Google Voice: The Essential (& Free) Communication Tool for International Travel

google voice benefits for international travel and expats

Using Google Voice for international travel has become my essential travel app. If you’re a traveler, expat, or digital nomad, you need this wonderful tool.

When I left the U.S. last year I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I needed to receive passcodes or call my bank back home? How could I keep in touch with people who aren’t on social media?

Luckily, I discovered Google Voice. 

It’s an online service (and app) that provides with you a US landline phone number so you can call and text US numbers for free!

While I recommend a local phone service for internet and local texts and calls, using Google Voice for international travel is essential to manage life (and keep contact) back home. 

Here are a couple of reasons why you should get a Google Voice number, especially if you’ll be abroad an indefinite amount of time. 

(Not from the U.S.? Check out this article to read more on how to obtain a Google voice number.)

1. Using Google Voice for international travel is free

To make calls or text, it’s absolutely free to use. Do you need a better reason to at least get it just in case? 

2. Maintain connections back home

While there is Instagram, FaceBook messenger, and email, these methods may not be available or effective for communicating with folks back home. With a Google Voice number, you can call perhaps grandparents or text your friends who don’t use social media. 

3. Maintain Important Accounts

Imagine someone steals (or you lose) your debit card while abroad and you only have a local phone number or extremely pricey international service from home. What a (possibly expensive) headache it could be to communicate with your bank. 

Because Google Voice numbers are US based, their essential to maintain important accounts back home.

With calls being free there’s no stress waiting to contact a representative and some (but not all) security codes can be sent to this number, which is nice to have on top of an email account. 

(Just make sure to add the Google Voice number to your contact information!)

I’ve had to call U.S. banks a few times from Taiwan and have had security codes sent to this number — imagine the stress if I didn’t have a U.S. based number?! 

I’ve even used Google Voice to contact the IRS.

4. Keep hold of one phone number

Traveling from one country to another means we might switch local numbers a few times.

Just like WhatsApp or LINE (Taiwan’s version of Whatsapp), where we keep contact with specific people, Google Voice does the same (just with less of a social aspect).

So even if your local number changes, people who you keep contact with via Google can still reach you there. 

Ready to use Google Voice for international travel? 

Using Google Voice for international travel will make you thank yourself later. I don’t use it often, but when I do, I’m extremely grateful to have such a service. 

Check out this other great article on how to set-up an account and get started.

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