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The cheapest ways to call abroad or call home from abroad

When you or a loved one journey to another country, you may be worried about how you’ll keep in touch. Almost every option seems expensive. Costly additions to mobile phone contracts and over £2 per minute calls from mobiles to landlines make it appear as if, short of sending a postcard, there’s no reasonable way to stay connected.

However, there are some methods that won’t land you with an astronomically high phone bill and don’t involve a pen and a stamp or changing your landline provider!

VoIP Apps

One of the most tech-savvy ways to keep in touch is to download a VoIP (voice over IP) app, such as Skype onto the smartphone of whoever is going abroad. You can then download the same app onto your computer or smartphone, and talk for free.

Be mindful that this method uses the internet to enable you to chat, and mobile phone network operators put a premium rate on using the internet abroad. The simplest way to avoid this is to find somewhere with free or cheap WiFi – hotels often include this – so you won’t have to use your network provider to access the internet.

Some VoIP apps even allow you to call landlines at a low rate, and are nowhere near as pricey as using your regular phone bundle minutes.

Hotel Phone

When travelling, try to book a hotel room with a phone and then get your loved ones to call you, which can be a lot cheaper than calling a mobile, or calling out from the hotel room.

Override Providers

To get the cheapest prices when calling abroad, try using an override provider. These companies don’t require you to sign up with them or change from your current provider, they simply override your current provider to charge you their cheaper rates.

Money Saving Expert’s Call Checker is a great resource to find the cheapest override providers. All you need to do is call the operator you have chosen, and then connect to whoever you want to call. You may find it beneficial arrange a time for your call because even if the receiver doesn’t pick up, you may still be charged.

Buy a Local SIM

If you or your loved one plan on spending more than a couple of weeks abroad, it may be a good idea to buy a cheap pay-as-you-go SIM card once you or they arrive at the destination. This means calling home will be substantially cheaper, and internet connection will be charged at local rates, potentially saving you a bundle.

Do you have any tips for saving money on phone calls while you’re abroad?