5 Ways for the Traveller to Stay In Touch at the Holidays

by Ben on December 11, 2011

Even though many people are envious of those who get to travel frequently, there can be a lot of difficulties for those who are constantly on the road (or in the air). For one, it’s hard to stay in contact with loved ones. Often, international travel means traditional methods of contact aren’t available. Calling on the telephone can be extremely expensive if you’re even able to call at all.

As we approach the holidays this year take these 5 tips with you as you travel to make sure you can keep in touch with loved ones.

1. Skype

skype

It’s no surprise at all that Skype is #1 on the list. As long as you can find a wifi connection, Skype will let you call or video call anyone in the world for free! Accounts are free to set up, and once you’ve connected with your family and friends you’re able to chat away for hours on your phone, tablet or computer. I like Skype compared to other competitors because it’s easy and available to everyone, not matter what type of phone or software your computer is running!

2. SMS

sms

If you don’t have access to wifi, and you don’t have an international cell plan, a simple text message is often the way to go. Many cell phone providers offer unlimited text plans, and many of us use it as our primary way of communication anyway. Make sure to check your plan, but when I travel internationally and have no wifi I just stick to text messaging because it doesn’t cost me any extra even when I’m out of the states.

3. Pre Paid Phones

If you’re like me and have friends and family traveling to the furthest reaches of the globe, often wifi is unavailable, or when it is, it barely works. Which crosses the #1 way off the list. A cheap alternative is simply to use a pre-paid phone, old school style. If you’re going to be the one on the other side of the globe, I suggest you pick one up ahead of time just in case. Pre paid phones are a cheap and easy alternative for when Skype is out of the question. Large retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart offer a variety of pre-paid options, and you can usually find them at grocery stores around the globe.

4. Post Cards

When I was a kid and my dad would travel, I used to love getting post cards from wherever he was on his trips. Post cards are still a simple and thoughtful way to get in touch with distant loved ones to let them know not only where you are, but that you’re thinking about them. Plus, they’re cheaper to mail than standard letters!

5. Gift Baskets

Especially around the holidays, sometimes you want to do more than just say hi and catch up. If you’re traveling this holiday season and want to send something thoughtful to your loved ones, why not send a gift basket? Trying to find gifts abroad can be fun, but shipping can get very expensive depending on where you are and where you need to send it. While they’re maybe not as personal as something you hand picked from a local craftsman, you can customize them to include pretty much anything you’d want along with a customized message, and shipping rates are standard no matter where you might be.

 

Wherever you’re traveling this holiday season, make sure to be safe and pack an extra pair of underwear just incase your flight gets delayed! Happy Holidays!

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