- State News
- Gas Industry
Tips For Staying In Touch With Family And Friends While Volunteering Abroad
April 27, 2012
Traveling abroad allows you to venture to foreign lands, discover new languages, and see new sights. But staying in touch with all of your old friends and family members can be costly, and even downright complicated. From expensive international rates to costly Internet fees, calling old friends, saying hello to mom and dad, and even checking up on siblings can rack up hundreds.
Instead of shelling out hundreds for phone bills, global travel blogs often recommend smart, cheap alternatives that can save hundreds. From using social media to video calls, these methods can help you communicate without the added costs.
Every Share Helps!
Okay. Volunteering abroad via the Peace Corps or to help an international cause can help build life skills, but sometimes paying for new, international phones or SIM cards for prodigious fees can seem outrageous. Email could work, but sometimes just seeing your family members reduces the feeling of being homesick.
With a simple Skype call, you can chat and catch up on all the new information occurring within the lives of family and friends. With an easy setup process and cheap International rates, Skype offers a great alternative to cell phones and pre-paid SIM cards.Social Media
International rates still apply when using Skype, but if you want to avoid paying anything at all costs, social media may be your best bet. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest can let you post photos, send messages and even video chat with friends and family. Granted, you will need an Internet connection and access to a computer, but local coffee shops and Internet cafes offer cheap rates and access to the Web.Pre-Paid SIM Card
If you’re technically savvy, you could purchase a pre-paid SIM card to talk with your family and friends. Unlike Skype and social media, using a pre-paid SIM card requires your phone to be unlocked and be a tri-band/world phone. If your not sure what type of phone you have, the instruction manual can lend some assistance.
Once your phone is unlocked, you purchase a pre-paid SIM card from an international provider, load it up with minutes and start making calls. The rates are a bit pricy, ranging from as high as 49 cents a minute to as little as 29 cents; however, these rates are cheap compared to going through your own provider.Video Games
Phone rates can rack up easily. Internet fees seem relatively cheaper to pay for than 49 cent per minute. If you brought along your video game console and have access to an Internet connection, you can play a game and chat with your friends and family. With a simple setup process you can entertain yourself and communicate with the family. If you don’t have a console, Internet cafes usually include popular video games on their computers. You can setup a match or join one to begin chatting. You can use a simple keyboard to type messages or bring along a headset to communicate.Blog
If you run a personal blog, you can share your experiences volunteering abroad. Even if your blog is about earning online psychology degrees, you can always have your friends and family message you and send information directly to your email inbox. From here, you can share pictures, stories and experiences while remaining up to date with each of your family members and friends.Sources
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.