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Where can I rent a cellphone in Europe?

Dear Anita,

Where can I get info on renting or leasing a cell phone for two weeks while on a cruise in the Mediterranean. I'll be traveling to four different countries?

E. Jacobs
Albany, NY

Dear Ed,

I've personally never rented a phone in Europe. However, travelers I have spoken to regarding this service recommend the following companies:

  • Planetfone There are two charges: one for the phone and one for the time you use. Phone rental rates range from $8.00/day to $99.00 per month. Tip: You can save 25% if you mention this Smarter Living "Member Benefit"

  • Roberts Rent-A-Phone - Roberts rents phones for $40.00 per week, $100 per month, plus the usual shipping charges. Rates for incoming from USA to France, $1.70/minute, to USA, $2.25. Rates in France, $1.00 per minute.

  • Global Cell Rental - Global Phone offers free delivery in US, rentals at $8.00/day or $99.00/month. Calls to the US are $2.40 per minute, and incoming calls are $2.10 per minute, free from the UK, France, Germany, Japan.

  • Europe USA - Phone rentals start at $5.00/day, $20.00/week Phones are delivered for $10.00 and you can get the phone 2 days before departure, phone number provided 3 days before departure. Local calls $1.25, to USA $2.25, incoming calls $1.70.

A few things to ask before you rent your cellphone:
  • When choosing a service, make sure they offer service to all the countries you will be visiting.
  • Costs. These are usually broken down into basic equipment rental charge ($50-$75 for a week), plus per-minute calling charges. This basic rental charge should include equipment delivery to your office and back to the service. Some services will also charge an activation fee, which for most phones will average around $15.
  • Lastly, make sure the company offers free 24-hour customer service, just in case you have problems.

I hope I've been helpful. Bon Voyage!

Anita Dunham-Potter

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