Monday, December 20, 2010

Separated Over the Holidays: How Can you Send your Love?

Written by Lauren K. and Lindsay K. of Love Kudos

Question from one of our Love Kudos' followers*:

I am going to be in Seattle for the holidays and this guy I just started seeing a month ago is going to be in Paris visiting his sister. Because of our work and vacation schedules, we will be spending both Christmas and New Year's without each other. It really s!*ks. I am pretty sure we are exclusive, because we have been seeing each other about 3-4 times a week and he has not logged on to his online dating profile in awhile. How much do you think we should communicate during our time apart? I don't want to appear like the psycho girlfriend, but I do want to keep in touch while we are both doing our own thing. What do you think?
(Locations have been changed to preserve the anonymity of our reader.)

This isn't the 1800's and we all know that Skype, International calling plans, and email are all now inexpensive ways for us to communicate during our time away from each other. However, there still is the perception that when we are out of the country, on a cruise, or in a remote location, communication lessens. Blame it on the time zone differences and our old school mentality.

Love Kudos recommends sending a quick text or a 5 minute phone call that would let the other person know you are thinking of them and put a smile on their face.  Every day would be nice, but not necessary or even possible in some cases. You should be able to enjoy your vacation.  If possible, send a couple of text pictures during the vacation of our highlights. Not enough to rub it in that you are in the Carribean and they are in Austin, slaving over 4th quarter data reporting. Lauren suggests to be prepared in advance and add an international plan to your cell phone if you or your new love is going to be out of the country.  Verizon and many other cell phone providers offer international plans, especially inexpensive ones for Mexico and Canada.

Here are a few different carrier plans and their International Calling Options: 

Sprint: (Use this link for more details and current rates)

Sprint offers voice and data coverage around the world. While traveling you can keep in touch by calling, texting, keeping up with your email, and accessing other data services. If you need the capability to place international calls while in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, then simply contact Customer Service via Chat or Email from or call 1-888-226-7212, (option 1). If you call international locations frequently, request one of our International Calling Add-ons to reduce your per-minute rate.

Sprint Options:
  • Choose the Sprint International Long Distance Add-on to call other countries around the world at a lower per-minute rate for only $4/month.* Rates as low as 9¢/min. to Mexico and Canada, $6¢/min. to the UK, 7¢/min. to France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and South Korea and 29¢/min. to India.
  • Choose the Mexico International Long Distance Add-on if you frequently place calls to Mexico. For $5/month* calls to landlines in select Mexican border cities from the U.S. included. Plus call landlines in the rest of Mexico for just 5¢/min. Calls to wireless devices will incur an additional mobile termination fee. Calls to any other country based on standard fees
AT&T ( Please see this link for more details. Below are just the highlights).
    AT&T Options:
    • AT&T WorldConnect®: $3.99/mo Roaming rates to more than 220 countries from the U.S and International Roaming when Traveling outside the U.S.
    • AT&T World TravelerSM: $5.99/mo Roaming rates in more than 100 countries.
    • AT&T Mexico: $4.99/mo With AT&T Mexico, to stay in touch, no matter where in Mexico. (Lauren is going to Mexico. Keep in touch!  
     • $0.59 per minute while roaming in Mexico
    • $0.09 per minute when calling from the U.S. to a Mexico wireline
    • $0.25 per minute when calling from the U.S. to a Mexico wireless device
    AT&T Texting Options:
    If you want to send a message to a wireless number when traveling outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S.V.I., you’ll need to use International Roaming Messaging. AT&T offers two options:
    Pay-Per-Use Package Rates
    Global Messaging 50 Package $10/mo

    Verizon: (See this link for more details on current calling plans and rates)

    The Global Travel program is the perfect short-term solution for the occasional or infrequent global traveler who needs to stay in touch when traveling internationally. This program is ideal when your travel duration is less than 21 days.
    Verizon Options

    • No daily rental fees.
    • Customers keep their regular phone number and voice mail and transfer their contact lists using Backup Assistant.
    • There are no separate bills; it all appears on customers’ Verizon Wireless bills.
    • Verizon Wireless covers more than 220 voice and over 200 data countries, more than 125 with 3G speeds – check GlobalPhone, and GlobalEmail, or GlobalAccess tabs for details on specific destinations offered.
    • Solutions are available for Blackberry, standard voice/text, and data card customers.
    • Customers may call (800) 711-8300 to speak to a Global Services Activation Specialist for additional details or to place an order.

    More thoughts on Communication during the Holiday Separation

    If you have internet access, a quick email, instant message or comment on their wall on Facebook can put an instant smile to their face.  For an alternative to cell phone communication, Lindsay recommends using Skype, which is a global free internet program that allows you to call, instant message, or desktop sharing with any other Skype members.  And if you (one or both) have a web cam, it can be like he/she is right there next to you.   Lindsay says, "I use Skype weekly to talk to my 4 year old niece who lives in Sacramento, CA.   A simple phone call doesn't work for her, as she won't really talk into the phone.  Using Skype, she and I created a game where we will blow a kiss, catch the kiss and place them on the cheek.  It got a little redundant for me, but she loved blowing me kisses.  On our last conversation, she said, "Lin, we need to do this more often." If a 4 year approves the use of Skype, then so can you!"

    Lauren continues, the most important thing to keep in mind is that if you have not heard from your new man or woman, do not jump to conclusions that they are cheating on you or have forgotten about you, they might just want to be incognito for a little while or not be signed up for one for our calling plan options. Do not obsess, harass, or punish your beau or doll for their inattention if it is just a couple of days. If you have not heard from them for a week, yeah, there is some reason for concern. Address their inattention when they return, avoiding the risk of ruining your budding romance. If you have are separated for NY's eve, a call or text during the evening, would be nice! Just saying.   

    You could always be little old fashioned and send a postcard via snail mail style.  Who doesn't love to get something other than bills in the mail?

    And what about souvenirs?

    You might not want to spend your cold hard cash on a useless tchotchke (trinket in Yiddish) for your loved one. Lindsay recommends getting a little gift from your exotic location, wither it be teas, coffee, chocolates, liquors, soaps or live animals (just kidding on that last one.) Don't purchase gifts that she/he can't use, like a magnet that sits on the frig or an ugly key chain with Bermuda on it.

    And just a friendly reminder from TSA, you can't bring snow globes in your carry on on the plane. They are on the forbidden list. Boring!

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