The Ultimate Guide to Staying Connected on Vacation Abroad

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Know That Skype Is Still Your Friend

Lo and bold, Skype is still a useful tool, but not for the obvious reasons.

While it’s a great tool for keeping in touch with people back home for free (the caveat being that you’ve got to teach Grandma how to use it), Skype allows free calls to toll-free numbers in the U.S—like the one that your bank might have.

Never fear if your bank has frozen your ATM card or if you need to settle a quick utility bill: As long as you’re connected to a Wi-Fi signal, you can make calls settling emergency household matters back home.

(MORE: Call Me! But Not on Skype or Any Other Videophone)

While the simple option is to roam internationally, its expensive costs don’t really make it a great option for everyday use while traveling. The above tactics should work for any passport-holding traveler, whether you’re backpacking through Europe or you’re pining for Battlestar Galactica in Thailand. Just also don’t forget to turn off your devices once in a while, listen to the birds and go have some fun while you’re at it.

MORE: 25 Essential Apps for Travelers

Erica Ho currently lives in Hong Kong, and still gets homesick for Mexican food family all the time. She’s also still hooked on a Battlestar Galactica marathon because of her stupid Netflix account.

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