Summer, Skype Style!

Have you taken your summer vacation yet?  If you haven't, will you be traveling alone -- or with the kids?  Regardless of how many of your brood you'll be taking with you, Skype has proven to be an effective way to keep in touch during any trip.

I love my time away from home during vacations; even with the best adventures, however, I still need to check in with family (especially my sister).  Skype is a solution I can use anywhere I have internet access, and calling my sis is seamless while I'm traveling.  (She wouldn't even know if I was calling her from a landline, my own cell, or Skype calling!)

If you've found yourself away from home this summer, here a few ways Skype has been most effective for my friends and family:

  • If you're gone for just one night (as I found myself this month), it's easy to use a web-enabled laptop or phone to say "goodnight" to the kids before they retire.  
  • If you're headed out for longer, you can even schedule video story readings or a quick snack time with the entire family!
  • Don't forget that you can livestream video from a Sony Bloggie Video device.  (There are so many moments I can't wait until I return to the hotel to share with my kids.  With Skype, you don't have to!)
To be completely honest, our internet connection at home has been spotty, and I haven't felt comfortable switching over to Skype for all of my daily communication needs.  When on the road in major cities or at hotels, however, I have a stable connection, and there's no reason not embrace this method of checking in with the family!

A note on Skype Group chat:  For this Skype campaign I was really excited to use Skype Group Chat to connect with friends and family.  Like most technologies, however, I found that I am a bit of an early adopter.  While my hubby and kids are on board, most of my relatives and acquaintances are not using Skype yet -- at least not in a video capacity.  Until then, I'll continue to enjoy Skyping when I away from home and when I want to catch up with my blogging friends and online freelancing colleagues.  To fully enjoy all that Skype Group chat has to offer, I recommend a get-together with your clan to demo the features, have a nice meal, and get them comfy with the process.  (And for long-distance relatives who may not be able to come to your home for an in-person lesson, you can direct them to Skype support page with instructions and videos to help the newbies get rolling.)

While I'm more than ready for summer to be over, I do appreciate the flexibility in our schedules and the ability to head out for short family trips this season.  I'm glad that I had the opportunity to get better acquainted with Skype's features for on-the-go families; I recommend giving them a try for staying connected during this summer's adventures!  

And be sure to check out this fun infographic on traveling with technology. (Click to enlarge.)

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Skype. I received Skype credits to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.