Stories from the Road
Backpacking Information » Communication
Sending electronic messages is without a doubt the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to keep in touch with friends & family. You'll need an online email account which you can access from anywhere, such as Yahoo!. Internet cafes have these days spread out to even the most remote locations, so getting access frequently shouldn't be a problem. The cafes charge a certain amount per time unit, normal prices range from a half until two dollars per hour.
Whether you should bring a GSM on your travels, depends completely on you. To be able to make a phone call or send a text message from anywhere at anytime, can sometimes be really convenient. Make sure your contract supports roaming on the networks of the countries you want to visit. The alarm function can also come in handy. Finding a place to recharge your battery is not very hard either, for power plugs are everywhere (hostels, restaurants, etcetera). Mind the plug shape, the voltage and frequency though, if they're different than at home, you'll need a travel power plug converter. If you plan to stay in one country for a long time, it can be handy and cost-effective to buy a local SIM-card with a prepaid system.
Naturally there are also plenty of reasons not to bring a mobile companion with you. Calling in foreign countries with your own cell phone is a lot more expensive than calling with a phone that has a fixed cord. Cell phones are also objects that will attract theft in poorer countries. They add extra weight of course, and being reachable all the time can suck badly... Besides that, you can find normal phone booths just about anywhere.
Fax, regular mail, and telephone services
These are available in every post office, and shouldn't be a problem to find in any city.
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