Anyone who travels regularly will know how costly it can be to keep in touch with loved ones back home. Between £1 per minute or more phone calls and astronomical mobile internet prices, sometimes you have to stay out of the loop for a little longer than you’d like.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to keep in touch without spending half your food money on communication.
Here’s how to keep connected on your travels the cheap and simple way.
1) Take a look at your phone and network
Many phone networks have packages available for those who want to use their phones abroad, that you can simply add onto your existing contact or pay-as-you-go package. However, although these packages will reduce the cost of calls and texts, they can still work out pretty pricy.
Consider buying a SIM card when you get to your destination, which can dramatically reduce your phone bill. You can buy pre-paid phones for the country you’re in, or if you’re going to a number of countries then a global SIM may be the way to go.
2) Get your family to call you
If you can, stay somewhere with a phone in your room, as it makes it hugely cheaper for people to call you. Your family back at home can use what is known as an override provider, which is a phone company who will override your current landline provider and charge you their rates – which can be far, far cheaper – and you don’t even have to setup an account.
3) Find an internet cafe
Why spend a ridiculous amount on roaming internet on your mobile when most places will have an internet cafe? Often these are dirt cheap, and just buying an hour once a week or so means you can send an email to your loved ones, and hop on Facebook or your preferred social networking site to catch up with friends.
4) Find a Wi-Fi spot
You can call almost anywhere in the world for nothing, or almost nothing, using a VoIP app on your phone like Skype, if there’s Wi-Fi. Simply download the app onto your phone, get your loved ones to download it to their phone or computer, find a Wi-Fi hotspot and you’re all a-go. All you need to remember is to organise a time!
5) Send a letter or postcard
Letters and postcards are so often forgotten these days, but they are a great way to keep in touch in places where you might not have signal on your phone. Plus, snail mail is exceptionally cheap to boot. You get to spend the time to craft something detailed, rather than just a quick text or email, and your recipient gets a letter through the post – who doesn’t love that?
Do you have any more handy hints on how to keep in contact while you’re travelling?
Estelle Page is a mum who would like her kids to see the world. She blogs in her spare time for White Pages, trying to help people stay in touch for as little as possible.
Image by: Axel Kristinsson