami for a longer period of time, this may be the easiest way to call home.
Calling cards can be purchased at any drug store or convenience store and give you very cheap calls starting at 1c/ minute to most countries. The cards cost $5 but will last for hours, giving you plenty of talk time. However, be careful where you use them. Hotels charge a fee for using the phone in your room, so your free call may result in a big phone bill at the end of your hotel stay. Try the pay phones around town or a free phone in a hotel lobby to avoid the hotels adding on a charge to your bill.
Other ways to stay in touch
You can’t always pick up the phone, so a friendly group email is sometimes an easier way to stay in touch with everyone back home. There are free computers in the Miami Beach libraries located on 22nd and Collins Ave and 1st and Alton Rd. Many hotel lobbies also have free computers to use, and there is a big internet café on 15th and Washington Ave. If you have your own laptop, you can pick up free wifi from the City of Miami Beach or any starbucks.
How to dial Internationally from America
Any international call made from America must always start with 011. This is the international ‘exit’ code from the USA and Canada to other countries. After 011 comes the country code. For example, the UK code is 44, Mexico is 52, Brazil is 55 and Australia is 61.
To make a call to another country, you must dial 011 + country code + area code + phone number.
With the many ways to call home, friends and family are never far away. Just don’t forget the time difference!
Photo by: Scott Alexander
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