Although travel of old was through written letters and long silences we are now in the information age and staying in touch with each other is the expected norm. I recommend getting offline as much as possible when away to truly immerse yourself in the experience. However, for those time you bee to be online and getting in touch with people, there are a few things you need to know.
Roaming is a No-No
Roaming is a ridiculously expensive way to get data and make calls. Turn it off as you take off and keep it off.
Local sim cards can be bought in most airports and mean that you can get a package to keep you going while you are there. However, this isn’t always possible if your phone is locked to a network or you need to do a lot of paperwork to get a sim. Tourists in Japan for example have to opt for pocket wifi as sim cards are only given to those staying longer than the tourist visa allows. Having a local sim is useful for other things too. Booking trains, accommodation and local apps sometimes require you to have a local number so use this to your advantage.
Global sims are a great way to save having a million numbers when travelling through a region. They allow you to make cheap calls to a variety of locations and can be worth it if they suit you agenda
Skype is amazing
Skype credit is amazing and probably the best way to call home. Simply, top up your account, dial in numbers and get going. I was able to call my father on the other side of the world for 4c per minute at home as he still hasn’t a clue how to turn a computer on.
WiFi is pretty much everywhere so get everything you need done at one point and make sure you have everything you need offline afterwards. Save map locations, web pages, make your calls and save tour guides/apps in the time you have. Don’t waste time getting lost in news feeds and timelines!
Keep it personal
Postcard apps are a great way to give a personal touch to a classic postcard to let the people at home know you are thinking about them without you ever having to send an actual postcard. Good app for this is Touchnote.