What Is The Right India Calling Plan For Me?
Whether you are traveling or studying abroad, you are now faced with many decisions to make your international travel a success. International students have many important tasks to attend to when they reach their destination, and often you are on a budget. It’s essential to start off on the right foot. You know you are going to need to call India long distance on a regular basis, but what is regular for you?
Know What You Want from a Calling Card
Before you start shopping for the right calling card or plan for you, ask yourself these questions to help make you a smarter shopper:
- Look at a few of your past phone bills. How much did you spend on long distance calls?
- How long is your average long distance call?
- How many total minutes or hours per month do you spend on the phone long distance?
- Do you wish you could spend more time calling family and friends long distance?
- Do you currently pay extra for services and features like SMS to India?
Identify Key People
You know you need to call your family, including your parents and siblings. You may also have some close friends in India that you want to stay connected with. As an international student, you may also need to check in regularly with a professor or mentor back in India. Make a list of the people you need or want to contact in India, and then note how frequently you should call them, trying your best to estimate how long each call will likely take with that person. Give yourself some padding, too, especially at first, until you see how long you really talk. When calling long distance, it is easy for time to pass quickly. This will help you select a long-distance calling plan that best suits your needs.
Once you’ve figured out who you call and how long you talk to them, you should make sure that you have a list of their full telephone numbers, including the country code. For instance, to call Delhi from the US, you will need to dial 011 + 91 (India’s country code) + 11 (Delhi’s code) plus the final 8 digits of the telephone number. By having information for all of your key people upfront, calling India long distance can be easy and affordable.
Finding the Right Long-Distance Plan
An international calling plan doesn’t have to break your bank. Once you have estimated the number of minutes you need, find the plan that matches. IndiaLD offers plans that range from 500 to 3000 minutes. Prices range from $6.95 to $29.95, so there is certainly a long-distance option to fit every budget. Since no plan requires a contract, it is the perfect option for students.
Best of all, when you get a better handle on your habits, you can use the automated upgrade/downgrade tool in the account management area of IndiaLD’s website to adjust your long-distance plan yourself. Otherwise, it will renew automatically at the level you selected so you don’t have to worry about being out of minutes when you go to make a call to India.
A Monthly Plan or Pay As Your Go Calling Card
If you are going to be outside India for an extended period of time, and it’s important for you to stay in close contact with your family and friends, then you should get a monthly calling plan. By buying your minutes in bulk, you’ll save over using a pay as you go calling card, and you will know exactly how many minutes you have each month for making long distance calls back to India.
If you are just leaving the country for a short research project or are going to be traveling around from one country to the next then you might be better off just buying a pay as you go calling card. That way you have the flexibility to only pay for the minutes you need when you need them.
Sharing Minutes Can Save You Money
Some calling plans (like ours!) offer discounts for buying in bulk. If your roommate is also from India or you have family also studying in the U.S., you should consider going in on a monthly plan together. That way you can spend less per minute and buy more minutes to call home with.
With international travel, you are bound to meet new friends or even old ones who also need to reach family and friends in India. No matter what plan you choose, you can share your account with family, or put your family, friends, or coworkers on your account to share minutes. You can also use our international access numbers to stay in touch with each other. This can help students stretch a tight budget even farther, no matter where they are.
Every few months, be sure to take time to see whether you are on the plan that best suits your needs for calling India. Look at the long distance options available and adjust your plan as needed.