Best Virtual Phone Number Apps for Travelers & Digital Nomads

Virtual phone number apps can be extremely useful, allowing you to create temporary or permanent phone numbers for calls, texts, and voicemails, without additional SIM cards or physical devices.

If you’re a traveler or digital nomad you can especially benefit from the flexibility, affordability, and privacy that these apps offer, since they allow you to obtain local phone numbers in various countries to stay connected without expensive roaming charges.

After thorough testing, I’ve selected the 6 top virtual phone number apps based on ease of use, features, pricing, international coverage, and overall user experience.

Note that signing up to some of the services on this list is restricted to specific countries.

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6 Best Virtual Phone Number Apps

Google Voice

Google Voice logo

Key Features:

  • Supports Android and iOS devices, as well as computers through web browsers.
  • Make and receive calls just like any regular phone number.
  • Activity is kept completely separate from your real number.
  • Send and receive texts, gifs, pictures, and audio messages.
  • Keep conversations secure and private with end-to-end encryption.
  • Offers local phone numbers from hundreds of area codes across the US.

If a reliable and feature-rich virtual phone number app is what you’re after, Google Voice is well worth considering. You can either receive a free number, or port your existing number into Voice (for a $20 flat fee) to use it with the benefits of Voice’s superior rates while you’re abroad. However, even if you choose a free number, you’ll first need access to either a US mobile or landline number to verify before you can claim your Voice number.

Voice’s voicemail transcription converts voicemails into text, so you can easily access and review messages at your convenience. Call screening is another useful feature, allowing you to see the caller’s information before deciding whether to answer the call.

As expected, the app also integrates well with other Google services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Hangouts. This can be particularly helpful if you rely on Google services for work and communication, as it creates a more efficient and streamlined user experience.

You can access Voice from multiple devices, ensuring you don’t miss important calls or messages while on the move. Its spam call filtering feature helps to keep unwanted calls at bay, which can be a relief when you’re in a different time zone and receiving calls at odd hours. However, it’s important to note that Google Voice’s free virtual numbers are limited to the United States, which might be a drawback for some international travelers.

When it comes to international calling rates, Google Voice offers competitive pricing, making it more affordable to stay in touch with friends, family, and business contacts across the globe. Overall, Google Voice is a solid virtual number option, especially if you frequently travel within the US or rely heavily on Google services for your day-to-day activities.


Sonetel logo

Key Features:

  • Supports Android and iOS devices, as well as computers through web browsers.
  • Wide selection of local and international numbers from over 50 countries.
  • Call forwarding to any device, allowing you to stay connected on the go.
  • Includes voicemail functionality with email notifications and transcriptions.
  • Compatible with SIP-based devices and VoIP applications, offering flexibility in how you make and receive calls.
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing with no long-term contracts, ensuring cost-effective communication solutions.

Sonetel is an excellent choice for travelers and digital nomads who require a more extensive selection of international phone numbers. With over 50 countries to choose from, Sonetel provides you with a local presence, making it more convenient for your contacts to reach you.

Sonetel call forwarding functionality can be extremely useful for moments where you’re not online, allowing you to forward calls to a different (offline) number, so you never miss a call while on the move. Additionally, Sonetel offers voicemail with email notifications and transcriptions, so you can easily stay informed about your missed calls.

Sonetel is also compatible with SIP-based devices and VoIP applications, providing you with the flexibility to use your preferred device or application for making and receiving calls. The pay-as-you-go pricing model and the absence of long-term contracts make Sonetel a cost-effective option if you need a dedicated phone number with international reach.


Key Features:

  • Supports Android smartphones and tablets, as well as iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad.
  • Make and receive calls with just like any regular phone number.
  • Activity is kept completely separate from your real number.
  • Send and receive texts, gifs, pictures, and audio messages.
  • Keep conversations secure and private.
  • Offers local phone numbers from across the UK, Canada, and the USA.
  • Manage multiple lines at your discretion.

Hushed is a versatile virtual phone number app that stands out for its flexible plans and diverse features. One of its main selling points is the variety of pricing options, which cater to different needs, whether you’re looking for a temporary number or a more permanent solution. With Hushed, users can enjoy features like custom voicemail greetings and call forwarding, ensuring a personalized experience.

The app allows you to have multiple numbers from different countries, which is useful if you’re constantly on the move, as it helps avoid costly international roaming charges. Text messaging and MMS support are also included, making Hushed a comprehensive communication tool.

In summary, Hushed offers a well-rounded package for travelers and digital nomads in need of a virtual phone number app. Its combination of flexible plans, multiple numbers from different countries, and a focus on privacy makes it a strong contender in the market, catering to a wide range of user requirements.


Burner app logo

Key Features:

  • Available for Android smartphones and tablets, along with iOS devices like iPhone and iPad.
  • Create short-term US & Canadian numbers that can be “burned” when no longer needed.
  • Choose whether to auto-renew your Burner numbers or let them expire after a set duration.
  • Record personalized voicemail greetings for each of your Burner numbers.
  • Text, voice, and picture messaging support.
  • Choose from various pricing plans, including pay-as-you-go and subscription models.

Burner App is a mobile application where you can create temporary, disposable phone numbers for calling, texting, and managing communications. Available for both Android and iOS devices, Burner App provides an additional layer of privacy and security when dealing with online services, dating apps, or even business transactions.

One of the primary advantages of the Burner App is its user-friendly interface and ease of use. Within minutes, you can set up a new phone number that can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as online shopping, receiving verification codes, or connecting with new contacts. Burner App allows you to maintain your privacy by keeping your primary phone numbers separate from these interactions.

Another attractive feature of the Burner App is the ability to customize settings for each burner number. You can set up custom voicemail greetings, manage notifications, and even enable auto-replies for incoming text messages. This level of control provides a personalized experience and lets you manage your communications effectively.

Burner App offers various pricing plans to suit the needs of different users. The app provides a pay-as-you-go option with credits that can be used to purchase Burner numbers and extend their validity. There are also subscription plans that offer unlimited access to a specific number of lines, providing an affordable option if you require multiple temporary phone numbers.

In summary, Burner App is a versatile and user-friendly solution for those seeking additional privacy and control over their communications. Its disposable phone numbers, customizable settings, and flexible pricing options make it a valuable tool for managing personal and professional interactions while maintaining a secure and private presence online.

JMP logo

Key Features:

  • Works on Android and iOS devices, and is accessible through desktop and laptop computers via web browsers.
  • Make calls or send messages (SMS & MMS) between JMP numbers and any other Canadian or US phone number, as well as most countries in the world.
  • Unlimited text message sending/receiving within a subscription.
  • Send and receive group and text messages (currently in alpha).
  • Receive inbound calls internationally from most countries. is a unique service that allows you to obtain a Canadian or US phone number and integrate it with your XMPP (Jabber) account. As a user, you can send and receive text and picture messages, make and receive phone calls, and even receive voicemails as audio recordings and text transcriptions through any Jabber client. works wherever you have an internet connection, making it an appealing option for travelers and digital nomads.

One of the main advantages of is its commitment to privacy and anonymity. No personal information is needed to register your XMPP account to a phone number, and all the underlying technology is free and open source. With, you can communicate using a real phone number without revealing your personal details, which is particularly important for those who value privacy and security while traveling.

Another benefit of is its flexibility when it comes to compatibility with various Jabber clients and servers. You can send and receive messages through your preferred Jabber client and even make phone calls using supporting clients such as Cheogram for Android, Conversations, Snikket, Movim, or Gajim. Advanced users can also create a SIP account and use a SIP client for outbound calls, while inbound calls can be forwarded to any SIP URI.

During the current beta period, includes unlimited incoming and outgoing text and picture messages, as well as 120 minutes of voice calls to the USA or Canada per month. You can cancel your subscription at any time, and the number will be reclaimed after 30 days unless it’s ported to another carrier. Considering its features, offers a secure and private communication solution for travelers and digital nomads seeking an alternative to traditional phone services.

Skype Number

Skype logo

Key Features:

  • Supports Android and iOS devices, desktop and laptop computers, and a variety of other platforms like Xbox and select smart TVs.
  • Local and international numbers so you can have a local presence and make it more convenient for your contacts to call you at local rates.
  • Can be accessed through multiple devices.
  • Includes voicemail functionality and SMS receive support (send only to other Skype Number users).
  • Fully integrated with the Skype platform.
  • A variety of pricing plans available, including monthly, quarterly, and annual subscriptions, making it a cost-effective option for users who need a dedicated phone number.

Skype Numbers is a service offered by Skype, a widely used communication platform, that provides users with a dedicated phone number that can be used for making and receiving calls. This feature is available in many countries and regions, allowing you to obtain a local or international phone number that can be accessed from any device with Skype installed.

One of the key benefits of Skype Numbers is its seamless integration with the existing Skype platform. If you’re a frequent Skype user, you can manage your Skype Number alongside your regular Skype contacts, making it easy to stay connected with friends, family, and business associates. The service also supports voicemail, allowing callers to leave messages if you’re unavailable.

Although I’m not the biggest fan of the Skype service in and of itself, one thing that Skype Numbers does have going for it is the breadth of countries supported. At the time of writing it supports local numbers in 25 countries, including: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Note that in some countries you’ll need to have proof of residence for that country to be able to buy a virtual number for it.

Skype Numbers offers various pricing plans to accommodate different needs. You can choose to pay for your Skype Number on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, with discounts available for longer subscription periods. This flexibility allows you to select a plan that best suits your requirements and budget. Once you have a number, you can simply add credit and pay as you go!

Why You Need a Virtual Phone Number

A virtual phone number offers a wide range of benefits, making it an essential tool for travelers and digital nomads. The flexibility and convenience provided by these numbers help you stay connected, regardless of your location.

Let’s delve into the reasons why you need a virtual phone number:

  • Privacy and Security: When traveling or working remotely, it’s crucial to protect your personal information. Virtual phone numbers allow you to keep your primary phone number private, limiting the risk of unwanted calls, spam, and potential scams. Additionally, you can easily block or filter unwanted communication with a virtual number, maintaining your privacy and peace of mind.
  • Cost-Effective Communication: Roaming charges can be costly, and purchasing local SIM cards in every country can be both time-consuming and inconvenient. Virtual phone numbers help you avoid these extra expenses by providing cost-effective calling and texting options. You can make international calls at lower rates, ensuring you stay connected without breaking the bank.
  • Professionalism and Business Use: For digital nomads or business travelers, maintaining a professional image is crucial. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have a dedicated number for business purposes, separate from your personal phone number. This separation helps create a professional image, and you can even choose a local number to establish a presence in a specific region or market.
  • Ease of Use: Virtual phone numbers are incredibly user-friendly, making it simple to manage your communication while on the move. Most apps provide a seamless experience, allowing you to make calls, send texts, and manage contacts with ease. Additionally, you can access your virtual number from multiple devices, ensuring you’re always connected, even if you lose or misplace your primary device.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Phone Number Apps

Pros of Using Virtual Phone Number AppsCons of Using Virtual Phone Number Apps
Flexibility: Choose from local or international numbers for a global presence.Limited international availability: Some apps may not have extensive international coverage.
Cost-effective: Generally cheaper than traditional phone plans, with some free options available.Internet dependency: You need to be connected to the web to be able to make calls.
Privacy: Keep your personal number private and separate from your professional life.Reliability: Call quality may vary depending on the app and internet connection.
Multi-device access: Use the same number across multiple devices.Limited number portability: Switching providers may not always allow you to keep the same number.
Scalability: Add or remove numbers as needed to accommodate your changing needs.E911 limitations: Some virtual phone number apps may have limited or no support for emergency calls.
Integration: Some apps integrate with popular platforms for seamless communication.Incompatibility with some services: Some services, especially those that require two-factor authentication (2FA) or verification codes, may not work with virtual phone numbers.
Features: Many apps offer additional features, such as voicemail transcription, call screening, and MMS support.Subscription-based pricing: Some apps require monthly or annual fees for additional features.
Ideal for travelers and digital nomads: Stay connected while on the go without high roaming fees.Learning curve: Familiarizing yourself with different apps and features may take time.

FAQ – Virtual Phone Number Apps

What are the benefits of using a virtual phone number?

There are multiple benefits to using a virtual phone number. They help maintain personal privacy by providing a separate phone number for personal or business communication, reducing the risk of phone scams or unsolicited calls.

They can also be a highly cost-effective option since they offer the possibility for lower call and SMS costs (especially to foreign numbers), and also don’t require any additional hardware or installation costs.

In some cases, they even grant access to foreign phone numbers, which can help users establish a presence in those regions and enable them to reach out to people in a more local and personal way (both in personal or business cases).

How do I choose the best virtual phone number app for my specific travel or digital nomad needs?

To choose the best virtual phone number app for your specific needs, consider factors such as the app’s features, pricing, international coverage, ease of use, and customer reviews.

It’s also essential to ensure that the app is compatible with your device and operating system. The first thing I consider when choosing a virtual phone service is in which countries I can get a local number, before checking out the other factors.

Can I use a virtual phone number app to make and receive calls and texts internationally?

Yes, virtual phone number apps typically allow you to make and receive calls and texts internationally. However, each app will likely have different rates or plans for international usage, so it’s essential to check the details and pricing of the specific app you choose.

How do these virtual phone number apps ensure my privacy and security while traveling?

Virtual phone number apps often come with security and privacy features such as end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and the ability to use temporary or disposable numbers. These features help protect your personal information and maintain your privacy while traveling.

Can I port my existing phone number to a virtual phone number app, or do I have to get a new number?

Yes, many virtual phone number apps, like Google Voice, allow you to port your existing phone number or choose a new number. The process may vary depending on the app and the region, so be sure to check the specific requirements and instructions for the app you choose.

What kind of internet connection do I need to use a virtual phone number app effectively while traveling?

You’ll need a stable internet connection, either through Wi-Fi or mobile data, to use a virtual phone number app effectively while traveling. The quality of the connection will directly impact the quality of your calls and texts, so it’s important to have reliable access to the internet while on the go.

Are there any additional costs or fees associated with using a virtual phone number app internationally?

It depends on how you use it. Additional costs or fees associated with using a virtual phone number app internationally may include international calling rates, data usage fees, or subscription costs for premium features. It’s essential to review the pricing and terms of the app you choose to understand any potential additional expenses.

Can I use a virtual phone number app as my primary phone service, or should it be used as a supplement to a traditional phone plan?

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can use a virtual phone number app as your primary phone service or as a supplement to a traditional phone plan.

For travelers and digital nomads who rely heavily on internet-based communication, a virtual phone number app may serve as sufficient primary phone service. However, if you need more consistent coverage and don’t always have access to a reliable internet connection, a traditional phone plan might be necessary.

Why do most virtual phone number apps focus on providing US phone numbers?

Many virtual phone number apps focus on providing US phone numbers due to the high demand from international users and businesses looking to establish a presence in the US market.

Additionally, the US has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, making it easier for providers to offer virtual numbers. However, there are some providers that offer a wider selection of international numbers, such as Sonetel, which offers numbers from over 50 countries, and Skype, which currently provides numbers in 25 countries.