Keeping in touch – a selection of apps and possibilities

Keeping in touch with your friends and family while traveling has never been as easy as today. Decades ago a letter, postcards or an expensive international call were the only ways to contact your loved ones back home. With advancing technology such as laptops, tablet computers and smartphones this has become much easier and beside that trips are becoming shorter, a lot of trips are one week or shorter what makes communicating by mail even less interesting.
What is interesting today, what are we using to keep in touch? Let us point out our favorites:

Social Networks

Social Networks have become an important factor while travelling today. Most people are participating on minimum one platform, we are even available on several ones but out favorite is Instagram. We are using Instagram on private basis to share pictures of what we like, see and experience but we are also doing it for The Alter Lookout during traveling.

Many people are using Instagram to share their pictures and you can even send direct messages with pictures to another user for some time now which is like a private message.

Instant Messengers

Instant messengers are more than just sending a message. Many messengers offer the possibility to give a call via internet or even do video calls. Sending pictures, documents and music are also possible what makes them a perfect company wherever you are. Our favorites:

BBM (Blackberry Messenger)– BBM is perfect on the go, you can send messages, do voice calls through internet, pictures can be sent in high quality and it is quite secure. It is also possible to send timed messages and pictures (like on Snapchat), you can recall an unread message or do a private chat that destructs after finishing it. The messenger is available on Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and iOS so that it doesn’t matter what phone the other party is using. If both are using a Blackberry 10 device you can also do video calls (hopefully this feature will be available between all platforms soon).

BBM Screenshot

Whatsapp – Not too secure, but common, most people use Whatsapp and so do we. The messenger has improved in the last time and made voice calls possible which makes you able to call your beloved ones without paying roaming fees. A few cool features such as sending more different data formats or a function such as self-destroying pictures are missing, but the messenger is mostly doing its job.

Snapchat – With Snapchat you can send self-destructing pictures with short messages to your friends. It’s a nice platform to have some fun while on the road but not perfect for longer chats, other messengers are doing a better job in this. Nonetheless the platform idea is good and fun!

Clouds

Are you planning a roundtrip and want your friends to be involved? Clouds are a way to make this possible. You can upload pictures to a folder that you can make available to your friends to let them see what you are doing and where you are. Big Cloud-Storage-Providers are Onedrive.live.com, box.com or dropbox.com for example.

E-Mail

Many people I know are not using e-mails frequently. But why? It’s quite nice to be able to write a longer message and add some pictures to it especially if you are in an area where you don’t have internet all the time. You can summarize your last days in an internet café, on your laptop, tablet or your smartphone, no matter where, you have the possibility to tell your friends some more than just a few lines in a messenger chat.

Blog

If you are doing a longer trip, it is also a great way to record your experiences and routes on a personal blog, no matter if you are using it for a long time already or if you just open one up for a specific trip. You can show pictures and describe what you see, feel and experience during your travels. Don’t be afraid if you never had a blog before or don’t think you’re not a good writer, just go ahead and give it a try!

What is your way to stay in contact with family and friends while you are traveling, no matter if it’s a domestic trip or international. We will be happy to hear from you and hope you liked our tips and might be able to use them 🙂
As always, you can contact us by commenting below or just dropping an e-mail to thealterlookout@freenet.de in case you have any questions or suggestions.

Hendrik & Jardena

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2 thoughts on “Keeping in touch – a selection of apps and possibilities

    • That’s a cool tip, thanks 🙂 Unfortunately it is only available for iOS, what makes it available to less than 20% of smartphone holders worldwide only and we can only test Android and Blackberry apps :-/ But fortunately there are other similar apps that are operating on other plattforms also.

      I have been to Craiova in February, where they actually had no postcards, I could’ve made use of such an app on that trip 😉

      Like

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