With unique landscapes, cultures, and history, Europe is a treasure trove for adventure. And no doubt you’re full of great ideas on how to make the most of your trip overseas.

But Europe is an enormous place with different time zones scattered throughout. Travelers often forget to find the best ways to keep in touch with loved ones throughout their trip.

Especially if there’s a sudden change in plans, having a way to message loved ones back home is crucial. With that in mind, as part of our travel advisory tips, let’s look at the best ways to communicate with friends and family from thousands of miles away.

Five ways of connecting with loved ones while abroad

Whether at the top of the French Alps or lounging on a Spanish beach, travelers can easily stay in touch with family. That is, so long as you know what apps, services, and technology to use!

Below are five simple but effective ways to stay in touch and share your adventures:

1. Signup for the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP)

One of the best ways to ensure you’re always contactable is to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP) before you leave. Run by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, it is a free service that allows U.S. citizens to log their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

This has enormous benefits for travelers heading to Europe. STEP can help family and friends contact you during a crisis or emergency. It can also help contact your family if needed.

STEP can send you timely information about changes in countries you plan to visit. For example, you’ll get notified if there are natural disasters or civil unrest. This can give you timely information to change your trip, helping you make the most of your time in Europe.

2. Overcome time zones with useful apps and sites

Europe has over seven primary time zones. As such, arranging a time to phone family and friends can be difficult. This is especially true if you’ve agreed to meet up online at a specific time or day, but you’re moving across these zones.

Apps and websites can remove the confusion of different time formats and give you the best time to sync all your calendars. For example, Dateful is a free website with various features for overseas travelers. A time-zone converter helps sync your ‘local time’ with different places worldwide.

You don’t need to know the exact time zone. Put in the location, and the site will suggest the appropriate zones. The site also has a built-in scheduler, allowing you to plan and schedule meetings across different time zones. This feature is perfect for group calls or checking in with work while traveling around Europe.

3. Stay connected with your smartphone

A huge frustration for travelers in Europe is finding out their smartphones can’t connect to a network. This means they won’t be able to get a signal, send or receive messages, make calls, and more. 

Thankfully, there is an easy solution—using an eSIM. These “virtual” SIM cards allow you to easily connect to local networks without service disruption.

Even when traveling through different regions on the continent, an eSIM matches you with the best operators available. This way, you’ll always be reachable by friends and family back home.

eSIMs can also help you avoid roaming charges. This not only helps you save money but also maximizes your selected data plan. And because an app manages everything, you don’t need to open your phone and replace physical SIM cards during your trip.

Embrace video conference apps

The global pandemic was a watershed moment in video technology. We all learned to go on camera and chat in real time with people worldwide. Keeping in touch while in Europe should be no different!

Travelers can use a wide range of apps and services to have a virtual meetup with their family and friends. Some of the best include:

  • Google Meet is a free video-conferencing service in the Google Workspace suite. It can be synced with other Google apps, such as Gmail, Docs, and Calendar. 
  • Zoom is another fantastic way to streamline communication. It can allow you to schedule and record meetups with little to no fuss.

5. Start a personal travel blog

Europe is a paradise for budding photographers, videographers, and travelers. Travel blogging is a great way to document your big adventure while staying in touch with family.

This way, family and friends can check out your content online to know what you’ve been up to and what your plans are. Many of these services are free and can be updated in real time whenever you can.

For example, you can share multimedia content on social media like X, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also set up a private blog on platforms like WordPress to organize your content.

Once your holiday ends, your blog can summarize your entire European trip. The content will be gathered in one neat place to revisit at any stage.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of what it means to start a travel blog:

Remember the importance of connecting while away

Traveling to another continent can be an exciting opportunity for many people. But it’s also a big deal. Family and friends might worry about your safety. And you might struggle to keep everyone updated on any sudden change in plans.

As this article demonstrates, keeping in touch with loved ones from Europe can be easy if you embrace modern technologies. By investing in an eSIM, you can simplify smartphone communication across Europe. 

You should also explore video messaging apps and keep social media updated. That way, you can stay in touch with everyone back home while still making the most of your time overseas.