My cell phone company's coverage is fine in cities and on major roads, but it's rather poor in out-of-the-way places (tiny towns, on country roads, state parks, etc.). What would be a good back up emergency plan for a road trip? How can I communicate in an emergency?

I've thought about getting a pre-paid phone from a company with a better coverage for road trips and such. (Wal Mart and other big box stores seem to sell these for a reasonable price.) I assume these phones will have the same coverage as the regular phones from the same company. That would be useful if I have to call for roadside service, 911, etc.

Satellite phones seem quite expensive. Likewise, a personal locator beacon seems a bit of an overkill for a well-visited state park. (Maybe I'll grow adventurous, but for now I can't see myself going beyond the comfortable touristy routes.)

Do you see potential problems with using pre-paid phones with better coverage? Are there better ideas out there?


Da Bing