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Connect on vacation, no matter your destination

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Updated: 11/15/2012 11:27 am

(BPT) - - There's nothing quite as exciting as going on vacation - whether for adventure or relaxation. The promise of seeing new sights, tasting new flavors and spending time with loved ones is something we look forward to all year long.

Research shows that taking a vacation boosts happiness and is actually good for your health. And sharing the experience with family or friends can enhance that benefit even more. It isn't always possible to take those family and friends along, but recent advancements in the way people stay connected make it possible to share nearly every vacation experience with loved ones back home.

Whether you are calling mom from the top of the Eiffel Tower or chatting with friends while lying on a beach in the Virgin Islands, there are a variety of easy and inexpensive ways to take other people "with you."

Here are some quick tips to feel close to those back at home when you're far away:

*Party on with group video calling. Are friends and family begging for an update on your vacation? How do you decide with whom you'll share your daily travel report? Now you don't have to choose. Skype Group Video Calling allows you to connect with up to nine additional people from anywhere in the world (it is recommended that you connect using a broadband or another high-speed connection). Instead of just speaking with friends and family at home, give them a glimpse of the fun you're having on vacation and the sights you don't want them to miss.

*Carrier fees do not apply. Carrier fees, roaming charges and other often-hidden costs make phone calls from abroad difficult and expensive. For example, the average two-minute call from Italy to the U.S. averages more than $3, plus the cost of renting or purchasing a phone with international calling capability. Setting up a Skype to Go number allows you to call anyone from anywhere or forward your phone calls to any mobile device in the world. By using a Skype to Go number you can easily avoid roaming charges and other expenses associated with international calling fees.

*Keep your friends close, but your mobile devices closer. We all depend on our mobile devices to communicate regularly. Be sure that your mobile device software is up to date, so there isn't a chance you're left "un-connected." Also, before you visit another country, investigate whether you'll need to purchase new power plugs and adapters to charge your cell phone, tablet and other mobile devices.

*Share your experiences. The best part of traveling is sharing the experience with others when you're back home. But why wait? New devices like Sony's Bloggie Live HD will allow you to share and livestream video with friends and family from anywhere. The Bloggie is equipped with Qik from Skype, which lets you store and share mobile video. From your personal URL, you can stream video of what you're experiencing in real time, or upload to Facebook, Twitter and your blog to share with family and friends.

With the latest advances in communications, there's even more to look forward to, experience and share when heading out on vacation - no matter where your travels take you. For more on how to communicate while on vacation, visit www.skype.com.

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