If you are going to be traveling abroad, you will want to be sure to get your cell phone situation under control to minimize frustration while traveling. The truth is, things can get very complicated if you are not planning on time. Unfortunately, cell phones are typically locked if purchased directly from a carrier. Therefore, unless you are buying your cell phone independent of one, you are likely dealing with a phone that needs to be carrier unlocked to use abroad. A lot of carriers will do this for you if you have been a customer for a while. However, some might give you a hard time.
If you purchase your phone independent of a carrier, you are likely dealing with an unbranded phone that is already unlocked and ready to use internationally. All you will need to do is pop in the local sim, and you should be good to go. However, you do need to make sure that your phone has the necessary bands to operate in the country that you are traveling and with the carrier that you choose. Finding the groups is as simple as performing a Google search. Simply look for the bands the carrier uses or ask them directly, and you should be able to figure out whether or not your phone is compatible with their network.
Once you find a network that your phone can work on, you should be able to get a prepaid or pay as you go plan and use the phone abroad. Luckily, a lot of the carriers abroad offer a lot of different prepaid payment options and plans for those that want more flexibility and travelers alike. Therefore, you should be able to find an ideal plan that works for you while traveling.