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Connect and Discover  

Communication 

 Overseas charges are no fun; fees per minute will have you wrap up a conversation in seconds, and international cell phone plans can vary. Pro tip: if your cell phone is unlocked, you can purchase a sim card at your travel destination (buy a sim card from a reliable source. Ex: the airport, new stands, vending machines). This will allow you to communicate on your phone through these apps. 

Whatsapp is very popular and a must if you have family living abroad. My family uses it often. The free platform allows you to communicate via message, phone, or video call through the app. You can even create a group chat. You will need cell data or WIFI (you can purchase a sim card to provide both).

Airalo allows you to use your unlocked smartphone to connect to mobile networks in different countries without needing to physically change your SIM card. Airalo lets you purchase and activate virtual SIM cards (eSIMs) for specific countries directly on your device. This means you can access local mobile data and make calls using local rates while abroad, just as if you had a physical SIM card from that country. 

Facebook Messenger provides provides free text and quality video calls. If you don’t yet have a Facebook account, create one to access Messenger and avoid international fees. Like the other communication apps mentioned, you will need either cell data, Wifi, or a sim card.

Instagram allows you to call, message, and video chat. The platform permits up to six people on a video call. Great right? The app is a great way to stay in touch and send all kinds of memes.

Zoom has become more popular since the 2020 pand… You know. Zoom offers a free basic plan which allows you to have 40 minutes each session (either video chat or phone call). As long as you have reliable internet connection over WiFi, you should have no issues communicating.

Google Translate is a great tool to help you navigate almost any language barrier and is 100% free. The app allows you to engage in real-time conversations with native speakers (though it may feel a bit odd, it will help you communicate. ) You can choose between English and over 100 other languages. Type in the “enter text” box or speak into your microphone for language translation. Use your camera to translate signs, written docs, food labels, menus, and more.

Location Sharing 

Share My Location is a great way to keep your loved ones up to date on your location while traveling. You can access this feature through your Apple IOS device settings, contact, or messenger app. Options include sharing your current location, sharing for one hour or until the end of the day, or indefinitely (until you click stop sharing location). This feature provides real-time location sharing and operates via Wifi or cell data.

Google Maps has a share location option for Android and IOS devices. You can access this by 1) opening the Google Maps app, tapping your initials or picture, 2) clicking Location Share, and 3) choosing who you want to share your location with. The app can share for as long as you have the location-sharing feature on.

Life360 can share your location with a group of people. Not only are loved ones able to see your position, but You can also see theirs along with other things, such as their cell battery and car speed while driving, and you can send messages through the app. The standard version is free and provides all the details mentioned.