It’s no secret that staying in touch overseas can cost a small fortune and even international texting rates can add up quickly. If you’re planning to spend some time away from home or are dealing with a loved one overseas, then you should take some time to research the best ways to stay in touch. I’ve had a lot of experience with staying in contact with friends and family back in the UK while I’m here in Australia, so I’ve got a few pieces of advice:

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Look into Free Calls:

That might sound crazy, but it’s actually quite easy to make free calls from Android or iPhone as long as you get the right apps. Sometimes the apps are free, sometimes they cost money for the initial download and sometimes you have to pay for the calls, but the rate is much cheaper than traditional international calls. You’ll need to have a look at each specific option and decide which will work best for you based on where you and your loved ones are located and the associated costs.

Avoid Roaming Calls:

Making international calls while using international roaming tends to be hugely expensive, unless you’ve already pre-arranged a particular plan. There have been heaps of stories in newspapers across the world about people being stung with outrageous and unaffordable mobile bills after taking their phones overseas and using them without understanding what kind of cost there would be. Take this situation where a son racked up a $22,000 data bill overseas.

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Use Computer Calling Programs:

Although not as convenient as using your cellphone or even an app on your cellphone, there are free computer-to-computer calling programs that will allow you to stay in touch while keeping your costs down. This is a great way to avoid unnecessarily large phone bills while still getting that personal conversation when you’re away from those you love. One downside to using computer-to-computer calling is that you have to ensure you’re both at your computers at the same time which can be hard to organise with different time zones – but worth it when you do manage to make it happen.

Whatever method you choose, and whatever cost is associated with it, you can’t really put a price on staying in touch with those who you love and miss. Thankfully the Internet and new technology, such as smart phones, has made it easier than ever before to stay in touch with those who you love.