Everyone travels for different reasons, be it a quick escape from the everyday or a chance to see something new, but you’re likely at some point in your travels to need to stay in contact with others. It can be family and loved ones back home, new friends you meet in the process or acquaintances you have to meet up with while you’re abroad – it doesn’t really matter who, staying in contact is important and needs to be accessible at a moment’s notice.
Thankfully there are more ways to stay in touch for today’s traveller than every before and many of these are very affordable. Whether making free international calls appeals to you to let people know you arrived or the good old fashioned postcard to give folks back home a souvenir and a quick thought, you won’t have trouble finding the means of communication that is best for you.
Here are some suggestions for ways to stay connected while travelling, from most direct to least – but all are fantastic!
If you happen to be travelling with an internet device such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet, chances are there’s a camera and microphone included inside of it. While you’d be crazy to use the wireless network to connect if you don’t have a plan within that country, if your hostel, accommodation or public place has wifi access, consider using it to give someone back home a quick hello. You’d be amazed how much it can brighten your mood to see and talk to someone familiar from across the world.
At about the same intimacy level as the webcam but without the visual side, a phone call is a great way to make a personal touch between people and particularly great if you don’t have a lot of time or aren’t looking your best. Picking up a cheap phone card or finding a discount code online can make the expense of it greatly reduced and virtually eliminate the most common excuses for not checking in back home.
It can be done almost anywhere and can be anything from a few words to novel length. Email is great for keeping people up to date on developments, sending through forgotten scanned documents, links to sites of interest and the latest pictures of the journey so far. If you aren’t travelling with a mobile device capable of sending such documents, chances are there’s an internet café or computer hot spot nearby where you can hop on for a bit.
Yes, they’re slow and you can’t write much but everyone loves being surprised by them! Send just a few words, grab a stamp and send them from strange post offices all over the world. In many ways, this form can be more personal and thoughtful than the webcam.