In today’s world of affordable global air travel, telecommuting and social networking, it is common for everyone from teenagers to housewives to retired grandparents to have friends and family scattered across the world. But how to stay in touch with them and keep them up to date with important events in your life without spending a fortune? Check out our top tips for saving money both home and abroad.
Get a device that will connect to WiFi
Whether it’s your mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop, having a mobile device that can connect to WiFi is essential for staying in touch when you’re on the move. You can find restaurants and hotels offering free WiFi almost anywhere in the world, whether it’s a beach in Thailand or the middle of a big city. When you can access them from anywhere, services like Facebook and email become great ways of staying in touch for free.
Get the right apps
If you have a tablet or a smartphone (either Apple or Android) you can choose from a wide selection of apps designed to let you send and receive messages, video and voice calls for free over an internet connection. Popular options include WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE – you can download any of these for free onto your device and enjoy surprisingly high quality conversations with loved ones on the other side of the world without spending a penny.
Go into any internet café in any town or city popular with travellers anywhere in the world and you will see a multitude of people using this popular video chat software. Also available as an app for smart phones, Skype is great for those who want to be able to see the people they are talking to. Using your internet connection rather than phone lines, Skype allows you to enjoy real-time international chat totally free of charge.
Use an international SIM card
Prefer to use your phone to stay in touch? If you make a lot of international calls you’re sure to benefit from a specialist SIM card from somewhere like Lebara.co.uk. Designed for people who spend a lot of time making international calls, these SIMs offer great rates on calls and texts to hundreds of countries worldwide.
Get the most out of your mobile phone
Whether you just want to text your friends who live down the road or call a relative on another continent, getting the right mobile phone tariff can have a positive effect on how often you stay in touch with loved ones. On pay as you go but always worried about running out of credit? Why not choose a service provider that offers bundles of texts and minutes for a minimum top up every month. Got an unlimited data tariff? Make the most out it and enjoy sending emails and messages from anywhere in the world.
Everybody agrees that staying in regular contact with our loved ones is important for our emotional well being and now – thanks to a combination of modern technology and some budget-minded thinking – everyone can keep in contact with friends and relatives around the world without spending a fortune.