I’m obviously going to be on the move fairly frequently as I’m traveling from country to country, but I still need people to be able to contact me where ever I am. Here’s my plans for making sure I’m not incommunicado.
My plan is to take my current UK O2 sim with me to Spain and put it in an old phone to keep around for phone calls and text messages, but not to take with me, day to day. It’ll also be useful to keep in contact with my friends on Whatsapp, which is tied to a particular phone number. I’ll also redirect the phone number using O2’s redirection service to a UK local number (which I’ll explain below).
For day to day mobile usage, I’ll buy a Pay As You Go SIM which should allow me to have a reasonable data usage, compared to the 25MB a day limit O2 has when roaming. I’ll post a little more about this when I arrive in Spain and can pick which SIM to get.
My business has always had a VoIP phone system since it first started. This means that I don’t have a physical telephone line for my business calls and I’ve been using SIP clients to send and receive phone calls. They can usually provide a geographically specific phone number, so I will continue to have a Brighton phone number and no one will be aware that I don’t live there any more. Conveniently, recent versions of Android have a SIP client built in, so I can receive calls straight to my mobile, although being on wifi is highly recommended.
Some recommended VoIP suppliers are:
My supplier will also allow me to port my current BT landline number to their VoIP service for £20, so that people can continue to call me on the same number they have in their address books. Unfortunately, my current provider is targeted more at the more tech-savvy market, so this may not be an option for everyone. SipGate will allow you to port your number to business accounts, but not basic accounts, so this may be an option if you don’t mind spending a little bit more.
Most services will also provide a voicemail service so that you can still get messages even if you weren’t able to receive the call. In my case, my supplier will email me an audio file of the call. Useful if you’re travelling through somewhere that doesn’t have internet or mobile service.
Royal Mail can redirect your post for you. The costs for one year is £50 for a personal redirection, and £350 for a business redirection. I’m redirecting my mail to a friend who will open and scan anything important and send it to me. She already does some admin work for my business, so this will just be a little extra paid work for her. Unfortunately, I will need to do both a business and personal redirection, but I will probably only arrange a three month business redirection, for £120, with possibly renewing once more, as there’s far fewer people mailing my business and will be easier to update my change of address for everyone.