Although it is a small thing, one of the most challenging issues while living overseas can be not
having your old US phone number any longer! Sure, it’s easy to communicate with friends and
family back home using the latest apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and facetime… but what about
when your bank wants to send you a code to verify it is actually you, or you need to pass some
other two-factor authentication to log into a website back in the States, what do you do then?
Well, you could keep your US carrier like Verizon or AT&T, but you will be paying some pretty
steep international roaming fees. There is a better way and it is easy to set up whether you are
just thinking about leaving the States or have been gone for some time and have been dealing
with this headache for a while!
With today’s technology, there have been a bunch of new VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol
telephone companies springing up in the past few years. With these services, from companies
like Ring Central or Grasshopper, you are able to port your existing US number, if you still have
one, or create a new US phone number and have it ring your phone anywhere you are in the
world, and no matter what SIM card you have in your phone. You can have two phone
numbers easily ring the same phone now, your local number in the country you are living in and
your US phone number as well. And not just ring your phone, because you could use google
voice for that, but receive text messages, codes for two-factor authentication and pictures, just
like a real phone service back home.
Because these companies work through the internet, you get unlimited talk and text with them,
so no more paying for minutes or by text while living and traveling abroad. They also work
anywhere in the world your phone is as long as you have data, thru a local SIM card or
connected to Wi-Fi. So, you can country hop as much as you like, and no one will ever know
unless you choose to tell them!
This is just one simple travel hack that I like to share with my clients and other globally-minded
travelers to help make their life abroad just a little bit easier. If you have any questions about
this or would like to know in more detail how this works, feel free to give me a call. I know my
phone will ring no matter where in the world I may be when you call!