Mobiles Phones: the New Postcard?

by : David Collins

In the past, summer holidays were about getting away for a week to a sunny climate or a seaside resort.

Many of us will remember the postcards we used to buy for our friends and family back home. Picking out those cheeky cards before mailing them back home was once a part of a family holiday - granted of course, that you didn't get back before the card did.

Nowadays people have access to mobile phones, and use this as their main method of communication - including on their holidays.

Sending a text to your mates - usually accompanied by a picture of yourself on a sunny beach - has seemingly replaced the concept of sending a postcard.

However, whilst it may be a quicker option, it may not necessarily be the cheapest. Many users of mobile phones have spoken of the horrors of their sky-high bills upon returning home.

Making calls from abroad to back home can be a costly part of going on holiday. Whilst many choose to leave their phones switched off whilst on holiday and remain incommunicado (you are there to relax after all), there are many who like to remain in contact with friends back home.

New regulations enforced by the European Union have meant providers have had to slash the costs of roaming charges for their customers. However, there are a number of ways in which you can save yourself some money on your mobile when you travel abroad:

  • Purchase a phone in the country you are travelling to

  • This can be especially handy if you're looking to emigrate or spending time with family abroad.

    Cheap pay as you go mobile phones can come in handy for keeping in contact with friends in that country, but be aware of the roaming charges if you want to call home.

  • If you do want to call home during your trip, look into purchasing a pre-paid phone card during your stay

  • Many companies will offer discounted rates for calls to certain countries, whilst some hotels will also offer discounted rates to guests who want to call home in emergencies.

  • Try keeping in contact by other means

  • Many resorts have internet cafes, and for a small hourly charge you can e-mail to your hearts content and even update your social networking pages.

    Make sure that you can access the web pages in your native language before using these services, as browser settings and keyboard layouts will vary from region to region.

Of course, there's always the option of a postcard as well. Sure, you may get home before it does but sometimes a hand-written card can be a bit more personal than a speedily sent text message.