Staying in touch on a working holiday using the internet, international SIM cards and phone cards.
Travelling overseas is an adventure, an opportunity to get away from home and to enjoy independence. However, don’t forget that people at home will be desperate to hear what you are up to. Make sure your mobile phone will work overseas and think about buying an international SIM to help you stay in regular contact. Here are a few more things to think about before you start your adventure.
Staying in Touch in 15 seconds
- Stay in touch with home regularly by phone, text, blog or email
- International mobile roaming fees can be high (calls, text and data)
- Get an international SIM and data SIM to use while travelling
- If you are taking your mobile from home make sure it’s unlocked
- A local mobile phone plan is useful if you are spending time in one country
- Pay-as-you-go phone cards offer very cheap international calls
- Internet access via cafes and wifi spots is normally good
Ways to stay in touch
International SIM card
Its tempting to rely on your current mobile phone and home network. You have all of your apps, photos and music at your finger tips. However, international roaming charges can be massively expensive especially if you use your phone for data services. To keep costs down, buy an international SIM card. Get it before you travel and share your new number with friends and family. If you’re taking a tablet or laptop you can also invest in an International Data Roaming SIM. In general the costs aren’t as low as using a local tariff but they are much cheaper than overseas roaming. First check what your current provider will charge for using your phone abroad and then compare the costs with an international SIM. Note: costs vary depending on where you are and where you are calling so check your key destinations to make sure you know what you you’ll be paying.
If you’re taking your mobile from home make sure you have it unlocked before you travel.
Local SIM card
If you are going to be staying in one country for several months then its worth investing in a local SIM card. If you are going on a working holiday to America the Ekit Global SIM card comes with 2 phone numbers: a US number and a global number giving you the best of both worlds.
International phone cards
While you’re away you can pick up very affordable phone cards which offer cheap international calls. They work on a pay as you go basis; top-up by phone or online. To use the card you dial an access number and then make the international call. They are ideal if you are using public pay phones or a local SIM card.
Working Holiday Store partner Ekit
Working Holiday Store partner Ekit offers a variety of telecom solutions for travellers including a Explorer SIM, International Data SIM and Phone Cards all of which will help you to keep a cap on the cost of staying in touch.
The Explorer SIM works in 190 countries with calls from £0.10 per minute. It also comes with an Online Travel Journal function that automatically plots your journey and allows you to add messages and photos so that friends can see where you’ve been and what you are up to. Ideal if you don’t want the fuss of regularly updating a personal blog.
ekit SIM cards can be purchased to fit any kind of handset or tablet (SIM, microSIM, nano SIM)
Internet cafe’s and wi-fi
There are 1000’s of wireless hot-spots and internet cafes around the world and this is likely to be one of the cheapest ways to access the internet. You’ll need to set aside some time in your day to update your profile, send emails, FaceTime or SKYPE.
Libraries are a good place to get online, often for free.
The access speeds and prices vary so make sure you check out all options before regularly using a cafe or hot-spot.
With so many people now relying on free open Wi-Fi networks there has been an increase if data theft and related issues. Please take some time to read our Latest News article explaining how to avoid issues when using open networks.