When you are travelling you might at first want to fill your family in all the time, where you’ve been, who you met, crazy things locals do, but once you are on the road longer, this might slacken a little and at one point you might find yourself realising a week has passed and you have not had any sign of fernweh at all. Or you are the type to never be home sick at all and have to force yourself to call home once a month. Whatever your case, keeping in touch with loved ones is important and doesn’t need to take long or be expensive.
The Old-Fashioned Way
When was the last time you received a letter? Yes, I am talking an old-fashioned, handwritten expose. You can write it as a bigger postcard, include some doodling, photos or brochure snippets, you can go in detail or just send wishes but what you will create will be unique and make the recipient very happy. Just make sure if it’s for your grandparents, to write more legibly and bigger. Mine always complained.
If you are lazy, why not write a standard postcard? This way you can reach more people with less or the same amount of work, especially if you copy your previous message. Lots of postcards are just about the weather, basic greetings and a list of the itinerary. Why not make it more special by narrating a tiny anecdote, giving a travel tip or drawing a scene you loved?
The Talkative Way
If you’ve got a lot to say and writing 5 postcards gives you hand cramps and a headache, why not pick up the phone and hit dial? But before you do, check the roaming rates with your provider or it could get very expensive. When I stay longer and fear not having decent access to wifi, I invest in a local or tourist sim card with a flexible plan to allow me to call and use data. If you like a sim card for Europe for free as well as a voucher, scroll down to the bottom and enter my giveaway kindly sponsored by MTX Connect!
You can get sim cards with call, data or both rates, depending on what you need. What I usually do to save on money but still get in touch via phone as well as internet is to invest in a data plan and call via skype. They still have super cheap rates. You can do it via a phone app or your computer by connecting it to your phone data. This helped me so much in Japan!
The Modern Kinda Way
If you are always on the go or in and out of wifi (maybe you are in remote areas, cruising about or hiking through mountains), then a quick mail or social media message is a good way. This is especially advised if you are travelling solo and heading out to meet strangers, go on trips that have a potential risk and just need someone to know your whereabouts for general safety reasons. (If you are really concerned, also tell your embassy, which is good when you are in regions with natural disasters or unrests).
Even if you are not staying in touch with particular people, but are working online, like to use social media, figure out your itinerary and bookings, etc an internet access can be crucial. Apart from investing in a sim card, you can check into accommodation that lists wifi as a perk (read the reviews as well to see if it is actually good for something), head over to travel agencies, libraries, tourist information or even fast food and coffee chains depending on your country. There are websites out there helping you locate free wifi sources, so use them in advance.
One more word of caution: Turn off your phone data service (and app notifications) to avoid roaming fees if you have your old sim or use up your new data plan. And when using public wifi, first check whether it is a reliable source (sometimes scammers provide free hot spots to hack into your phone), and avoid using passwords or checking your bank details. At the very least never ever do this in airports or train stations!
The Giveaway Part
Now that you know your options of staying connected during your holidays and travels, why not take one decision from you and just give a free sim and voucher for your Europe travels kindly sponsored by MTX Connect to a lucky reader? What you have to do is simple. Just perform one or more of the actions below to qualify (the more the higher your chances) and one winner will be selected at random after 9 September at 12:00 am. So share the love and tell your friends to enter, too. Maybe they want to go somewhere in Europe soon?