Mobal GSM phone

A recent television program listed things one should have for traveling, including the best shoes, the best white shirt, the best go-everywhere black pants, the best backpack, etc. What was omitted was something I consider essential: a Mobal GSM phone (Mobal Communications, 171 Madison Ave., Ste. 300, New York, NY 10016; phone 888/888-9162 or visit — offices in the U.K. and Japan too).

The Mobal GSM dual-band phone, which costs about $52, works in over 140 countries. There is no contract to be signed, and there are no roaming charges. In fact, to my knowledge, there are no charges of any kind except for the calls made.

Many travelers use phone cards, but one has to find a phone to use them — and at a not-much-cheaper rate per minute.

Although I do travel with a small group, I travel solo, and having this phone offers me a sense of further protection. On a trip to Morocco, Oct. 4-18, ’05, it provided me the luxury of checking in with my progeny while at the medina in Marrakesh — something that can’t easily be done with a phone card.

New York, NY