Christmas is a time for families to come together, stuff themselves with festive treats, blow the dust off the Monopoly board and share cards and presents. Long gone are the days of making a fuzzy phone call or hoping a festive postcard will reach them in time if you can’t be with your family at Christmas. Technology has made it extremely easy to stay in touch and feel like you’re a part of the festive celebrations, even if you’re half way around the globe!
Social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can of course help us to send messages and easily see what our friends and family are up to. Apps like Skype and Facetime allow us to make video calls that give us that all important face-to-face connection. But what happens if you don’t have Wi-Fi, have too many people to keep in touch with, or simply don’t have the time?
Not to worry, we’ve put together a list to solve some of those annoying issues that keep you from touching base while you travel:
You don’t have a Wi-Fi connection
This is one of the most common issues with keeping in touch while abroad. A bad Wi-Fi connection can mean real problems when you try to video call, or even just message family and friends when you’re on the move.
Before you leave the parc – there’s free WiFi at most of ours, download ‘Boingo Wi-Fi finder’, this app helps you locate free Wi-Fi connections in your vicinity. Presented on a handy map, you can plan your journey so you’ll be close to a hotspot when you need to make that all-important Christmas call.
Learn more about it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/boingo-wi-finder
Still can’t find an internet connection?
If you’re somewhere quite remote or simply can’t find a good, free Wi-fi connection in your area, calling and texting are your next best option. With pricey roaming rates from mobile providers this can end up costing a fortune – especially if you’re not staying in one country.
Websites like http://www.holidayphone.co.uk/ allow you to get a sim card for each country you visit, and charge you reduced rates to call family and friends. You’ll even get to keep your own number!
You can’t get a secure connection
When you’re chatting with friends and family while abroad it can be a little unnerving, especially if you’re sharing things like bank details, contact information or the address of where you’re staying. ‘Telegram’ is a secure messaging app that allows you to chat privately.
This messaging service claims to be heavily encrypted to keep your information safe and secure. It even comes with a self-destruct button! Check it out here: https://telegram.org/
You can’t chat to everyone at once
Between friends, family and significant others it can be really hard to touch base with everyone while on your travels. Group messaging apps like ‘Whatsapp’ can really help with this. You simply group together the people you want to message, give the group a name and you’re off. https://www.whatsapp.com/
If you want to reach people without an app, you could also set up a mailing list on your email account. This will allow you to send email updates on your travels to multiple addresses in just one click.
So much to say, so little time!
Sometimes when you’re trying to squeeze as much as possible into your travel experience, it’s hard to tell loved ones everything you’ve been up to in a short call or message. Luckily apps like ‘Live trekker’ can help.
This app lets you track exactly where you’ve been on the map, add notes and photos and share it with your loved ones. This way you can give your friends and family a complete picture of where you’ve been and what you’ve seen without missing a detail. It’s also a great way to help them track your travels, showing family you’re safe if you’re too busy to check in.
Find out more about it here: https://www.livetrekker.com/
Are you traveling this Christmas? How do you keep in touch with family and friends during the festive period? Comment below to tell us about any new apps or tech we’ve missed!