Keeping in contact with friends, family and the office can be difficult when you’re on the road. Extended travel trips often mean working long hours, getting used to a new environment and adjusting to a new culture. Yet technology has never made it easier to stay in touch, and it’s especially necessary if you’re battling homesickness! Here are Clarendon Serviced Apartments top tips for staying connected even when you’re travelling.
1. Pick up the phone
Even if you’re abroad you can pick up the phone and call home using a calling card or international SIM. It can be expensive, however fortunately technology is there to step in. You can set up a Google Voice number which will dial directly through to your telephone but use the internet rather than a phone network. It’s cheaper than a standard long-distance call but you do need to set up a Google account to use it.
Find a step by step guide to setting up a Google Voice number here: https://support.google.com/voice/answer/150640?hl=en
2. Use video chat
Most smartphones now have a video chat feature where you use the front-facing camera in your phone to see the person you’re talking to. It’s great for when you want to see your family, especially if you have kids who can often be monosyllabic on the phone, but it can be expensive. Skype is a cheaper alternative. It comes as both a mobile or desktop app so you can use it on your computer if you’re hooked up to the internet. Apple devices include a feature called Face Time which does the same thing. If you’re using the mobile app on your smartphone make sure your smartphone is in airplane mode to avoid any unexpected roaming fees if you get bumped from the Wi-Fi onto a 3G connection.
3. Blog it
A new survey revealed that nearly two thirds of travellers (64%) said they’d prefer to keep in touch with family via the internet rather than the telephone. While most of us have a social media profile it make sense to use these networks for staying in touch. If you have your own personal blog you can use this to write about your experiences, or share images via Flickr or Instagram. Facebook enables you write quite lengthy updates and share images as well as video. YouTube might be a good way of sharing video too or why not try Tumblr. Your friends and family can share your experiences with you and stay in touch while you’re away.
4. Keep it old fashioned – write a letter
There’s something lovely about getting a letter and it feels deeply personal as well as nostalgic. Think about your grandparents who conducted entire relationships using the written word. You have to put real effort in to write a letter or choose a postcard and they often become treasured keepsakes.
5. Keep in touch with the kids
Its unlikely young children will read a letter, or write one back. Yet technology makes it easier to instantly connect with them while you’re on the road. An audio or video recording with a good night message, or perhaps reading a bedtime story will help remind them you’re thinking of them. Many parents have taken a favourite stuffed toy on a business trip and sent home pictures of it along the way.
At each of Clarendon’s serviced apartments we provide free Wi-Fi as part of our nightly rate so it’s easier for business travellers to use their mobile devices and stay in touch with home. We also have phones on hand so you can just make an easy call and check in. We have locations across London from Canary Wharf, The City, the West End, South West and West London so wherever you are you can always touch base with home