Calling international numbers from the UK can be expensive, especially if you decide to use your mobile. Some alternative ways to stay in touch with your family and friends back home include:
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
This is an excellent method of staying in touch if you have a broadband. With a reputable VoIP provider such as Skype you can make free voice or video calls to anywhere in the world as long as you and the person you are calling are both online and have the same software installed. In addition to calling from your computer, Skype has a smartphone app which allows you to make calls via the app to other Skype users. Be aware that this can use a lot of data quite quickly, so make sure you are connected to Wifi instead of using your mobile data.
If you need to call someone who does not have internet access, you can use Skype to make cheap calls to their landline or mobile phones. You can pay for these calls after you make them, or save more by buying blocks of minutes to a specific country.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, then Facetime is a good option – again, it is better to use this only when connected to Wifi to avoid big data charges.
International calling cards
You can use international calling cards to make cheap calls from landline and mobile phones, and they are very widely available. You can usually find them in convenience stores and supermarkets. You are recommended to compare different cards to find the one that offers the cheapest rate to your country and has the lowest connection charge, so be careful to select one with the most appropriate access number.