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Roam if you want to...but be careful when you walk on the wild side!
Roaming charges apply to cell phones when a user is outside of the carrier's coverage area. Cell phones can only be used within specified coverage areas (which will vary depending on the carrier and the plan chosen). If you wander outside of the coverage area in your Verizon plan, the cellular phones might still work but will technically be using another carrier. In such cases a roaming charge is applied to allow you to place the call in, say, Sprint's coverage area.
Roaming class can add up, especially if you travel frequently. In addition, if the you talk more than your minutes, per-minute charges will also apply (not to mention potential long distance charges).
How do you know if you're roaming? A great feature of many mobile phones is have built-in roam detection. If you stray into a roaming area the phone will alert you before the call is placed. In addition, you know you might be traveling or working in an area that will incur roaming charges, you can change their plan to one that allows unlimited roaming (depending on the carrier--Sprint is one).
In the long run, preventing roaming charges will definitely save you money, so you can truly roam free.