It’s easy to imagine not having cell phone service while traveling to Canada, Mexico, and actually anywhere internationally since most U.S. companies primary work within the U.S. There are solutions though. In today’s world, internet access is abundant and there is usually a free wi-fi network that you can use to stay connected to people back home. There are also many free apps that are designed to keep you connected while traveling internationally.
Apps to Stay Connected
At Twigby, we did our research and found free messaging apps that will keep you connected while traveling anywhere in the world. No matter where you are, these apps will help you stay connected to call or message anyone for free while using wi-fi.
Google Duo for Androids or iPhones
Google Duo is a free calling and video chat app that comes preinstalled on Android phones. Although it comes preinstalled and is primarily used on Android, iPhone users can download Google Duo as well. Google Duo can also be used on the computer via web browser. You don’t need a Google account to use this app, but you do have to verify your phone number and allow access to your contact’s list. When making a call with Duo, make sure the person you are calling has Duo downloaded on their phone too. However, if you created a call on Duo and shared the link with someone to use on the computer, they are simply taken to duo.google.com and therefore do not need the app because they are on the computer using a web browser. Duo works over both Wi-Fi and cellular data. One of the perks of Google Duo is that you can make it use Wi-Fi only. This is ideal when traveling outside of the U.S. To set up Duo to use Wi-Fi only, open your phone’s Settings, locate Data Usage or Cellular Data, and turn Mobile Data or Cellular Data off. If for some reason Google Duo is not installed on your Android, you can download it from the Google Play Store. iPhone users can download Duo from the App Store.
iMessage and FaceTime For iPhones
If you are an iPhone user and traveling internationally, iMessage and FaceTime are your means of staying connected to your friends and family who are also iPhone users. If there is a wi-fi connection available that you can connect to, you will be able to stay in contact with other iPhone users. When your iPhone is connected to wi-fi, text messages and picture/video messages can be sent to other Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc) using iMessage. You can also call people using FaceTime audio or FaceTime video. FaceTime audio would be used to make a phone call while FaceTime video would be for video calling. Click here to see how to turn iMessage and FaceTime on or off.
Viber Messenger is a free app that can be used on both Androids and iPhones to keep you in touch with people back home when you’re traveling abroad. When connected to wi-fi, using Viber Messenger to stay in touch is free and easy. You will create a Viber account by signing up with your phone number. After your account is successfully created, you will be able to make phone calls, video calls, and send text messages all for free. Just be sure that the friends and family you want to stay in contact with is using the Viber Messenger app too. The Viber Messenger app is available for download on both Android and iPhone.
WhatsApp Messenger is a free messaging and calling app that uses your phone number as an identifier. The app is available for both Android and iPhone. WhatsApp will work over a wi-fi network to let you message and call friends and family who also have WhatsApp Messenger downloaded on their phone. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive message, calls, photos, videos, documents, and voice messages. Call or message your friends and family even if they’re in another country. There is no extra charge! Download WhatsApp Messenger on your Android or your iPhone.
Messenger is an app that allows you to send messages and make calls for free when connected to wi-fi. Initially, Messenger started out as app for Facebook users, but you don’t need a Facebook account to use Messenger anymore. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can use Messenger by creating an account with just your name and phone number. If you are on Facebook, you can use Messenger by logging in through your Facebook account. Message, call, or video chat your friends and family near and far. Don’t forget that the people who you will want to stay in contact with using Messenger will need to have the Messenger app as well. The Messenger app is available for both Android and iPhone.
Whether you are traveling for business or you’re on a cruise to tropical islands, we hope you have a better understanding on how to keep in touch with your friends and family while traveling internationally. Wherever you go, making sure that you are still connected is easy and free. Just remember, all you need is wi-fi or a free messaging and calling app.