Top 5 Ways to Keep in Touch When Traveling

Traveling can be lots of fun – you get to unwind, experience new things and generally disconnect from every day life back home. But if you are planning on being away for an extended period, or you want to keep in touch with family and friends, our top 5 ways to keep in touch when traveling will put you in good stead!

Staying connected when abroad

Staying connected when abroad

1. Start a Blog or Journal

The old way of keeping in touch was to send postcards back to family and friends from all the different places you have been. While some still do that, the modern way to handle this is to write or keep a journal or blog of your time abroad. Especially if you are going to be traveling to lots of different places, a travel journal or blog is not only a fun way to capture all your memories, but also allow you friends and family to follow you if they want to. The more popular blogs such as WordPress offer free solutions, and if you are technically savvy you can maybe work out how to get your own domain. Or you can just use one of the many travel journal sites like or

2. Smartphone Apps

There are a plethora of smartphone apps now that pretty much let you do anything you want to keep in touch, from Facebook to Twitter, then there are the messaging apps like Whatsapp and then of course the free calling apps like Skype and Facetime. Do you research ahead of time and you can have all the apps you need downloaded that will let you talk and message with your friends and family when abroad. This is a pretty good list to get started with – if you have others, please add them in the comments.

3. Country Sim Cards

Mobile phone companies are starting to realize that charging users extortionate amounts of money to roam internationally does not make sense, and over the last year we have seen the price of using your phone abroad come down. In Europe, by 2015 it will be illegal for phone companies to charge you when you roam within the EU – and in the USA, AT&T just came out with a free international roaming package. So using your phone should be easier – but there are still many companies that charge “a lot” of money if you roam internationally. So to get around that, you should purchase a local sim card for the country you are traveling to and avoid those roaming charges. Check out the choices available here, for a range of international sim cards.

4. Find Free Wifi Hotspots

Most of the time you can find free wifi hotspots either at your hostel or hotel, or at the airport. If this is not the case, then you might want to do some advanced research and locate those hotspots that are free. There is an excellent app call JiWire where you can search for hotspots around the world – just plug in your location details and it will tell you where to go. Certainly worth checking out!

5. Plan Your Check-Ins

While not really a way to keep in touch, our #5 is really a safety measure for yourself when you travel. You should always plan to check-in with family and friends at least once a week – whether that is just an email, skype call, or post on your blog. It will let your family know that you are safe and well, and they should not sound the alarm because you have not responded to their emails. You can also use our 4 points above, for ways to organize this weekly checkin!

Good luck with your travels and we hope these points help you have a safe, and connected travel experience!

Posted by Ross Mason

Ross is the Vice President of International Student Insurance, with over 15 years experience in the international education arena. A graduate from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK with a First in BSc (Hons) Business and Technology, Ross has lived all around the world including LA, New York, Boston, London, Hong Kong, Florida and Germany.

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