I don't use my phone often when traveling. It can access to wifi so if I get the chance to be in a place where wifi is free, I access the internet to use Skype of GTalk or even on Facebook. It's handy to have your phone for emergency purposes - like that time when I really need to call home to check if my package arrived, it did cost me a lot but it was an emergency. But other than that, if it's just a casual inquiry of how's everything at home, I just post on Facebook or chat through Skype. It's cheap, it's free, but it still is communicating in an effective way.