|On this page: Using
Internet Cafes, Prepaid Phone Cards and Cell
On my first trip to
Spain, in 1999, I used a calling card issued by my long
distance company to call home. On receiving my telephone
bill, I was a little surprise to find the 10 minute call
from Spain had cost me over $20 USD.
Since that trip in 1999 I have
discovered there are a lot cheaper ways than calling
cards to keep in touch with the people back home; some
Internet Cafes - Since
I had a cell phone for this visit, I didn't use any of
the Internet Cafes in Ireland. We frequently came across
Internet Cafes in our touring of Ireland. In Spain, I
found Internet Cafes to be one of the cheaper ways to
keep in touch. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to
price the Internet Cafes in Ireland.
|To use an internet cafe for e-mail you might
want to sign up for an e-mail account with a
company such as yahoo.com or hotmail.com. Since
you are using someone else's computer there is no
reason to leave information (cookies, history
folders, connection settings) that might allow
someone to access your regular e-mail account.
Before you leave home sign up for a temporary e-mail
address and share this e-mail address with family/friends.
Fill in the address book on the temporary account
so you will have your friends e-mail address
available when logging in to the temporary
account from over seas. Once you return from
Spain you can clear the address book or
deactivate the account.
Prepaid Phone Cards - Prepaid phone
cards appear to be one of the most economical ways to
call home. Pre paid cards are available in Ireland (they
can be bought from the stores at the airport, I did not
check the rates) but I usually use a USA carrier phone
card. In my case the US domestic rate for pre paid long
distance is 3½ cents per minute. When I call to the USA
from Ireland , 3 to 10 domestic minutes are used up on
the card for every minute talking on the phone, costing
me anywhere from 10½ to 35 cents for the international
call. More minutes are consumed when using a phone booth
or making a call to a cell phone in Ireland than calling
from a USA residence to a Ireland residence. Using
prepaid phone cards does require one to shop around for
the best value cards, you can contact the long distance
carrier directly to find out how many minutes are
consumed for international calling.
One other note; if you are planning to make long distance
calls within Ireland (i.e. Ireland city to Ireland city)
you might do better buying your prepaid card in Ireland.
Once when my wife made a call from Southern Ireland to
Northern Ireland, using a USA long distance carrier, she
was hit with an exceptionally expensive charge. I
suspect, by calling the so-called local access number for
Ireland she was connected to facilities in the USA, which
then re-routed her call back to Ireland. The long
distance costs in this case were the combined total of
the cost of the call to the USA and then the call back to
|To use a prepaid card in Ireland you will
need to obtain the local access phone number for
the long distance carrier issuing the phone card.
For example, the AT&T access number for
Southern Ireland is 1800 550 000 ( Northern
Ireland - 0-800-89-0011). Once you dial the
access number you should receive directions to
enter your card number, etc. With the phone card
I use, in order to enter the pre-paid card menu,
I have to enter the USA 1-800 number right after
entering the local access number for Ireland.
When listening to your dialing options keep in
mind there are at least 2 different types of
phone cards, pre-paid and regular long distance
Note: Write down the prepaid phone card's access
numbers and card number down and take a a couple
of copies with you to Ireland. Should you lose
the card there is a good chance you will still be
able to use the card's numbers to make a call
Cell Phone - Cell
phones are handy tools, indispensable for the
business traveler they may also provide
additional security for all travelers. Some USA providers
offer international calling at a rather steep price.
Occasional international travels may want to look in to
renting a phone in Ireland. Frequent international
traveler's might find it better to buy a "unlock"
cell phone, able to use the prepaid cell phone minutes
for the country visited. You can learn more about
unlocked phones by going to my page about using a cell phone in Spain. The phone on the Spain site is the same one I
bought for Ireland.