Just because you’re traveling around the world, doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your friends and family. Thank you to the wonderful world of technology for helping us to be contactable wherever we are in the world. I take that back for those of you that have gone backpacking because you want to get away from it all 😉
If you’re going away for 3 months or so you’d be glad for the break :). However, being away from loved ones for 1,2,3/+ years can take its toll sometimes. You may miss friends getting married, having babies, birthdays etc and you can’t always go (understandably so) so how do you keep in touch with your friends and family when you’re intending to hit the road long term?
If you don’t bring a laptop, Smartphone or pen and paper with you – fear not as most places you’ll visit will likely to have an internet cafe nearby where you can catch up on emails and skype when you need to. You can also buy international telephone calling cards along the way too. There are lots of different ways to keep in touch with ‘home’ while you’re away – let’s look at that the best ways to keep in touch with your friends and family on the road. If you do have a laptop you can make phone calls from computer.
It is a lot easier if you have an internet seeking device such as Smartphone, tablet or laptop/notebook with you as some places and hostels have wifi free of charge (or no password applied).
Ahhh the big book of Face. As seems commonplace in this day and age, most people you know will be on Facebook. You can post your photos and videos up for everyone to see, drop a quick message to someone and even check out Aspiring Backpacker from here or Johnny’s Onestep4ward blog here.
You can call landlines and mobiles from Skype – just install and sign up at www.skype.com. If you’re friends and fam are also on Skype and logged in then calls are free – how good is that?! You can use Skype on a computer or smartphone, also giving you the opportunity to go on cam too should you wish to show off that new tat or ginger beard you’ve decided to grow along the way.
If you’re staying in a country for a while it’s good to get yourself a local sim card to use while you’re there – always handy to have and people have a number they can call you on if you’re needed.
More expensive than skype but you if you can’t access skype or have your own phone an international calling card is good to have. Remember to check the time differences before you call… I’ve forgotten about it before and surprisingly my friends weren’t too happy to hear from me at 3am on a Tuesday morning! Good thing about a local sim card is for meeting up with people you meet along the way too so keep this in mind.
Gone are the days when you’d write a letter to someone – send whatever you want instantly by sending an email either on your laptop, phone or in an internet cafe, there will be loads about.
If you have a Smartphone I’d really recommend downloading WhatsApp. Most of my friends back in the UK have this little app which allows you to send messages to each other free of charge – kind of like free texts or msn chat on your phone. Good to have for quick conversations here and there and send some love.
There you have it guys, a few ways to keep in touch with your loved ones on the road…It can be lonely if you’re on your own but at least with all these various ways of communication you’re never really that far away from anyone. I try and touch base once a week or so and it’s always good to be able to speak with peeps.
Remember, just because you’re on the other side of the globe – you can still chat, write and even video with your friends and fam – this can especially come in handy around Christmas time, birthdays and the sort.
Speaking of which, I’m going to go and skype Mum & Dad now… Are there any other means you use to keep in touch with your mates back home when you’re on the road? Spread the word below.