It’s easy for American and Canadian residents to get free phone service while traveling in other countries. The people who contact you will also get free calls. There are several options. They all involve mobile apps.
If you have an Android phone, you can download these apps for free from the Google Play Store, which is pre-installed on your phone. If you can’t find it, locate the icon that looks like this:
The apps that you’ll want to download are Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer and Viber. For the first two, you’ll need to sign up for a Google account, if you don’t already have one.
TO ENABLE PEOPLE TO REACH YOU USING A US PHONE NUMBER
If you already have a US number on your phone, you can get a number through Google Voice that will enable calling from abroad. People will also be able to call you from the US for free while you’re in most international locations. The minutes will NOT come out of you or your caller’s mobile plan. All you need is to be near wifi. In many places, you don’t even need to be logged into a wifi network!
To make all this work, go to Google Voice and log in with your Google credentials. Pick your GV number. You can usually choose the area code that you want. Google will verify your current phone number either via an automated call or a text message.
Install both the Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer apps on your phone. Sign in. To dial out, add a plus sign by pressing and holding “0” on the dialpad, and then a “1”. This is the North America country code, and works for both Canada and the United States. For example, +1 800-___-____.
Hangouts Dialer uses your Contacts. Be aware that Hangouts will add the country code of the country you’re dialing from to numbers that don’t already have a + 1 in front of them. This makes your calls fail. Copying the number from your contacts, and pasting it into the ‘Type name or number’ field will allow you to remove it.
Next, find out how to make and receive calls even if you don’t have a US number.