5 Great Apps for travelers to keep in touch
No matter where we go, we always need to keep in touch with the people back home. This could be watching the kids soccer game or reviewing an incompetent employees documents before they’re submitted. Some of these apps are extremely common for smart phone users and others are not. Having these apps will give you a variety of abilities at very little or no cost.
They all also use internet which is especially important for the international traveler who doesn’t want to pay both arms and a leg for an international data plan. I will go into some ways to use local cell networks later but internet is widely available and free at most hotels around the world. Enough talk, let’s start with the most common of the 5 great apps for travelers to keep in touch.
Of course Skype makes the list of the 5 great apps for traveler! It’s one of the top apps for everyone isn’t it? Because I’m almost certain most of you are using Skype already, I’ll keep this simple. Skype allows you to text, call, and face-to-face chat with any other Skype user for free! Just sign up for a Skype account and you can feel like a financially responsible adult for the day. If you really want to, you can set up a pre-paid Skype account that will let you use the app to call regular phones at a reasonable rate and receive calls from non-Skype callers. But before you decide to do that make sure to check out…
Yes indeedy, MagicJack has a smartphone app that gives you the same low prices it’s been advertising for years. Unlimited calls to the U.S. for $20/year! Better yet, you don’t have to pay for the plug that used to connect it to the internet when using the app. Need it to get even better than that? They’re advertising a 30 day free trial! (in my announcer voice)But wait, there’s more. You don’t even need to pay the $19.95/year for outgoing calls! So do some price comparison and see which works best for you. I do mean see, they both offer free services and there’s no reason not to try them both out. This might be good for those of you who live in the holler’s and get no cell signal as well. I have and use both, but I don’t pay for my Skype and I get quite a discount purchasing my MajicJack for 5 years at a time. This is definitely one of the 5 great apps for travelers to keep in touch.
This was a tough choice really. Why not just wait until your done traveling to upload your pictures or use something else? Flickr made it onto the 5 great apps for travelers to keep in touch for one simple reason. You can drive around for thirty minutes in the morning, snap a lot of pictures of llamas and waterfalls and old churches then get back to what you really travel for. Every couple of hours you can upload a new picture onto Flickr while getting completely hammered with a bunch of señoritas and people will think you’ve been cultured when you return. Plus, there’s no chatting, liking, or questions that need to be answered like other apps. Just watch out for the time stamp if you’re trying to play off the “busy all day” card.
No, WhatsApp. It’s a bit old and somewhat outdated, but nothing replaces the feel of a text message like a text message. Yes, Skype will do this for you and that’s why Skype was number one, but I’m including it and you don’t have to like it. It’s simple and just feels right. And really, if you’re traveling the world, chances are you can afford the 99 cent price tag. It also doesn’t have that awkward lag that Skype occasionally gets.
I wouldn’t even be allowed to call this post the 5 Great Apps For Travelers To Keep In Touch without including Google Drive. I’d probably have to call it 4. This is one that almost didn’t make the cut but it’s a great way to pass along work type information. The Google Drive app has it’s limitations, but it provides a superior reading experience to browsers for viewing Google Docs and features an “open in” option that allows you to open in a browser for editing. If you haven’t explored Google Docs yet, you’re really missing out. Google got this one right and it’s only getting better. The Drive app also allows you to save and update the form for viewing when you are offline.
So that’s it, plain and simple. 5 great apps for travelers to keep in touch with friends, family, and the office while away. Are they the best? That’s debatable but they’re cheap, easy, and reliable. Next time I’ll address some that cost more and are well worth it.