Sharing your adventures with family and friends back home is fun, but being in the moment and experiencing the new and exciting world around you should be your top priority. Before you go, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan for communication while on tour! Wi-Fi is the least expensive way to communicate when traveling internationally. Some hotels provide it for free, some for a fee, and some (though few) don’t have it at all. Research your hotel ahead of time, so you’ll know what to expect. Keep your family and friends in the loop by sharing your journey’s highlights through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be sure to inform them about where they can catch all your updates before your departure! Don’t forget to include us in your adventures by tagging @encoretours in your photos and using the #encoretours hashtag. And remember, it’s never too late to post your memories; feel free to upload your pictures once you’re back home! Using your phone to text or video chat with your loved ones over Wi-Fi is a great way to stay connected to home. Consider using a free texting app like WhatsApp, Viber (Android / Apple), or Facebook Messenger. Download these apps before you go and test them out with friends and family while still in the States. Video chat with Skype (Android / Apple), Facetime (for Apple products), or Facebook Messenger Video Calling is also a great way to stay connected. Make sure you are using Wi-Fi for these services, not data roaming, to avoid unexpected bills. One way to ensure you won’t be hit with any unexpected charges is to keep your phone in airplane mode for the entirety of your trip. You can still use Wi-Fi, and this way you won’t have to worry about data charges. Download the Encore Tours/ACIS Travel App and easily share flights, hotels, and itineraries with your family via text or email. You can also use the app to access maps and explore upcoming destinations without using Wi-Fi. If you want to call home and don’t want to rely on Wi-Fi access, investigate an international plan with your phone company. Many cell phone companies provide short-term plans. Be sure you know the rates before you go, as it can get expensive. If you do not have a phone that allows international plans, you can contact eKit. eKit international cell phones make staying in touch easy while abroad on your Encore Tour*, while saving up to 70% on international roaming rates. eKit offers a number of convenient plans, which include features such as a toll-free number to give family and friends back home and a pay-as-you-go option. You can always add money to your phone account 24 hours a day. Find out more about eKit’s mobile phone plans** and their 100% money back guarantee. *Please check eKit’s website to see if your trip destination is covered by eKit and to check for updated Access Numbers. ** Please visit eKit’s mobile phone page to determine if service is available where you are traveling.