No matter which part of the world you travel to, it is always comforting to know that you can communicate with family members back home. Relying on only one form of commutation may prove to be disastrous, mainly because the means of communication may not work the same way in other countries.
Having several options available to you means that even though one fails, you would have a backup plan. So, here are 5 ways in which you can maintain contact with your loved ones whenever you are abroad.
1. Using Your Own Phone When Traveling
If you want to use your phone abroad you have the following options:
- Local SIM cards,
- Global package of your American plan,
- Prepaid phone card,
- Phone company cards.
Opting for your own phone either means using your network provider abroad or using a local SIM card. Remember, picking the right data plan for yourself is important. So try to find the cost of data plans in any country you travel to before you buy one.
If you have a GSM plan then you can easily transfer your plan once you buy a SIM card. You can also use your American plan abroad. All you have to do is ask for a global package to be added to your current plan. However, this method may be costly than the other ones listed below.
2. Getting Phone Calling Cards
An alternative solution is using calling cards. Calling card is a prepaid method of communication to fulfill your calling, texting and data usage needs while on the go. A calling card can be used in the US and internationally whenever you travel.
Noteworthy: some companies may provide calling cards with hidden charges, so get all important information before you purchase any calling card or check the company’s testimonials.
Another key factor that you should focus on is whether international calling cards can be used in your destination country. This is because some countries have strict policies on calling cards. Examples of companies that provide calling cards include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
3. Going Online and Using Mobile
Thanks to the internet you can find other options for communicating. All you need is an internet source which can either be free wifi connection or portable wifi device. Once you find an internet connection, you have lots of options for communicating with friends:
Social media for mass communication
Sending quick messages via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, or posting activities and videos via Instagram and Snapchat are great solutions. You can post activities that you are doing whenever you travel, and share your experience with your friends and family back home very quickly.
Video chat: Skype, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts apps
Skype, as well as Google Hangouts apps, are useful for making video calls. Skype calls can be free as long as you and the person you want to contact have accounts. Well, as somebody who travels regularly, what you can generally do is to connect to the hotel’s wifi and call your family through WhatsApp or Skype. It is absolutely free if you have wifi.
A refreshing alternative is mobile apps. You can take advantage of calling cards and mobile apps to keep in touch and save. All you need to do is download an app of your choice:
The mobile apps work the same as calling cards – you need to pay for them as well. However, most of the apps provide low rates when compared to traditional calling cards so you can enjoy constant communication.
4. Renting a Travel Phone
Whenever you travel, you can rent a travel phone in your country of destination. When compared to SIM cards, travel phones are cheaper since all incoming calls and texts are not charged. You have two options here, country-specific phones or Global travel phones.
Many network companies provide travel phones so you can purchase one before traveling. Travel phones can be prepaid or charged per call. Because of this, calling cards can be a little more expensive. But once you check the budget for using calling cards abroad, you will find them quite useful.
5. Old Style: Using a Hotel Phone and Public Cafés
If you are into Joy Division and true old-school, don’t worry. Communications can be made by using your hostel phone. You can also visit local internet café or public computers places to send messages or make calls.
The main advantage of using this method of communication is that you don’t have to worry about carrying out a phone and extra charges that come with it. However, you have to be aware of the charges of visiting an internet café as this can be expensive in some countries.
Finally, deciding which means of communication to use all comes down to what you are more comfortable with. Aside from this, your choice will also be influenced by the destination. Different people prefer one form of communication over another based on what works best for them.
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