March is the unofficial month of spring break
How many travellers still think that they have to pay astronomical fees when they use their phone abroad? If you're like many travellers, you only turn off airplane mode once you're back home, because you're terrified of receiving a bill riddled with sky-high data charges from your local service provider.
In this day and age if we are not carrying our cellphones with us 24/7 we don't feel fully dressed! In our daily lives we are in a way slaves to these devices. People who feel they need to be in touch with you wherever you are and disappointment turns to anger if you do not pick up.
Imagine what could happen if you were on vacation and your cellphone rings, the panic sets in that maybe you forgot to turn your device on "airplane mode" dreading that bill when it arrives in the mail the following months asking you for hundreds of dollars in roaming charges.
Well worry no longer, there are many "apps" that you can download before you leave home and keep in touch for "FREE"
If you don't have a local SIM card to call and text at a low price, here are five mobile apps that keep travellers in touch with friends and family for free while travelling out of Canada, all you need is a secure Wi-Fi connection!
Without a doubt the most popular messaging system on the planet, Facebook Messenger allows you to send photos, attachments and texts for free to your friends. It's also possible to call toll free and see each other on video using all kinds of filters.
Good to know for reluctant Internet users: it is not necessary to be registered on Facebook to use the application.
The most practical aspect of Skype is that it allows you to call, by voice or video, on any device (landline or mobile; computer, tablet, etc) from anywhere in the world.
The exchanges are free between Skype users but if you're using a landline it can cost a few cents; in any case, the bill is ridiculously cheap and will be cheaper than that issued by Canadian telecoms for a call abroad.
Currently owned by the Facebook empire, the WhatsApp app has more than one billion users from around the world.
It's simple and easy to use, and once installed, users can send photos, videos, text and recording audio for absolutely free of charge to any contacts who also installed the app on their mobile phone. The ID number of each user is their phone number.
Hangouts is a creation of Google, and it's accessed through its Gmail mailbox, and, like the others, allows sending files of all kinds and messages, in addition to allowing group video calls. It's especially easy if you have a Gmail email address.
If your contacts also have an Apple device (iPhone, iPad or MacBook), it is possible to call them by video just by clicking on the FaceTime option when placing the call instead of the phone button. For face-to-face conversations ... or almost!
Tour Operator Phone Home For Free
Check with your tour company or airline you are going on vacation with, a lot of them have "Phone Home For Free" apps, all you need to do is enter your confirmation number to login.