This is the first post of our YSP [You Should Probably...] series.  Future topics will cover all of the things that will make your life easier (and more exciting) while abroad — from the common sensical to the totally unconventional.  Today we’ll be talking about using Twitter in place of overpriced  international texting.

What is it about 140 characters of writing space that makes Twitter so addictive? Whether it’s the shameless self-promotion, the mandatory concision, or the cute bird logo, celebrities and corporations alike are packing big messages into tiny tweets.


We have an unconventional Twitter solution for you globetrotters today.  Aside from the obvious play-by-play you can provide friends while tweeting from the top of the Eiffel Tower, Twitter is a great way to stay connected when texting is too expensive.  Consider creating a protected Twitter for the people closest to you, and encouraging them to subscribe to your Tweets via SMS [instructions for the technically-challenged here].   Each time you tweet–and for God’s sake, don’t overload them–they will receive a text from your Twitter account.  It’s a great way to communicate short and important messages when texting is too expensive, as well as to check in with your parents (yes, you have to do that) when you arrive at a new destination.  Anyone following you can reply simply by texting Twitter back and @reply’ing you.

If you plan to broadcast frequent messages with no regard for time difference or sobriety, perhaps create two accounts — one for your adoring fans, and a more personal account for your SMS subscribers.