Expat life: E.T. Phone Home

One of the hardest things about being an expat is staying in touch with loved ones back home… the time difference makes it so there are really only about five hours a day when you’re both awake and sometimes you just get sick of emailing. And you think calling is expensive… Lots of people get a Vonage phone as a work around–and it works great, but is involved: you have to have fast internet already, buy a special phone, and sign up for a monthly plan starting at $25.99 a month. Skype is amazing–and great for when you’re in front of your computer.

But you can’t make calls on the go, which is where Localphone comes in. This service gives you a local number for a specific number you are trying to call in another country; so if I want to call my Mom, I go to the site, enter in her cell no. in California, and then they text to my Hong Kong cell a local HK number that I can save in my phonebook as Mom… that way I can call her when I most want to, while I’m waiting for the tram, wondering aimlessly around the grocery store unsure of what to make for dinner, or when something ridiculous happens that I just have to tell her about right away, etc. And it’s super cheap, just $0.009 per minute! All you people back home in the States, it works just as easily the other way around.

I’ve literally never had a call drop using Localphone, it’s clearer more consistently than Skype, and the interface is very easy to navigate… but tell me… what other ways do you use to stay in touch that I don’t know about?

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3 responses to “Expat life: E.T. Phone Home

  1. Thank you for the great write up. I’m glad to hear we’ve made it easier to keep in touch with your mom and loved ones back in the States.

    Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there are any features or improvements you’d like to see to make the service even more convenient for expats.

    By the way; until the 20th March your readers can use the voucher code NEWUSER11 when they make their first top-up (min $15/£10/€10) and they’ll receive a $10/£5/€5 bonus.

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  3. I use Vonage but most people around me who have Iphone 4s are using skype to call other iPhone users in other countries.. have also used the Stanacard service albeit from the US to around the world that also uses locally generated phone numbers and ofcourse the Whatsapp application which is text message across all mediums- iPhone , Blackberry and Android..

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