How to stay in touch with friends and family after you’ve moved abroad

Staying in touch with the UK when you live overseas can be expensive. Here are some alternative and cost effective ways to reach those back home.

Moving abroad can bring a real sense of escape and freedom, but you probably won’t want to completely leave everything and everyone behind. 

Whether you’re moving permanently for work, spending an extended period travelling the globe or perhaps retiring somewhere in the sun, there’ll more than likely be people back at home you want to stay in contact with.

The problem is, staying in touch using your existing mobile phone number can be expensive. Here are some alternative and cost effective ways to reach those back home.

Calling UK numbers from abroad

Picking up the phone is the most obvious way to speak to loved ones overseas. However, if you’re still using a UK number on an existing contract from back home, you may encounter some high roaming costs and charges for making international calls. These can quickly add huge amounts to your bill, so be careful.

To overcome this hurdle, you can get a UK virtual number from Swytch which allows you to make local and international calls at no extra cost on top of your £6 a month agreement.

Texting and SMS messaging

Text messaging has become pretty much the go-to form of communication for everyday contact. The problem with texting people in the UK when you live abroad is that you may be subject to charges. This is more common since the UK left the European Union, meaning that many people find themselves racking up hefty bills after sending a few SMS messages.

Similarly to avoiding international call charges, with a virtual number, you can avoid these charges and send text messages to people back home without worrying about the costs.

Video calling

Technology has advanced to a point where pretty much everyone has access to a video calling service. Apple iPhones have Facetime, Android devices have Google Duo, and there are a host of other apps and services available, such as:

  • Zoom
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Skype
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams

Perhaps the only drawback of video calling is that it can feel less spontaneous, as it’s something you often have to arrange in advance.

Using WhatsApp abroad with a UK number

With two billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging app. If you’re a user, you can continue using the service abroad to stay in touch with friends and relatives via text messaging and video and voice calling.

The key thing to remember here is that WhatsApp is a web app, so you may incur data roaming charges when using it abroad.

However, if you sign up for a virtual UK number with Swytch (or port in your existing number), you can use this for WhatsApp and avoid the roaming costs.

Stay in touch and save costs with Swytch

Staying connected with loved ones overseas has never been easier, but there are some cost considerations. Using web apps or making international calls can quickly add charges to your bill.

Instead, try Swytch to keep your UK number without the additional expense, and continue to chat with friends and family just like you always have.

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