Staying Connected While Traveling Overseas, But Only If You Want To

Dec 22, 2016

Once upon a time, traveling overseas meant it was difficult to call back to the United States, unless you carried a calling card or wanted to pay exorbitant fees. That’s not the case anymore.

This week on Going Places, special guest Tyson Verse tells us some of his recommendations for keeping in touch while traveling. Verse is a tour leader who spends a lot of time in Asia.

Google Apps

Verse enjoys Google products. He’s not connected to or paid by the company, he just likes them.

Google Hangouts allows you to ring a telephone anywhere in North America. It’s available across various platforms, and free if you have a good WiFi connection. Handy if you need to call home – or call the bank to deal with credit card issues.

Google Voice gives you an alias phone number you can use to receive calls. That means someone in the states might call an American phone number, and if you’re connected to WiFi abroad, you can receive that call.

Traditional Phone Carriers

Many of them offer little service for a lot of money. Look for deals, though. For example, T-Mobile allows free in-flight text messaging and web access on some airlines.

OK, But Do You Want To Stay Connected?

There are some virtues to using travel as an opportunity to disconnect – from work, from stress back home, from the routine of daily life.

“I’ve never had that option,” says Verse, whose work is very often the reason he’s traveling.

But know that just because you’re able to keep in touch while you travel doesn’t mean you must. These are just resources for when you need or want to reach out or be reached.

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"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel topics. Special guest commentator Tyson Verse is a travel arranger and tour leader. Our usual travel expert, Matthew Brumley of Earthbound Expeditions, will return next week.