Making an international phone call has never been easier or cheaper. We've come a long way - I remember in 1990 when I was staying in a small village in the north of Bali. Making a phone call entailed riding nine kilometers on a bemo crowded with chickens, sacks of rice, baskets of flower offerings, and old ibus in lace kebayas. At the telephone office in Singaraja, I would sit in stifling heat, dripping with sweat, and wait hours for a call to be placed through an operator in Jakarta. Several years later, back in San Francisco, it was like magic when friends of mine in Bali finally had a home phone I could call. The first few times I called from the U.S., they would pick up the phone and just breathe into it, not having the convention of phone small talk yet! Of course now, they all have trendier cellphones than I have...Now it's simple to call countries from Ghana to Germany anytime, using the inexpensive options I list below: Make free Internet calls Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and others allow you to make free Internet calls. Those you call may need to have an Internet connection and the same software you are using. Use prepaid phonecards or pin numbers If you're not making calls that often, buying phonecards for a particular call can be inexpensive and convenient. Maybe you only have local service on your home phone, and it's too expensive to call internationally on your cell or you don't have international service. You don't even have to run out to a corner store late at night to get a prepaid phone card -- just go to the web and get a pin number. Try a paid VOIP service VOIP (voice-over-IP) companies offer good plans that allow you to call out of the U.S. cheap, and some plans offer flat rates for certain countries. You'll need a high-speed Internet connection. With VOIP, you may call from a regular phone to another regular phone.