Can You Hear Me Now?
Most Common Communication Methods for International Travel
By A’Dia G
When traveling it is important to maximize all resources available to you. Whether you obtain maps of the local area or even schedules for the nearest bus routes, this information is essential during your travels. Just like maps and schedules, the ability to communicate in another country is a basic but critical resource. Due to technological advancements, there are several ways to communicate with others while traveling. Most telecommunication companies offer vast international packages that allows you to talk, text and video chat. However, for those who are new to travel or traveling on a budget, using communication applications can be helpful.
Side Note: In this post I will explain applications that both Android and iPhone users can take advantage of. We can debate which operating system is better later...
One of the main communication applications is GroupMe. This app is designed especially for group messaging, allowing users to communicate in chats with up to hundreds of others. Five hundred to be exact. Users can chat within the group, or direct message specific individuals without having the person's phone number. Skype calling is also an option with the application. Other benefits of GroupMe are photo sharing, creating polls and adding events to the group’s calendar.
GroupMe chats, similar to most group chats, can become overwhelming. However, using the application for travel is beneficial especially for international conferences and other events.
Now to be honest and completely transparent, I use this application the most during my travels. Mostly to connect with people that have androids. Whatsapp is simplistic, allowing you to connect to people via text messaging, video or audio call. I prefer this platform because it is easy to use and because of its popularity in other countries. Similar to GroupMe, Whatsapp allows group messaging as well and users can send photos and videos to others within the app.
Another Side-Note: The feature of Whatsapp that I love the most are the read receipts notifications. These notifications ensure that I am aware of when my friends and family have received, seen and read my texts.
The new but not so new kid on the block, Telegram, offers fast and secure message capability for its users. Similar to both GroupMe and WhatsApp, the platform allows group messaging, and the sharing of photos, videos and files. Unlike the other two apps, Telegram offers cloud-based messaging, syncing your messages from several devices at once. You won't miss out on the conversation with this app!
#4: Social Media
Don’t sleep on the social media platforms. Both Facebook and Instagram have communication capabilities within their apps. Facebook Messenger allows you to talk, direct message and video chat with other users. Similarly, Instagram allows you to do the same. People with Instagram accounts are also able to have group video and audio calls.
Instagram might be the right fit for you….if you can remember the many IG handles!
These free methods of communication are few of many available applications. As long as there is a good wi-fi connection you will be able to communicate with those around you and far away. Safe travels everyone!