As hard as it is to believe, hotels are still charging for phone calls, with some collecting as much as $10 for the first minute. That's not service; that's extortion. You can get around the problem by subscribing to one of the many VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services, like Vonage, at home and then taking the phone adapter with you on the road. Plug it into the hotel's broadband connection, and you won't have to use the landline at all or run the risk of adding roaming charges by using your mobile. (Calls made to your home number will ring on the road.) With this setup, you can make all the free outgoing local and long-distance calls you want, and international calls will cost you far less than picking up that hotel landline. You might even save enough to permit yourself a bag of peanuts from the minibar.