If you, a family member or a close friend are travelling during the holiday season, especially at Christmas time, it’s important to stay in touch, possibly using a calling app or video chat. Of course, not everyone has access to a smartphone or the internet, especially the older generation, so the more traditional methods, such as a telephone, may have to be used. Regardless of whether you’re the one travelling or staying at home, this can be extremely expensive, depending on where you are calling from or to, so apps, usually available for free on Google Play and the App Store, are invaluable.
You can make cheap international calls, to anywhere in the world, at incredibly low rates because an app such as Yolla will use your mobile phone’s internet connection, regardless of whether it is WiFi, 3G or 4G/LTE, instead of phone credits. So let’s compare this method of staying in touch against other more conventional ways.
Using a local postal service
Postcards and letters are always lovely to receive, as are Christmas cards, and they act as a lasting keepsake, however, they can take a long time to arrive. The problem with that is they are no longer up-to-date with your news and, as any parent will tell you, it’s not the same as seeing you or hearing your voice, so better to phone mum and dad regularly, together with sending the odd postcard to show the places you are visiting. Christmas cards are, of course, wonderful, but imagine you are in a non-Christian country, such as Saudi Arabia, to find such treasures would indeed be a difficult task.
Local postal services in many countries can be less than reliable, so you cannot be sure when your letter or card will reach its destination, which could result in family and friends worrying about whether you are okay. Saudi Arabia has always been a difficult country to keep in contact with, as the government there has been known to block certain internet options, so the post or international calling may be your only choice.
Using social media to stay in touch
There are several messaging options available, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram. Each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. The main plus is that you can message in real-time, almost having a conversation, but not quite, because, realistically, it is a totally impersonal way to communicate. However, you can send emojis and Gifs, but they still cannot compete with an app like Yolla, with its option to make cheap international calls, where you can actually hear each others voices and enjoy your conversation in a more interactive way. As you will be able to make cheap calls to almost anywhere in the world, this should, perhaps, be your main form of communication; messenger options are great for in between times. Video calling is an excellent way to stay in touch with loved ones, however, it is dependent on both ends having a good internet connection – constant screen freezing is extremely frustrating, especially when it crashes altogether and the connection is lost.
Using an app for low cost calls
Be sure to use a reliable app, such as Yolla, as the last thing you want is for it to fail when calling certain countries where communication systems are not 100% reliable. The app will allow you to make international calling easy, even calls to Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether you are at home in the UK, Canada or the USA or wanting to make cheap calls from wherever you are travelling. The quality of the call is also important so be sure to find an app that offers free HD calls to other users of the same app. Check the calling rates because these can vary – a good option will provide you with first class quality calls worldwide, at exceptionally low rates.
No need to worry about making just a quick call because of the expense; to phone mum and dad, even if they are living on the other side of the world, can go on for as long as you both want without worrying about the cost. Whichever method you choose, remember – sometimes, just making a phone call, using a calling app, will put a huge smile on a loved ones face and set their mind at rest that all is well.