We've been trying to figure out the best way to keep in touch with everyone. My husband and I both have iPhones that we love, but the prospect of crazy roaming charges is not appealing. Honestly though, I would have a really hard time without my phone. There are quite a few offline things I use it for like music, audio books, flashcards and my Japanese dictionary so I would have brought it anyway.
But thanks to my father-in-law who gave us a Magic Jack, I'm pretty sure our problem is solved. We are able to keep our phones on airplane mode (basically turns off all the phone and media functions on the phone network) and activate just the wifi function. We might not always be on wifi, but I know we will have access to it at least some of the time.
With the Magic Jack App and wifi we are able to call and receive calls just as if we were using a local Nevada (or wherever you register it to) phone. Also we are able to set our phones to forward all our calls to the new number so people can still use our cell numbers without us getting charged or having to give out a new number.
We have yet to test the quality of the connection, but I have high hopes since it sounds better than our cell service when we are at home.