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November 17, 2014

Going abroad? Use Skype to make inexpensive calls to family and friends

For those in the northern hemisphere, cold, dark winters loom ahead. If you’re escaping the drudgery, using Skype to make calls with your Lumia while abroad can be far cheaper than using your cell phone plan. It could even be free!

Many of us know Skype only as a video-chat service. But did you know that you can also call friends and family via Skype with your Lumia–and by doing so, avoid roaming charges, high international per-minute rates, and other pesky fees?

There are several ways to make phone calls via Skype. We’ll go over two options now. We’ll go over the third option, Skype Number, in detail in an upcoming post.

Which method you choose depends on the length of your international trip, Wi-Fi access, and whether the people you want to call have a Skype account.

Free Skype-to-Skype voice calls

Let’s say you’re going to France from the U.S. or U.K. for a week to visit friends. If the people you want to call are already on Skype, you can call them for free, no matter where they are in the world, from your Lumia. You will need Wi-Fi access for this method.

Here’s a 47-second primer on how to do that:

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Use Skype Credit

If you’ll only be making a handful of phone calls home while you’re abroad, and if the people you want to contact aren’t on Skype, buy some Skype Credit.

You can use Skype Credit to call both mobile phones and landlines around the world as well as to send low-cost SMS text messages and even to forward calls. International per-minute rates are quite low, from as low as two cents a minute.

Check out this short video on how to call mobile and landlines using Skype:

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Free Skype Credit

Here’s an early holiday present: If you link your Microsoft Office Home account or your Office 365 University account with your Skype account, you’ll get 60 minutes of free calls every month. Go here to learn more!

Do you use Skype to make phone calls on your Lumia? Let us know–it’s one way to save money—which means you can enjoy your upcoming holiday shopping a little more.