You saved your money, taken time off work or from school, booked your flight and planned out your whole itinerary, but how do you share your adventures with friends and family while your on the road? Well, you won't have to rely on postcards, that's for sure, though you still have that option. Technology has changed the ways people connect, but what are the best ways for the travel savvy? Here's a look.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Just because you don't have to rely on postcards, doesn't mean you shouldn't make use of them. Postcards may be antiquated, but there's still something about postcards that seem more meaningful, sincere and authentic than a simple email. The time and care you take when you send a postcard really lets the person know you've been thinking about them. Postcards aren't a one-size-fits-all message either. There is no CC or BCC with this medium. You'll have to address each one individually and tailor your message for each individual. While this isn't the most efficient long-distance communication technique, it may still be the most intimate.
Smartphones have made the world a smaller place in a matter of years. You no longer need to lug a laptop computer, nor do you need internet cafes or calling cards. However, it's still a bit tricky if you travel aboard with a smartphone. Most carriers only allow nation wide coverage and charge steep roaming fees for those who get caught out of the country. There are two options, since your smartphone is your most valuable tool while on the road, you can pay full price which is typically a $10 per day charge, plus data fees, or you can unlock your phone and use a foreign company's sim card. However, this only works with phones that still use sims. Verizon does not, T-Mobile still does. For instance, the LG G5 is perfect for travel on the T-Mobile network. Not only can you unlock it for your trip abroad, but it has interchangeable memory sticks and batteries. Now, an unlocked device sounds dicey, but your carrier can actually help you unlock it. Once unlocked, you can get a new sim card from the foreign carrier of your choice. This takes more planning as well as some savvy, so give yourself a chunk of time to figure it out if you've never done it before.
Even with a smartphone, you may want a computer or tablet with you on your travels. While programs like Skype and Google Hangouts have user-friendly apps, Apple devices have FaceTime pre-loaded on all their mobile devices. Each of these options has a different interface, but they're all great ways to video chat. However, Skype differs in that it has a way to call mobile and landlines either with Skype Credit or a subscription service. Skype also gives you the option of purchasing a phone number for you account so that people can call you from a phone and your Skype will ring. This can eliminate your need for a fully functional phone while you're abroad, though does put some limitations on you. With all these options, there's no reason you can't check in with mom and dad, while off the beaten path.