When I took my first extended travel trip in my teens, there were no mobile phones or computers. We kept in touch with family by postcard, letter or an occasional landline phone call. Today, the options for communication are plentiful and usually very accessible, wherever you are in the world.
Here are some of the best ways to stay in touch with family and friends while you are travelling.
Since most people own a mobile phone, the easiest way to stay in contact with people back home is by phone. You will need to check with your network provider what your roaming plan allows. If you are not allowed to use roaming minutes abroad it will cost you a lot of money.
The deal you want is to be able to make use of your free phone minutes wherever you are travelling. If not, ask for an upgrade for the time you are away or buy a Sim card in your destination country.
It might seem rather old-fashioned but it is really nice to receive a hand-written letter or postcard. Sending a letter, using Best Buy Envelopes, seems rather decadent and special these days. Of course, the letter or postcard will take its time to reach the recipient so do not include information that requires an urgent reply.
Rather, you should reserve this form of communication for descriptions of where you have been and include details about your experiences, as well as photographs (printed out, of course!)
Whether you have access to broadband usage as part of your phone deal or you connect to wifi in cafes, hotels etc, updating your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, offers an excellent form of communication.
Instragram is a great place to post beautiful photos of your trip and it will allows friends to interact with you while you are away from home.
Facebook messenger, as well as Instagram messages, can also be used if you have a wifi connection. It’s a simple way to stay in touch, especially with friends who prefer to use social media networks for their communications.
You can use Skype or Facetime to enjoy video chats with people who might be missing you. It’s always nice to be able to se the other person when chatting about your travels and your plans.
Like a written letter, some younger people might think that an email seems rather old-old-fashioned. But it’s still a great way to communicate, whether in writing or by sending photos and video. Again you can email via wifi or by using some of your data plan.
If you do not have data roaming while abroad, you can still use whatsapp with a wifi connection. It is the same as using it at home and it is a great way to message and call your family and friends. Simply make sure you have the Whatsapp app downloaded on to your mobile phone.
There are so many options for communication wherever you are in the world and it seems like a very long time ago that my only options were a postcard, letter or an expensive landline phone call.