This article was published on January 21st, 2018
While traveling, whether it’s just across the boarder or across the ocean, having anxiety about roaming charges of every call, text message, and use of data on a pay-per-use basis is a big concern. The good news is that there are several options to take into consideration that can keep costs to a minimum while staying connected with friends and loved ones.
If you are on an extended trip, there are always the usual suspects like text messages, email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to exchange messages and photos with friends and family. Technology continues to evolve at such a quick pace that there are even more ways to communicate with just about anyone, even if they are several thousands of miles away.
Here are some of the best options to consider the next time you find yourself away from home:
Using Local SIM Cards
During extended stays in other countries getting an unlocked smartphone may be the best option. This way you can purchase a SIM card for the country you are visiting, which are typically available in airports, convenience stores, and local cell phone shops in every city. They are inexpensive and allow for several options depending on your needs. Most local SIM cards are valid for at least a month and most have free text messaging and local phone calls included with purchase.
Portable Hotspot Devices
Having a portable hotspot device gives you access to the Internet wherever you may be, with the capability of using five devices simultaneously at once. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and ideal for anyone with a smartphone that is locked and works the same as a Wi-Fi device. Simply sign in with a password to the network and you have access.
Arguably the most popular way to stay connected, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots are easy because once the password has been entered, all the information is saved and you no longer have to do so again, giving you the ability to work on your laptops without switching out SIM cards or signing in with each computer use. The reliability and speed are huge benefits and the reason for its popularity. Wifi is great, and is the best way to stay connected when traveling, as well as the most affordable.
Free Voice calls and Texting
With a Wi-Fi connection, video and voice calls are possible, completely free and available just about everywhere. For those that have iPhones, the options include:
iMessage – send free messages from any Apple device
FaceTime – video and audio calls from an iPhone 4 over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi from other devices
For these services, both the recipient and the sender must have an Apple device that is registered through a mobile number or email.
The following can be used with any type of smartphone:
Skype: one of the most popular programs worldwide, Skype is used by more than 600 million users to stay I contact with friends and family. Simply create a screen name and begin using it
Whatsapp: through this program, exchange texts, video, image, and voice messages with data costs involved, and a mobile number required to sign up.
Travel options from TELUS
TELUS customers can sign-up for Easy Roam when travelling. For as low as $7 per day, customers can access their minutes, data, and texts already included in your Canadian mobile plan. There are other options too, including purchasing travel bundle packs, or pay-per-use rates.
By using these programs, it is possible to stay connected anywhere in the world at any time to keep up to date with friends and loved ones at a minimum of cost.