Use these 4 services to stay close to your loved ones when away for the holidays

Keeping close even when abroad
Keeping close even when abroad

Traveling abroad is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s for business or pleasure; I love the process of packing a bag, getting on a plane and experiencing new places. I even enjoy re-visiting places that I’ve already been to, because there is always something new to discover. The one thing that I always find challenging when traveling abroad is staying connected with friends and loved ones.

Being able to have that one last call of the day to your spouse to say “goodnight”, or to tell your kids you love them before they go to bed, is so important while away.

Thank god and even more importantly Mr. Steve Jobs, for making being abroad a bit easier with the inventions of new technologies, which enable us to talk and even see our loved ones no matter where in the world we are.

Keeping close even when abroad.
Keeping close even when abroad. Photo credit: Conrado Tramontini (Conras) / / CC BY-NC

So if you’re planning to travel abroad soon – make sure you have at least one of these apps / services in your possession.

4 Apps that will make you feel at close even when abroad


Admittedly , this one is only for Apple users. FaceTime was introduced by Apple in 2010 with the release of the iPhone 4. It allows people to video chat with each other over Wi-Fi or 3g. If you are able to connect to the internet, then you can contact any friends who has an iOS device or a mac.

It’s a great solution for video conferencing and it will definitely help you feel closer to your friends and loved ones from miles away. Recently, with the release of iOS 7, Apple introduced FaceTime audio calls which allows you to make VoIP calls to your contacts that use iOS devices.


Skype is the veteran of video and audio calls online. Released on 2003 and bought by Microsoft in 2011, Skype has been the ‘go to’ service for keeping in touch, while away. It’s audio and video calls are free for Skype to Skype calls. And more recently, you are able to Skype from your smartphones and Tablets as well.

Downloading the app, and using it for video or audio calls within the app to other users using the app, is free. Calling landlines or numbers outside of Skype, sending text messages or having a multiplay video conference will cost you.

Skype works on many devices
Skype works on many devices


Whatsapp was the poster boy of breaking out of the restrictions of your mobile carriers. It was the first app to let you text whomever you want for free without worrying about which mobile carrier your friend was using.

Now, with over 350 Million monthly active users and at the onetime, low cost of only a dollar- Whatsapp is still one of the leaders in the industry. It allows you to text friends, send pictures, short voice messages and its most famous feature – have group chats easily and at no cost.

For texting, Whatsapp is the most convenient tool and it has an app for all platforms, as long as you have a data connection.


If FaceTime was a treat for Apple lovers, Travee is the prize for Android users. Travee, a new Android VoIP lets users make and receive calls from anywhere in the world without you having to use a vanity number or deal with Sim cards, which is usually  the hassle when it comes to VoiP apps. To sweeten the deal – Only one side has to actually have the app to make the VoIP call.

Usually you’d had to let all your contacts know that you’re traveling and they can either reach you in a temporary number or through a certain app (Like Skype mentioned earlier or Viber). With Travee, you do nothing.

You simply install the app on your Android phone and fly wherever you want. When you’ll make an outgoing call – your number will appear on your contacts screen as if you never left, and if someone calls you, it automatically forward the call to Travee and they wouldn’t even know you’re using the app.

Being away from loved ones is always hard, but by using technology you can make it easier and more affordable than ever before. What’s the app you use most when traveling abroad?

About the Author
Roy Povarchik is a consultant for community building for startups and brand, specialising in inbound and content marketing. Roy is a part of Blonde 2.0 PR team. Follow him on Twitter.