Being away from home in a foreign country, its natural for one to connect to the loved ones every now and then. Making that phone call home would actually reinvigorate you for the rest of the journey in India. Since making a call comes under the very basic needs of a person, one should definitely be well- informed of the options.
So what are the options available while travelling in India for making phone calls? Let’s find out!
Most hotels in India will have the option for you to make long distance calls from the hotel room. But it is best advised to avoid using these facility from the hotels as they may charge huge amounts on the pretext of premium rates and service charges. So unless money is not an issue, there are other affordable avenues to explore for making calls in and out of India.
How to make a phone call
Making calls from India has become effortless and easy on the pocket. One can look for STD or ISD booths across India. Usually every locality; every nook and corner will have shops with STD and ISD booths. You can make local, national and international calls from these outlets. The booths will have a meter and you will be billed for the duration of your call without any overheads.
Sometimes at the STD booths, the call is put through a net phone and the regular rate is charged. You can differentiate that from a regular call if you get an echo while calling and even ask the operator for switching to regular call or charge accordingly.
Buying a Mobile phone or SIM card in India
Cell phones or mobile phones could also be used by procuring the pre-paid SIM Card from a local Service Provider. This to my opinion is the best option as you would always have a phone with you and make calls at your own convenience at any time of the day. Moreover call charges that are offered are also very consumer friendly hence this would for sure be light on your expenses too.
There are various service provides; Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea, TATA to name a few. Most shops will need to see proof/receipt of where you are staying such as your hotel, your yoga ashram or guest house. You can always ask your hotel to assist you in buying a SIM. Make sure you have all these details with you otherwise no one will sell you a phone or a SIM card in India. If a shop owner says they can’t sell you one because you are a foreigner then just look into another shop.
You should remember that if you are a foreigner, you will have to provide passport copies with photographs and valid visa of course for pre-paid connections and have a local Indian address. This is to avoid illegal activities in India. You will have to verify your connection, make sure you do this correctly. Make sure your mobile phone is un-locked for all networks. If you are a foreigner traveller in India, it may not easy to buy a SIM card. If you have roaming facilities, then use it. But the fact is that even the tiniest of shops in India will sell SIM cards. You just need to deal with the bureaucracy.
In addition, when you step out of the customs at the IGI airport in Delhi or other any other major airport in India, there will be a stall where you can buy pre-paid SIM cards.
Be connected always!