When abroad, this app can save you on calls and texts, even to landlines and mobiles.
I’d be surprised if you haven’t already heard of Skype. Install it on your computer, phone or tablet and you can talk for free over the internet to anyone else who is also using it. It uses a technology called VOIP, which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocal.
What you might not know is that you can buy month by month subscriptions for unlimited calls to landlines. You can also call many free phone numbers even without credit.
You can get a month long free trial of its Unlimited World service, which offers landline calls to anywhere in the world. It’s a great option if you’re off on a long trip. Make sure you cancel it within 27 days of starting the trial or you’ll be charged for the next month.
We found it particularly useful while travelling around South America last year – calling ahead to confirm accommodation, meeting up with friends and phoning Halifax when my wallet was stolen!
Once you’ve used the trial, you can get packages for individual countries, though prices and terms vary. A month of unlimited landline and mobile calls to the US costs £1.99. To China, just 79p. Not all packages include mobiles, and some aren’t unlimited, so check before buying.
Pay as you go credit is also available but there are cheaper alternatives out there.
The free phone option is really handy too, as you don’t even need credit for this to work. Great for UK use as 0800 is rarely included in allowances. Check the Skype site though for specifics of the country you are visiting.
Data charges can be high, so as long as you’re using wi-fi (at home and abroad) it won’t cost you anything extra.
There are other similar services available for app to app chats, such as Viber and Apple’s FaceTime.