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5 Travel Apps for Budget-conscious Globetrotters


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A Communications Connection
Install Skype on your mobile device for constant contact while you're away from home.
Install Skype on your mobile device for constant contact while you're away from home.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sharing your adventures with the ones you love is priceless, but that doesn't mean you should fork over bars of gold every time you call home. Internet to the rescue (again). With 663 million registered users as of 2010, Skype is a rapidly growing Internet company that's become synonymous with free phone calls.

While Skype's mobile app for Android and iPhone lets you call, text, IM or file share with almost anyone in the world, it's only free if you're contacting another Skype member. Calling your parents at home or on their cell will cost money, but only a few cents per minute. And since Skype has become so popular, odds are other travelers you meet will have their own accounts so exchanging information and calls with them is pretty easy.

No monopoly is safe for long, though. Danish startup Vopium aims to challenge Skype in this market with its own apps and comparable fees. It's too early to tell how successfully they'll be, but anything that keeps the competition honest is a good thing.


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