There are probably many ways you can phone home, while you are abroad. Most of them are relevantly cheap, but over time it can become a considerable expense, especially if you like to hear from your friends and relatives often.
Nowadays most people use Skype for text, voice and video chat. It’s a convenient and free way to communicate depending only on an active Internet connection from both sides. Sadly, not all of us can be in front of the computer all the time, or have restricted access to the Internet at work. Furthermore, making a landline call has its advantages. Many people can answer the phone, quality can be better and it is more likely to reach people.
There are many VoIP services that charge close to nothing for international calls and most of the times mobile calls are at a pretty decent rate too. After researching the topic myself I came to understand that www.justvoip.com is probably the best offer one can get. It’s easy to start using their service. You simply download their software, create an account and purchase credit. You’ll now say “Hey, I thought it’s free”. Sadly, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
Not 100% free, but still the best offer around
You can start with only 12.50 Euros (10 Euro in credits, 2 Euros in VAT and 0.50 processing fee). You can then check the rates yourself, but just to give you a quick example – 10 Euro equal 142 minutes to UK mobile phones (0.07 cents per minute) and unlimited calls to any landline number in the UK for 120 days. Once you top up your account you can call friends and family in Australia for free. If you like call Australian mobile numbers it will cost you only 0.055 Euro cents per minute, or 181 minutes with Australian mobile numbers for only 12.50 Euros.
Use JustVoIP services without a computer
It gets even better. If you don’t have a computer to place the call, you can dial your local access number from a landline or mobile phone (provided once you login to your account) and then enter the number you wish to call. Last week I was able to give my father a call in Luxembourg, while I was travelling to work and it cost me only 5 cents more for a connection fee, but I was able to get the work done. One of the features I find interesting if the ability to create a call between 2 landline numbers completely free. You can use the phone2phone feature to dial your, let’s say, UK home number and then an Australian landline number and talk in the comfort of your bed with the other end of the world.
What is your way to phone relatives and friends when they are away?
How do you keep in touch with your close friends and family? Do you use VoIP, e-mail, or regular telecom services? Go ahead and share your way and tell me if you find a better offer. Your experience can make a difference for fellow travellers.