Get the most out of Skype if you’re spending a few months abroad.

Skype means different things to different people, but how you use Skype from one day to another can also change. For example, students who study in a far off country for a time find that suddenly Skype becomes a way of catching up with loved ones who they might be used to seeing daily.

If you’re spending a few months abroad there are a number of ways that Skype can help you stay in touch with home. You probably already know you can make free calls to your friends and family at home on Skype, but I have a few more tips you might not have thought of.

Subscriptions – Calling home on a budget

If you’re regularly calling landlines and mobiles in the same country then you can get a great deal on your calls using a Skype subscription.

View the rates for calling your landlines and mobiles in your country of interest.

Group chats will save you repeating yourself

I’ve moved around a bit in my life and whenever I do I always find myself repeating my news with each conversation I have. Why not add your friends and family to a group chat and write all your news in there for all to see?

Learn more about creating a group chat on Windows or on Mac, or take a look at my recent tips on managing your group chats.

Skype Number – A number for home to call you on

Many people don’t like to use their mobile phones to receive calls while abroad because of the costs involved to you and to your friends and family. If you want people at home to be able to call you at local rates, why not set up a Skype Number? Anyone can dial it and you’ll be able to answer the call on Skype wherever you are in the world.

Learn more about Skype Numbers.

Practice your language skills in the Skype Community

If you’re travelling to a country to learn a new language or to improve on a second language, why not get a head start by taking a look at the language learning board on the Skype Community. Here you can connect with other Skype users who could teach you a phrase or two or let you practice what you already know of the language.

SMS addict? Why not try Skype on your mobile?

If your primary mode of communication is SMS messages then you might struggle when you get overseas and texting home becomes really expensive. Why not start instant messaging your friends for free with Skype on your mobile phone?

If instant messages aren’t an option and you need to send a SMS text message, you can also do so from Skype at great rates. Learn more about sending SMS messages through Skype.

Download Skype on your mobile.


  1. When traveling you want to use WiFi wherever you are to avoid carrier roaming charges. Those Skype chat messages can add up if you use a roaming data plan. And really add up with Skype voice or video calls over a carrier network’s data channel.

    I have found that WiFi access points are now in most hotels, airports and restaurants as well as offices I would be visiting. On a recent 10 day trip to Costa Rica, I relied totally on WiFi; the only costs were for using WiFi two days at one hotel. While traveling to Spain frequently 2-3 years ago I only use carrier roaming in time sensitive conversations when WiFi was not available, such as on a train.

    1. Hi L.A. Lady, you can make and receive Skype-to-Skype calls, call mobiles and landlines, and send and receive instant messages over 3G. Here’s more information (that’s applicable to any mobile phone or data-enabled tablet). Best, Shana from Skype

  2. If I am a registered Skype user in Canada and I travel to an overseas city and make a pay-as-you go Skypeout call on wifi to a local phone in that city, am I charged the same rate as if I had placed the call from Canada? Or is it calculated as a local call within that overseas city?

    1. Hi Usher,

      The rate of a SkypeOut call is based on the location of the person you’re calling, so yes the rate of the call would be the same as if you were home in Canada.

  3. Hello, I teach English internationally & I plan to spend the next three months in Costa Rica. My contacts are mainly in the US. I am really concerned about call-drops & connection quality when I am not around available Wi-Fi. Will these two things be much of a concern?

    1. Hi Atum,

      That sounds like quite an adventure, you must be excited.

      Skype works best when you have a good quality internet connection, but there are some options available to you. Once you arrive and have a phone number, you can set up call forwarding to that number and purchase a subscription for calls to Costa Rica. Then your contacts in the US can start a call to you for free on Skype and you can answer on your phone for only the price of the subscription.

      You can also use Skype WiFi to pay for access to hotspots in your area and use the connection to sign in to Skype.

      Lastly, I’m sure the Skype Community would be interested to hear more about how you use Skype while travelling to stay in touch with your friends.

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