How to Park Your Cell Phone Number

Keep your number while temporarily discontinuing service

If you're leaving the country for an extended trip, it doesn't make sense to keep paying for your U.S. cell phone service. But if you've grown attached to the number and would like to use it again, various services will park that number so it's waiting for you when you return.

Parking your phone number allows you to maintain ownership of that number so you don't have to go through the hassle of getting and giving out a new phone number in the future.

NumberBarn and ParkMyCellPhone.com are two popular phone-number-parking services to consider. We took a look at them to give you an idea of the features and costs involved with parking a phone number.

Person on phone in parking lot.
Dave and Les Jacobs/Getty Images

You can park a phone number no matter what device you use or carrier you have. You can park a landline number, as well.

NumberBarn

NumberBarn charges just $2 per month for simple phone number storage. The fee for transferring your cell phone or landline number into the service, known as "porting," is $5. Cancel your old phone service once your number has been transferred to NumberBarn.

Record a 30-second message for callers to hear when they dial your parked number, or just use NumberBarn's default message.

Other helpful NumberBarn features include the ability to send and receive messages, call blocking, and call logs.

Other plans offer call forwarding for an additional monthly charge, and other NumberBarn services allow you to select and use a regular or vanity phone number.

ParkMyCellPhone.com

ParkMyCellPhone.com has four options. A basic $3-per-month plan called Deep Freeze parks your phone number for $3 a month (there's also a $15 porting fee).

For $5 per month, you get phone parking, no porting fee, 100 minutes of voice mail recording, the ability to customize an outgoing message, and your voice mail messages sent to your email inbox.

A $9 monthly plan gets you 500 minutes of inbound calling and call forwarding, while a $12 plan offers unlimited inbound and outbound calling as well as text messaging.

Put a Number on Vacation at Your Carrier

If phone parking doesn't sound like a good fit for you, check with your carrier to see if it offers a vacation hold. Sprint has a Seasonal Standby plan for $8.99 per month, while T-Mobile charges $10 per month for up to 90 days of what it calls a "seasonal suspension."

With Verizon's Vacation Suspend option, suspend your service from 30 days to nine months. You will continue to be billed monthly for some services, as well as any applicable taxes or surcharges during your suspension. AT&T lets you suspend your service, as well (fees vary).

Most carriers offer helpful suspension services for miliary personnel on deployment, so check with your service provider if this applies to you.