Travelling is great fun and you are likely to make new friends along the way, but it is still important to keep in touch with family and friends back home. If you are visiting regular vacation resorts, this won’t be too much of a problem, but if you have plans to go backpacking around south-east Asia (or some other far-flung destination) it isn’t always easy to keep the lines of communication open.
At home, you have a choice of internet plans from the likes of http://www.attinternetplans.com/, but abroad the situation is very different and unless you stay in five-star hotels all the way, you need to get used to the idea that super-fast broadband is a thing of the past. So what is the solution?
Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
There are public Wi-Fi hot spots all over the world. Airports, railway stations, public buildings, restaurants and cafes more often than not offer Wi-Fi to their guests. Sometimes you have to provide an email address in order to log on; at other times the service is completely free to use for anyone in the vicinity. Either way, make the most of it by sending a few emails or checking into your social media accounts.
Internet cafes are useful if you don’t have a smartphone or iPad with you. You pay a small fee and have use of an internet enabled computer for an hour or more. You can use the time to update your travel blog, chat to friends and family online, or simply figure out where your next destination is going to be.
Look for accommodation with inclusive Wi-Fi. Some hotels charge extra for Wi-Fi, which can be expensive, so make sure any available Wi-Fi is free if possible. However, what normally happens when Wi-Fi is ‘free’ is that usage is restricted. So you should be OK checking emails or logging into Facebook, but downloading a movie or watching YouTube for hours is out of the question.
Cheap Telephone Calls
In many countries you can buy a telephone calling card, which gives you discounted overseas call rates. To use these, you key in a code on a standard telephone and then make your call. This type of card can be very economical if you want to call home. Alternatively, buy a local SIM in whatever country you are visiting and make use of any discounted overseas call packages on offer.
Use Snail Mail
Don’t overlook good old-fashioned postcards. Family members and friends will be thrilled to receive a steady stream of postcards from whatever country you are visiting. And when you eventually return home, you will be reminded of all the fun things you did every time you see one of your postcards stuck to a refrigerator door.
Be aware of security issues when using public Wi-Fi connections abroad. Public Wi-Fi is not safe, so avoid doing your internet banking or accessing sensitive data online in case a hacker intercepts your communications.