When I’m away from home, how do people contact me?
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Traveling abroad can be fulfilling, but there’s always a desire to stay in touch with your loved ones back home. Staying in touch with family and friends back home is a great way to stay connected.
Staying connected helps bridge the distance between you and your loved ones. Plus, your family and friends revel in your international adventures.
But how do you make sure you stay in touch with loved ones? Time zone differences and unreliable internet connectivity can make it difficult to schedule a call.
The rise of technology has helped solve the logistical aspect of distance. Moreover, besides the financial implications, the availability of many communication applications reduces the problem.
Before you leave, discuss the best way to keep in touch with loved ones. You can decide the frequency and mode of communication.
Let’s find out how you can stay in touch with your loved ones while you’re away.
1. Take advantage of international calling apps
Today, there are many alternatives to FaceTime on your iPhone. In general, 38% of internet users around the world made a video call using their mobile phone.
There are several international free-to-download apps that you can take advantage of. You can download and use them if you have data or a Wi-Fi connection. Some calling apps may require you to buy credit and contact a loved one.
You will find yourself using different apps to communicate with other people. You can choose from various calling apps based on your preferences and benefits. Here are some apps you can use to make calls to loved ones while you’re away.
Talk360 uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to route international calls to smartphones, regular phones and landlines. This means you can call even someone without an internet connection for less.
This is amazing, especially in places with low internet penetration like Ethiopia. For perspective, Ethiopia has only 25% internet penetration. This means that the majority of the population does not have access to the Internet. Thus, it can be difficult for people at home to contact you if they have an unstable or no internet connection.
You can still do cheap premium quality calls to Ethiopia and places with limited or no internet. VoIP calling apps like Talk360 simplify the international calling process at a fraction of the cost. Thus, your loved ones do not need to have internet for you to contact them.
WhatsApp is also another useful application which simplifies communication between people. According to Statista, WhatsApp has 2 billion active users. And that makes it a preferred method of contact when you’re away from home.
Moreover, most people prefer to use it because it has unlimited SMS messaging allowance. WhatsApp is a free program available on Android, iPhone and on the web. You can use it to exchange free text messages and make free video or voice conversations via your phone data or Wi-Fi.
The voice note feature makes it a favorite part of the platform. Regardless of distance and time zone differences, you can leave audio messages to your loved ones. So that they can listen to the message without worrying about additional charges.
It’s an effective way to keep in touch with loved ones in a different time zone. WhatsApp makes international calling easy and you can communicate with your best friend in Ethiopia anytime.
2. Cell Phone and Text Messaging
Mobile phones have made contact with loved ones at home easier. Mobile phone services have three main options, and both options have their pros and cons.
Here are some of the tactics you can use abroad:
- You can use your US carrier for roaming services.
- Find a phone that you can rent for the duration of your absence.
- Take advantage of cell phone services in your area.
Using a US carrier makes it easy for friends and family to contact you since you can use your original phone number. You may reconsider using roaming services if you are looking for affordable calling rates. Also, some cell phones may not be compatible due to different frequencies in the United States.
It’s best to check with your carrier to determine if your phone is compatible with US frequencies. If you are on a budget, you may want to consider using local cell phone services. It’s cost effective, especially for locals, and you won’t have to worry about roaming charges.
Plus, text messaging is another convenient way to keep in touch with loved ones. You can ask your service provider about the costs for sending and receiving SMS.
According to Radicati, approximately 3.9 billion are active on email. That is to say, almost half of the world’s population has access to e-mail.
Therefore, email is a great way to keep in touch with your loved ones. In addition, emails are a convenient and affordable means of communication.
Also, time zones are not an issue when using email for communication. Plus, emails are instant, and you can share the highlights of your trip with friends and family.
Some families make sure to email each other daily to keep in touch. This way you can check in and share your progress in life. Email communication is therefore perfect and you can choose to use an email provider that allows you to send personalized emails in bulk.
Video conferencing platforms
The Covid 19 pandemic has popularized the use of Zoom. You can use the free Zoom plan for group or individual meetings. The free plan allows 30 minutes for a one-on-one while 40-45 minutes for a group meeting.
With a stable internet connection, you can enjoy top quality international calls via Zoom. Also, you can share photos via presentation and discuss the highlights of your trip.
Besides Zoom, Skype is also another effective video conferencing platform. Much like Zoom, you can use Skype to make calls to loved ones and have informal catch-ups in your life.
And your loved ones will find Skype useful and inexpensive for making voice calls to US cellphones and landlines.
Take away key
You can use different ways to stay connected if you have a stable internet connection. You can use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, video conferencing platforms and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling apps.
Most of the services are free, while others are quite affordable. However, some like Talk360 have great benefits like calling regular phones without internet. It facilitates affordable international calls to your loved ones without internet access.
Sometimes you may need to consider time zones if you are using phone conversations, video chat, etc. However, emails, blogs and social media platforms do not need it to master time zones. Your friends can get your updates through your pictures and writings.