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Connecting home whilst travelling the world

When we think of travel we naturally assume leisure, luxury, how lucky people are, right? And yes to a massive extent this is the case, those who travel full time experience the wonders our world has to offer but what about the people not in the traveller’s photo? What about the wanderer’s family, friends? Staying in touch with your family has a massive impact on the travellers experience. Below I have listed my tips for staying connect whilst travelling.

Before you Travel

Before you travel, it’s important to check the options to see if they’re viable economically. Most phone will work abroad but it’s worth checking this is the case before you leave for your trip. The first option for using your phone abroad is using home data. This allows your phone to work exactly the same as if would do in your home country when you reach your destination, experiencing no loss of cell service or data. Be savvy when it comes to Data Roaming, Data Roaming means if turned on, you will be changed at the international rate by your service provider, this could result in a hefty bill so be sure to research whether you require it turned on before you leave for your destination.

Being Prepared

An alternative to paying the significant sum demanded by your national provider is to have your phone unlocked, phones are usually locked to a network provider until your phone contract is paid, you are able to call your provider and request your phone be unlocked which will allow you to use any Sim Card purchased in any country. My server O2 specifically unlocked my iPhone 5 for travel to the USA, I was then able to purchase a local Sim Card and experience local chargers for my usage which was so much cheaper than my carrier back home!

I would highly recommend you research your chosen provider before you venture off on your travels, a selection of companies offer sim cards specifically created for travellers, I recommend Lebara. Using the Lebara website is it easy to see how much calling home from your destination will cost you. Below I recorded my results:

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Using a Lebara sim card will work out cheaper than continuing with your home carrier’s sim whilst you’re away. The advantage of the sim is most definitely that it’s transferable between counties enabling you to only purchase the 1 card for your full trip.

Data

If you prefer to use Data whilst away then you will find many bars offering free wifi services whilst abroad. You could consider Facetime, Skype and iMessage to keep your costs down, these connections can be made whilst in the range of free wifi or you can utilise your sim for local data rates whilst travelling. I personally use this option and make sure that on my phone iMessage capable enables messages to come to and from my Apple ID email address, this allows people to retain contact without having to advise of a change in number.

With forward planning, staying connected can be stress-free. Do you have useful travel tips you’d like to share?

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