Keeping in touch on your year abroad
Of course taking a year abroad requires a good deal of planning and preparation but don't let that put you off as you could be embarking on the experience of a lifetime. Travel plans, insurance, finances, paperwork and accommodation are all important considerations and may seem daunting if you have never done anything like this before, particularly on your own. Always take out adequate insurance before you go as an accident without proper insurance in place will inevitably be much worse to sort out, both financially and emotionally. Choose your insurance policy carefully - don't just take the cheapest one on offer and make sure you will be covered for the most dangerous type of activity you might wish to take part in.
It is also a good idea to register your travel plans with the British Embassy. By leaving your contact details and plans with LOCATE - a register of British Nationals overseas, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be able to contact you to check you are okay and give out advice should the need arise.
Stay in regular contact with family and friends back home, it reassures them you are safe and well and can help you combat any homesickness you might be experiencing. Keeping in touch while abroad has never been easier or cheaper with abundant access to the internet and email facilities worldwide. It is very convenient to send a quick email just to say things are okay, especially if time differences make it difficult to find a convenient time to call.
If you like to speak with and see your family and friends, then Skype is an excellent and affordable way to chat live online and see your contacts via live webcam.
Of course there are many bargains available for making calls from a phone or mobile as well. You will usually just need an access code to be able to make a cheap call to or from anywhere in the world. It may be useful to point these services out to your family and friends.