When you're traveling, it's difficult to balance living in the moment and keeping in touch with family and friends back home. Here are five ways to keep in touch with loved ones while abroad.
Although the occasional text and phone call is a nice way to check in, nothing beats a face-to-face interaction with video calling. With T-Mobile's LG G5 smartphone plan, you can take advantage of free unlimited data if you're in Brazil or Europe. With a 16-megapixel camera, the LG G5 provides your loved ones with a crisp image of you as you update them on your adventures. The best part of video calling is that you can take your friends and family to all the wonderful places you'll be visiting, like Big Ben in London or the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
If you have a huge family and tons of friends who are curious about your travels, start a blog. Instead of having to update every family member about all the amazing cuisine you've eaten, the people you've met and the places you've been, update your blog with a short paragraph or two about what you've been up to and a few photos to give everyone at home the full experience. Send your blog's link to your fan club back home so they can read and comment on your posts. This also creates a great community of support and appreciation.
There is a smartphone app for every style of communication. If want to keep in touch with every family member and friend personally, apps like Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp let you send text and audio messages, make phone calls and send and receive photos and videos. If you are really bad at keeping in touch or remembering to do so, the smartphone app Bond is for you. With Bond you choose all the individuals you would like to stay in touch with and how often you would like to be reminded to contact them. Bond then sends you a reminder, and with one swipe you can call, text, email or video call them right then and there, leaving no room for procrastination.
For your immediate family, Life360 is a family circle smartphone app that allows you to exchange group messages and track each other's locations. This app is perfect for first time travelers or those traveling solo because the app sends your family automatic check-ins when you arrive to your hotel, the local coffee shop or the airport between destinations.
Updating your Facebook status with your current travel plans or your Instagram with photos of your adventure keeps your family and friends in the loop. This way, you don't have to send your mom, sister, uncle, best friend and co-worker the same update and photo. Instead, you can focus on enjoying your travels while still being able to inform everyone (and perhaps brag a little) about what an amazing time you're having abroad.
Technology makes it easy to keep in touch while you're abroad, but who doesn't enjoy receiving a postcard or letter in their mailbox every now and then? Sending your loved ones a postcard from your foreign destination shows how much you miss them and gives them a little souvenir to enjoy and cherish.