One of my major frustrations with international travel is staying in touch with those at home on a regular basis. In the past I’ve either stayed in contact via email, which is simple but not personal, or by buying phone cards in the country I’m in, which is personal but a hassle. I refuse to pay the outrageous fees for international calling on my cellphone, so have never even thought of that as an option.
While I’ve heard about Skype in the past, I only downloaded it about two weeks ago. I was a bit apprehensive since I’m technologically illiterate and was concerned it would be tough to use, but it couldn’t have been any easier. My brother and I agreed that we’d communicate via Skype while he’s in Egypt, and it has worked out great so far. Not only is it better than talking on the phone in terms of quality, but it’s free, so there’s no need to rush the conversations. Of course the caveat is that an internet connection is needed, but that’s included in my brother’s room rate at the InterContinental in Cairo.
I totally dig Skype, and plan on using it in the future for all my international communication needs, assuming I can get internet access for a reasonable price.