In general, local and long-distance telephone usage is much more expensive in foreign countries. Calls made directly through U.S. long-distance companies are the least expensive way to call the U.S. – simply dial the access code for the country from which you are calling (Country Codes), plus the U.S. country code (always “1”), followed by the appropriate U.S. area code and local number. You may find that local phone cards work better, but it is still advisable to bring a U.S. card.
Many public phones abroad require phone cards instead of coins. The cards are inserted into a phone slot and debited as you place calls. You can purchase them at post offices, grocery stores, and other locations for varying fixed prices.Avoid expensive calls from hotel phones – there is usually a surcharge.
If you are living in a home stay, ask about phone use. Most families will object to your use of the phone, even for local calls, because they are not free. Since your family may not discuss this situation in advance, it is important to ask what is expected in order to avoid conflicts.
Be aware of the time at the other end of the phone. Even if you call at a reasonable hour where you are, it may be the middle of the night elsewhere! And if you promised to call your family upon arrival, remember to do it!