Lets face it family and friends need to know you’re safe when you are thousands of miles away. There are many ways to keep in touch these days and most of them free! When we first started travelling the world 25 odd years ago we used to send people postcards through the mail, and today for the older members of the family we still do!
For the younger set there is a multitude of internet based options such as email, photo sharing, blogging and social networking. And so I said to my mother if you want to know I am alive just check my Facebook! She was not impressed!
I love Skype, you can connect to most people on Skype whether they have a computer or not and the best bit is no one knows where you are calling from!
Skype is basically an Internet based phone service that lets you call other Skype users around the world for FREE. If you have a web cam you can see the person you are talking to. All you need is computer access and a reasonably fast internet connection.
Opening a Skype account is FREE, all you have to do is download the software from skype.com have either an in-built microphone or headset, and a webcam and you are good to go!
Calling from one Skype account to another Skype account is FREE for an unlimited amount of minutes!
Also, if somebody doesn’t have a computer you can simply load your account with 10 Euros via credit card and then you can call land lines and cell phones around the world for about 2 – 4 cents a minute – what a bargain! My 10 Euros has lasted me for about 2 yrs! No monthly bills – YES!
While you still need a computer, tablet or smartphone for a majority of its services, Skype now offers a variety of other services, including:
Even if you don’t have your computer or smartphone with you, Internet cafes usually always have it loaded on their computers so you can expect to be able to use it in most places.
Click here to download Skype now!
Get a “Web Based” email account that you can access from any computer with one of the free providers like gmail or yahoo! I especially like gmail.
Internet access in cafes can sometimes be painfully slow, and if you are paying by the minute it can get expensive. It’s a good idea to pretype your email on the computer before going on line. Many a time I’ve typed a long email only to loose it! Create a list of who is on your travel updates list and send one bulk email.
Most people carry a smartphone today, so if you plan on taking your phone you will need to know your options. You will also need to make sure you do not get a nasty surprise bill for roaming data and calling.
I am no expert suffice to say make sure you sort it out before leaving home!
Here are some options:
Which Cell phone and SIM card?….should you buy a local cell phone or an international cell phones?
And what about SIM cards, local or international SIM card?
Here are some detailed articles on cell phones and SIM cards to help you get your head around it:
SIM cards….Local V Global?….Click Here
Which is the best international SIM?...Click Here
What about International Cell phones?…Click Here
How to get a Lifetime International Phone Number…Click Here.
Or if you are taking your smartphone read here how to avoid the nasty account.
The social networks like facebook and twitter are obviously the way to go. Anyone with a smartphone or ipad sitting on a parkbench these days is very likely to be on Facebook or Twitter.
It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and share photos and updates of your adventures.
You can blog, tweet, or post to Facebook – better still do all three!
Twitter: tweet your whereabouts and interesting things you encounter
Facebook: post updates on your adventures
Travelpod – a good place to blog if you just want a journal or records of your trip – you can print your blog or map your trip too!
And if you get really serious about writing a travel blog, you can set up a Facebook Fan Page like ours at WorldWideAdventurers and connect them all up as a great way to update your fans, friends and family.
International phone cards are an option, if you do not carry a computer or smartphone. They really are only good for a shorter time in a country like a few weeks. They give you the ability to call family or friends back home, whilst actually having a phone free holiday!
Some benefits of prepaid calling cards include:
No need to buy a new SIM card and cell number all the time!
You don’t have to worry about carrying a cell phone!
They are easy to come by and replace!
How to get International Calling Cards…Click Here