Gone are the days of trips abroad when your only contact with home would be a hand-written post card that took weeks to arrive. In today’s modern world, there are plenty of ways that you can stay in touch with friends and loved ones no matter where you are in the world. Here’s our quick guide to just a few.
Even when you’re travelling in far-flung corners of the world, you may be surprised to find how commonplace internet connections and wi-fi are. In hotels, restaurants and bars across the world you can frequently log on to the internet from your own laptop or mobile phone and access everything you normally would at home, keeping everyone updated on your adventures via Facebook and email. You can even start your own travel blog to keep track of all the places you’ve visited, or upload your photographs to an online storage facility such as Dropbox to keep them safe until your return.
Sometimes, just sending email to people isn’t enough, and you want to be able to talk to them too. Using your mobile phone abroad can be expensive, but with a little foresight and planning you can get some great deals. Why not get a pay as you go SIM with Lebara and enjoy fantastic rates on international calls? With this specialist SIM, cheap calls to South Africa start from just 5p per minute, while calls to the United States cost from 6p.
If you’re somewhere with a WiFi connection, there are also plenty of free apps that you can download for your mobile that will allow you to send text messages and make phone calls across the world for free, such as Viber or Talkatone. You can also download Skype for your mobile phone, or find it already installed on many internet cafe computers around the world. This software, popular with travellers, allows you to make real-time video calls to anyone, anywhere who has the same software installed. Great for those who are away from home for a long time, a Skype conversation is the next best thing to talking to someone face to face.
Finally, it’s important to remember that while new technology allows travellers to stay much better connected now than in the past, often nothing beats a hand written letter to loved ones. The novelty of receiving something in the mail, the excitement of an exotic foreign stamp and the intimacy of the written word all add up to a fantastic memento of your travels, and one that is sure to be treasured far longer than any email, phone call or Skype conversation will be.