Oftentimes when we travel we need to stay in touch with our family or our colleagues. This holds especially true for destinations that are situated faraway from our homes and working environments and naturally presuppose more worrisome situations. So let us take a look at the means of staying in touch while travelling.

Staying connected while travelling nowadays is much easier than ever. Most of the times all it takes to indicate to everyone how you are doing is updating your facebook status at a click away. Or simply calling your loved ones or colleagues to let them hear your voice and know that everything is all right. In order to stay in touch, all you have to do is research the terms and conditions of the options that you have and select one of them and make the best use of your resources, your devices’ batteries, your gigabytes, your roaming minutes, etc.

Mobile Connection

The most immediate option for communication is the old-school mobile phone. This small and unassuming device that easily fits within your pocket and weights so little that you almost forget its being there for you could be your best communication conduit, provided that you have mobile coverage at the area you travel and that you have activated the international communication service known under the name of roaming. Guess what – when we are travelling in some remote areas- when for instance we are hiking or paragliding, or doing a safari, the mobile coverage could be on-and-off, meaning our device would be searching for the recurring network all the time, which eats its battery. And with a death battery we cannot make even an emergency call, so be wise on the usage of your mobile in remote areas where the almighty satellites might have trouble getting through. This is to say keep the device on just when you are going to immediately use it.

Another issue related to telecommunication services is their price. Yep, the international calls remain expensive thing that is often paid for by both parties – the one calling and the one being called. So, when you head abroad, make sure first and foremost that you activate your roaming service with your mobile operator and that you are aware of the additional fees and tariffs that you are going to pay.

Internet Connection

There are many options nowadays for using the Internet while travelling. Many devices like mobile phones, or the so called smart phones – mobiles with operational system, offer Internet connectivity provided that there is coverage. Then there are the notebooks and laptops and even readers and music players that could have Internet access. So if you have your device with you, all you have to do is find a Wi-Fi spot that allows public access and go for it. Nowadays many public places like airports, train- and bus-stations, libraries, recreation parks, etc. offer this service for free.

If, however, you find difficulty walking around and hunting for the Wi-Fi connection in public areas, you might pay a cup of coffee or a sandwich and enter a cozy and warm eating place or café where you are able to connect your device and Instagram, Twitter, chat or do whatever you do to stay in touch with your friends, family or co-workers.

If you are travelling, and I mean if you are actually on the road in some means of transportation, communication through Internet is nowadays definitely an option too. Respectable air lines, train companies, buss carriers, etc, are all equipped with an Internet access on board nowadays. Gas stations on the road, if you are travelling by a car, are also Wi-Fi spots nowadays in many countries throughout the world.

If you are ready to be fully independent, you could easily buy a local sim card, or mobile Wi-Fi hotspots that offer you Internet on the go. Moreover, if you have a smart phone it is quite likely that your telecommunication contract includes Internet access.

Mobile Hotspots and USB

Mobile hotspots, also known as Mi-Fi, are also a comfortable option if you are planning to move a lot and need connection and communication all the time. A definite plus of the mobile hotspots is that the devices that procure them tap into the nationwide G3 or G4 networks. This allows for devices such as smart phones to connect to the Internet even at dead zones or to choose a particular, secure network. Most mobile hotsplots allow for a simultaneous connection of a number of devices. As for the USB devices, they allow just a single connection as it is plugged into the USB port of your personal computer.

Mind you that whatever means of tapping into the Internet you use, more often than not you will be charged for it. The Internet connection enabled by all kinds of gadgets, or the mobile or cellular data you use is most often charged by the gigabyte. You should also beware this while travelling. Very often the quality of Internet deteriorates after certain gigabytes are exceeded, etc. So make sure when your head off somewhere you have the best possible tariffs for your Internet access.

Internet in Hotels

As long as hotels are concerned, the best tip is to check the Internet policy of the particular chain or brand in advance. Some hotels have free Wi-Fi spots in their lobbies or restaurants, but charge for a personal Internet access in the rooms, for instance. Others offer a password for a free Wi-Fi to their clients on demand. The good news is that most independent hotels, hostels, small family hotels, guest houses and B&B hotels offer free of charge Internet access.

Other Communication Options

Other things you can check out when you travel and need to communicate with someone who is far away from you are the local posts, which usually offer wired or wireless phone booths from where you can call your friends, family, coworkers, etc. There are also some Internet Cafés, though not as many as they used to be in the pre-smart phone era that have not only Internet access, but also computers that you can use provided you don’t roam the globe with your personal computer or tablet.

Last modified: 26.03.2018, edited by: Nils