Staying in Touch with your Parents on your Gap Year

You've just finished college forever and you've decided to take a year off before university. For some people, a year out of full time education can be a good idea. Of course, the first part of the battle is deciding what you’ll do. Some people choose to work to get experience and save up money for the best three years of their life. Others head off travelling to see and do all the amazing things in the world before going into full time work forever.

Once you've decided where to go, everything can come round very quickly. Before you know it, you’re on the plane to another country, living the dream on a beach, climbing mountains or on a fantastic cultural tour of temples, museums and monuments. That’s all well and good... until you realize quite how far from home you are.

Of course, you can always send an email home, but it’s not quite the same as speaking to them, and you might have to wait a couple of days for a reply. Not very comforting if you’re feeling homesick or need advice about transport, a health issue or anything else. Online VoIP services such as Skype can be a good way to contact home, but you have to find an internet cafe to do this, and you can’t have any private conversations. You can’t call home because it would cost a fortune, right? Not necessarily.

Global SIM cards are the way to go if you want to stay in touch with your parents on the move. It means that no matter where you are in the world, you can call home if anything goes wrong or you just want to talk or update them about where you are. And, even better – nobody is going to be stung with a shocker of a phone bill. International SIMs cut the cost of calling significantly, meaning you can call home for just a few pence a minute.

Also, you might be able to persuade your parents to set your SIM card up to top up automatically so that you can always get in touch immediately if there’s an emergency. This should be enough to sell it to your parents as a brilliant idea. It will reassure them that they can always contact you on the same number all through your travels, and you won’t have to stop the fun to find an internet cafe every few days to let them know you’re OK. Everyone wins.

Peter Baldwin enjoyed seeing South America before going to university but found keeping in touch with loved ones could be hard work