Do, Travel Tech

Analog, For when VoIP fails

Will we always be chained to the wires?

There is no way I’m paying standard international calling rates. I repeated that phrase over and over in my head as I stared down at my full wi-fi bars, while only able to make out every third syllable from my phone’s VoIP.  I was telephone stranded.  At that moment, I realized that my digital world still has a need for calling cards, a item I had long ago given up on.

I don’t hate calling cards, I’m just bad at keeping up with things.  For years I had kept extra calling cards tucked in my passport pouch, but they’d expire, run out, or get lost.  What I needed in my Mexican Strand-off was a calling option that makes use of the benefits of nearly constant Internet connection while allowing for analog solutions when internet speed is slow or inconsistent.  Enter Enjoy Prepaid.

No Connection in Paradise

I was first approached by Enjoy Prepaid about writing a review a few weeks after the Mexico Calling Debacle, and had I not so recently been in dire need of these things (which for several years I had thought of as an antiquated technology), I would have said no.  However, having a new understanding of the limitations of VoIP services, I jumped at the chance to make sure I wouldn’t be found up travel creek without a phone line.  What Enjoy Prepaid offers is a digital calling account that allowed me to keep up with my balance, find local access numbers, and refill my minutes online while providing analog access to the world over hotel, pay, and/or mobile phones.

Once registered, it only takes a minute or two to find local access and toll-free numbers for nearly every country and large city in the world.  This research can be done ahead of time or whenever you have a connection to the Internet.  Especially for people traveling through a number of countries/cities in one trip, the ability to go online and find the cheapest connection number is a huge benefit.  However, like I just mentioned, you’ll have to spend some time figuring out the cheapest connection number option and also where that number works.  Enjoy Prepaid isn’t like most calling cards, the rates fluctuate from country to country and number to number.  So while you might find a 2 cents a minute plan that works in one city, that number may not work on hotel phones and the hotel phone access number might charge 5 cents a minute.

Searching for WiFi over a burger and a beer

In addition to the adjustable per-minute on access numbers, Enjoy Prepaid’s plans have a wide variety of fluctuation between per minute price, weekly rates, and rounding.  If you plan on purchasing a plan, it is important to note your own international calling habits, and see which plan serves them best.  (Don’t worry, all the information necessary to make the correct choice for your style of travel is clearly present on the website.)  Since I plan on using Enjoy Prepaid as a back-up calling option, the plan that works best is the Emerald Plan, it rounds up my calls to the minute and does not have a weekly rate.  I don’t have to worry about wasting money because I didn’t use the account for a few months, and rounding up the minute is great because most of my international calls are informational or regard bookings, so they only last a couple of minutes.

Overall, using this Enjoy Prepaid, I have been happy.  It’s a great back-up plan.  The adjustable rates between cities and countries spread across several access numbers, can become a bit tedious to keep up with, especially on longer, multi-stop trips.  However, having everything well laid out on their site, tracking down numbers has never been easier and I know next time my VoIP fails, I won’t be without a calling option.