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Spain: Cell Phones, Computers & Electronics

Your Guide: M.S.G. Quixo
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If you plan to bring your laptop or electronics, you’ll need some converters. Some electronics require Power Adapters (Europe runs on 220-240V while the US runs 100 V current.) And others, that already have AC adapters may only need an adapter to allow it to fit into the plug.

Feel free to bring your laptop to Spain. Many AC power adapters, like the one for you computer, already take care converting to 220 volts. Usually it says so right on it. In that case, you’ll just need a plug adapter so it will fit in the outlet. Wireless internet is prevalent and provided at many hotels and cafes. You can find free hotspots or just pay for access at some cafes like Starbucks.

Cell Phones
Spain and Europe run on a cell network which is different from the US network. Unless you specifically bought a tri-band phone, your North American phone probably won’t work in Spain. We found two pretty good options for cell service while in Spain.

Lonely Planet Ekit: This was the best deal we could find. You buy a refurbished phone for cheaper than most rentals (and you can return it for money back). You get it delivered before your trip. (We found the battery was bad and had time to have them send us a new one.) The rates are only ok – we did not use ours much so that was not a problem, but we certainly used up our minutes quickly. So make sure you factor in a lot of time for your calls. The other bizarre thing is that it seemed to use some kind of VOIP technology so that we would call, hang up and the phone would call back to connect to the call. This was a little hard to get used to, but it worked fine. The deal was so much better than other providers we were skeptical but we trust Lonely Planet and the service was good.

On Spanish Time was our second choice and seems like an excellent service. They offer Spanish sim cards so you can use your existing phone or they can rent you a phone. The rates were the best deal we found if you plan to use the phone much. One reason we did not go with them because the time we needed the phone most was when we landed, and, while they deliver the phone to you, it costs extra to deliver to the airport.

Cellular Abroad I don’t know much about them, but came across them in my research and they are worth a look.

 

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