15 July 2024

How to stay in touch without breaking the bank when abroad

Travel is amazing, we make no bones about that. But whether you’re on the continent for a week with business, or spending six months in the Far East, the chances are you’ll want to keep in touch with folks back home.

Mobile phones have revolutionised how we communicate, and how regularly we contact our closest friends and family. Once upon a time, a letter or post card would suffice, but with text and email, and the fact that we have phones on us at all times, expectations are much higher.

The only problem is that, if you want to enjoy an actual phone conversation, your bank balance can take a serious battering. But there are ways of communicating that will not only mean you get to hear people’s voices, you can do it for cheap. Read on to find out more.

Phone cards

The good news is that the overseas calling market is a competitive one. As the number of people travelling, and the number of destinations grows, the potential to make a profit does too, and a number of international phone cards have sprung up.
Carry a card with you so you can phone anyone you like for less than the standard cost, but also give key people, like your parents, a card that allows them to get in touch with you. The rates for calls from the UK tend to be even lower.

Skype

The rise of smartphones has been a real boon to overseas travellers, as the range of apps they offer incorporates cheaper communication solutions. Skype is probably the best well known of the online call services and it offers full smartphone support.


Before you head off on your travels, or if you are considering a new business phone, look into iPhone 4S deals and download the app. It allows you to stay in contact with other Skype users absolutely free, so long as you are connected to a wireless network. That final point is absolutely crucial, as roaming fees when overseas can be extortionate.

With Skype you can obviously also stay in touch with a computer, meaning you just need to have it on your business laptop, or visit an internet café, and you will be able to phone home.

Viber

This application allows you to make phone calls over the internet using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) meaning that you won’t have to pay for the phone call as long as you are connected to the internet. The call quality isn’t quite as good as a regular phone call but when you consider that you can call anywhere in the world for free, it is a small sacrifice to make. This option is as great for businesses that wish to save money on international calls but need to stay in touch with a number of international locations, as it for travellers who need to phone ahead to organise accommodation and stay in touch with friends and loved ones at home.