Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

The Best Ways to Communicate with Clients In-Destination

The concept of unplugging for a few days in a land far, far away sounds enchanting, but travelers might find staying in a foreign land without navigation, ridesharing and Google in their back pocket to be daunting. Luckily, with the combo of a fabulous agent (that’s you) and today’s technology, travelers can minimize their screen time without sacrificing the technological perks they need in-destination.

Apps

  • Facebook Messenger – You can call, text or video chat anyone with a Facebook account via Facebook Messenger. Messenger is free to install and relatively user-friendly with its clean and simple interface. One of the greatest perks this app offers both agents and travelers is the ability to make free international calls with the click of a button. Users have ranked call quality within the app as, surprisingly good, making Messenger a great option for connecting with clients in-destination.
  • WhatsApp – Talk to anyone, anywhere at any time with one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, WhatsApp. In addition to channeling major 90s flashbacks, wazzuppp, this mobile application can be used cross-platform and is a fantastic tool for group communication. WhatsApp also allows users to share video, audio and text files such as Microsoft Word documents and PDFs which can come in handy for sending travelers updated itineraries and information.
  • Skype – An oldie but a goodie, Skype goes beyond video chats with friends and family. The app underwent some recent updates to simplify navigation. These changes included adding three dedicated buttons to the bottom of the app for chats, calls and contacts. The app is free to download and works great internationally, making it a solid option for agents looking to keep in touch with their travelers throughout the duration of their trip.

Email

Connecting people around the world since the 1990s, email is a classic communication staple. With hotel Wi-Fi, random internet cafes and mobile hotspots, it’s easier than ever for travelers to check their inbox no matter their destination. This is convenient for travel agents as most anything can be communicated through an email, including photos and file attachments. This mode of communication is especially useful for staying in touch with older clients who might not be as app-savvy but are familiar with managing their email account. When it comes to popularity, Microsoft Outlook, Gmail and Airmail are among the most commonly downloaded email applications.

Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots

Help travelers stay plugged-in by providing them with a portable Wi-Fi hotspot or encouraging them to add one to their travel gear. Small enough to fit in your pocket, these portable routers provide users with a customized wireless network that can connect to multiple devices at a time. In addition to helping agents stay in touch with their clients (hello, shared files, itinerary updates and video chats), portable routers also encourage free advertising as travelers share real-time updates from the trip you planned for them with family and friends.

SIM Cards

Encourage travelers to pick up a foreign SIM card if they plan to make a lot of calls while abroad. A SIM card is a small chip that allows mobile phones to connect to a local network, thus providing travelers with all the mobile comforts of home. If your client finds the process of purchasing and installing a foreign SIM card to be too daunting they can always pay their mobile carrier an additional fee for international roaming.

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