How To Stay In Touch When You Travel Abroad
Even though the economy is down, large numbers of Americans are still traveling overseas. According to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, over 28,000,000 Americans traveled abroad last year. The chance to be completely immersed in a new culture can really open someone’s eyes. Traveling is also a great way to recharge the batteries and break up the monotony of work and errands. Anyone who gets the chance to travel abroad should seize the opportunity.
Whether you are going to do volunteer work, student travel or teaching abroad, preparation is more involved when traveling overseas compared to traveling within the United States. First, you need to make sure that you have a valid passport. Also, you will need proper power adapters for any of your portable appliances. Another thing that you need to prepare for is how to communicate with your friends and family back home while you are gone. It can be very expensive to make phone calls from your cellphone while in Europe because of roaming charges. Here are some other ways that you can save money on keeping in touch while traveling abroad.
Skype was invented in the early 2000s by two Swedish men. It allows users to video chat for free with other Skype users using their computer’s webcam. It’s also possible to make phone calls overseas using the service for a nominal fee. All you need is a computer and a decent internet connection to use it.
Facebook is a free and easy way to communicate your travel experiences with your friends. You can chat or just send periodic updates if you are too busy enjoying yourself to have long conversations.
This is an obvious free way to stay in touch. Pretty much everyone you would want to talk to has an email account making this an effective tool for communicating.
The problem with using American cellphones overseas is that they are not compatible. If you can, unlock your phone and place a SIM card from another country into it. If you are traveling in Asia cellphones and SIM cards are extremely cheap so it makes using a cellphone while you travel very easy. Phones are the most convenient and effective way to communicate with people back home because you can use them anywhere without needing to be on the Internet.
If you have children who are staying back home while you travel, Skype or an overseas cellphone may be the best option for you. You are going to want to hear each other’s voices while you are communicating. Email may work for you if you are just trying to communicate with your office while you travel abroad and the information isn’t too urgent. Many different options are available to help travelers stay in touch with their friends and family while overseas. Do not be afraid to utilize the latest technology to keep your costs down while traveling.
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2010-O-001/index.html. (Accessed September 28, 2011).