For travelers who plan to bring a cell phone for minimal use, it may be best to take your own cell phone provided you have service with a provider that offers international roaming. An international plan can be added for a one-month period just before you travel. Texting is the most economical way to communicate. Some plans include reduced rates for phone calls. Data (using email and internet) can be expensive, so choose a data plan carefully. While abroad, don’t enable data unless you intend to. It’s best to use data service when Wi-Fi is available.
For travelers who need to use a cell phone regularly, it’s more cost-effective to bring a cell phone that is not tied to a provider plan so you can purchase a local SIM card abroad. Another option is to purchase an inexpensive cell phone abroad that allows you to buy minutes as you need them.