Staying in touch with your family while traveling is easy and accessible with the advent of technology. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere or on an extended business trip, there are tools that will permit you to make a phone call or text your loved ones. Technology varies but updating family no longer has anything to do with smoke signals or the Pony Express. Here are 6 tools to help you stay connected:
Want to keep in touch with family and friends for free? Skype will allow travelers to contact home via video streaming. Your loved ones can see and hear you. FaceTime is an alternative for those who own an iPad or iPhone device. Streaming will work as long as both parties own an Apple device.
If you are traveling abroad and do not have access to a smartphone, or choose not to pay exorbitant fees associated with international calling, buying a local calling card is a viable option. These calling cards provide a code that you enter when contacting your loved ones. Any kind of phone will work to keep you connected. This is a practical and feasible alternative for those who don’t want to break the bank to try to stay in touch.
Are you planning an adventure trip or driving on a road that puts you in the middle of nowhere? Although technology is advanced, there are several places in the world where WiFi access isn’t readily available. In those situations, carry a satellite phone. For those people in the military, travelers who are visiting exotic locations or for an extended road trip through unknown parts, a satellite phone will allow you to connect without the need to depend on reliable Internet or cell service. Sat phones are often available with no long-term contract and have flexible plans based on your needs.
Facebook will allow travelers to stay in touch with family without the constraints of time. If you are traveling overseas, time zones will change and influence your ability to call home. A practical way to check on family: upload pictures and share quips about your travels. These can be posted to Facebook and accessed by chosen family and friends at any time. An added bonus is the free membership.
Apps allow you to communicate with your family with little fuss. Viber allows calls, text messaging and photo messaging with other Viber users. It is a free service that can be accessed via a 3G network or where WiFi is available. WhatsApp is a downloadable cross-platform messenger that is available to iPhone, Blackberry and Android users. There is the ability to stay in touch with groups of people so you can connect with several friends and family members simultaneously.
Staying in touch with family doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you have access to WiFi or are in the middle of nowhere, there is a way to reach out and keep tabs on all the goings on at home.