How to Stay Connected with Home While You Travel
Worried about keeping in touch with loved ones while traveling abroad? Here are some ways to stay connected.
Packing for a long flight or a cross-country road trip requires a few must-haves so that you can get the rest and adventure you need. You may even prefer to leave your phone, computer, and other electronics at home depending on the kind of trip, so you can completely connect with your new surroundings.
However, sometimes, you may be experiencing things at home with family, friends, or even work that require a bit more connection. Luckily, reaching home from anywhere in the country and even overseas has come a long way in recent years. But depending on where you are and what type of service you have, staying within reach isn’t always an easy feat.
Here are five ways you can stay connected with home when you travel.
Travel is all about planning. You choose where you want to go, who you are going with, and how you will get there. Staying in touch with people back home requires the same type of planning process. When you create your pre-travel checklist, be sure to include critical numbers, addresses, passwords, and any technology resources you might need.
You may be tempted to put all of this information into your phone or computer. If so, make sure that you always have a back-up list of critical data just in case your phone doesn’t work, gets stolen, or broken. Have this information in a notebook, a planner, or otherwise written down just in case you’re unable to access your tech and need to make an emergency call.
Call Your Phone Service Provider
Every phone service provider has different rules when it comes to international calling. Give your provider a call and let them know about your upcoming travel, just like you should call your bank to let them know of your travel and spending plans. Communicating with them early will decrease the risk that you will have connection issues once you are far from home. You might also want to check if you will be assessed any international text or calling charges if you’re going abroad. And, just in case you didn’t know, electric outlets and voltages differ from one country to the next, so be sure you have the right kind of adapter and surge protector for your charger before you leave the states.
Tap into Local WiFi
Being a digital-savvy traveler can come in handy. If you are having trouble finding a good connection to chat or video call home, consider using local WiFi to check in with loved ones. Look for free WiFi at your hotel, hostel, or other housing accommodations. You might also be able to sit in a restaurant, bar, or coffee house to get a strong enough connection to send and receive a few messages.
Connect to your social media direct messaging applications to send and receive messages or use video calling apps like Skype or Google Hangouts. This is also an excellent resource if your travel destination and home are in different time zones because loved ones can message you whenever it’s convenient for them, and you can check in at your leisure.
Buy a Local SIM Card
Many smartphones are sold “unlocked” these days, which means that you can buy and use SIM cards when traveling abroad. Look for local SIM cards at the airport when you land. You may even be able to find pay-as-you-go versions so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the off-chance you won’t need it. If you need more data while you’re traveling, look for cards in convenience stores.
Stay Safe When Using New Websites
If getting in contact with home becomes a significant challenge, you may have to think outside the box and take a risk on websites or apps you aren’t familiar with using, including those when checking out hotels or hostels, local resources, and so on. Before you fall prey to hackers or a virus that destroys your files, follow these quick tips to stay safe on the web:
- Look for contact info: Reliable websites clearly show an email address, phone number, or physical address if they have one. If you don’t see contact information, don’t trust the site.
- Check the web address: One of the quickest ways to check for security and reliability of a website is to look for the “s” in “https” portion of the address. This single letter lets you know that the site and your browser are encrypted, meaning that your personal data is protected. If you don’t see the “s,” look for a different website.
Purchase a Mobile Hotspot
Mobile WiFi devices are more reliable today than ever before. You can buy a Keepgo LIfetime Mobile WiFi Hotspot to carry around with you. This device allows you to share data with any WiFi device you have with you. It’s also a great option if you are traveling with friends and family or if you go on a group travel adventure because you can share your connection with others. The Keepgo starts at $129 and goes up from there for more storage.
Staying Connected with Ease
Escaping is good. However, if you need to keep up with daily life while you are traveling, try these tips to stay connected. Being able to check in with loved ones will give you a sense of peace so that you can go on to enjoy your travel adventures.
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