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I'm going traveling in a while, and I'd like to keep friends and family updated about my travels. Thankfully they're all on Facebook now. Is there anyway to update my Facebook status via SMS while traveling around and while roaming. Mobile Data roaming is ridiculously expensive, and might not be available, but just about everywhere supports SMS/text messages.

I could just go to an internet café, but I'd like something that's much quicker and easier. All I want is to be able to send an update every so often ("I'm in TOWN_NAME, everything's fine, weather is rubbish" etc.). With an SMS/text I can type something away in 60 seconds. My primary concern is updating, getting text messages (from Facebook/Twitter activity) is less important.

Facebook themselves do an "update via SMS", but for me (in Ireland) it's a premium rate number (51xxx) which as far as I know won't work outside of Ireland, so that's no good. I want something that works while roaming.

I'd be willing to pay for such a service.

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3  
Ask a family member to post the messages sent by you? –  mithy May 31 '12 at 11:49
2  
This sounds like a question for Web Applications. –  Flimzy May 31 '12 at 20:01
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@Flimzy - Agreed, but maybe there actually are some traveler that use service described. We can bounty this one if it doesn't get attention in the next couple of days and then we can migrate it if it doesn't get answered with a bounty. –  John Doe Jun 1 '12 at 7:43
    
IMO it's not quite about Web Applications - because there's still that added twist of how to get access to the web when travelling - availability of SMS, WiFi and internet coffee shops can vary widely from country to country... –  BrendanMcK Jun 1 '12 at 8:38
    
You'd be surprised - almost every hostel has wifi these days, even in Eastern Europe. But I still like the question. –  Mark Mayo Jun 6 '12 at 22:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can tweet to your account via SMS (https://support.twitter.com/groups/34-apps-sms-and-mobile/topics/153-twitter-via-sms/articles/14014-twitter-via-sms-faq), and then link your Twitter account to Facebook, so your tweets get published on your timeline (https://support.twitter.com/articles/31113).

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Rory, where abouts will you be travelling to - just one country or several?

Hotel WiFi is also becoming more and more common; I live in the US, but was travelling around the north of UK and Amsterdam/Brussels earlier this year, and many of the hotels now have free WiFi for guests. I was able to use this to log-on to facebook with my android mobile via the wifi without having to use data roaming. This does require having a smartphone or laptop can can use the wifi, however.

If visiting just one country, one option might be to purchase a 'cheap' $20-ish or less SIM card (available at most high street cellphone stores - usually come at a starter price that you can top up at newsagents later if needed) and use that to send SMS from, which could work out cheaper than sending SMS from your own account, since you won't be hit with additional roaming charges -- assuming FB has a corresponding mobile access number for your destination. The catch with this is you have to swap it for your regular SIM in your phone, or just stick with the 'foreign' SIM while travelling - which would be cheaper for making calls back home too (though likely not as cheap as using free hotel wifi to skype!).

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I will be travelling around Southeastern Europe. I will be camping or staying in hostels, I do not think free or non-free wifi will be that available, so I don't want to rely on it. I shall only be travelling around several countries for 3 weeks, so don't want to buy a local SIM card, esp. if I'll only be in a country for a few days. Ergo, I require some number that works with roaming. –  Rory Jun 5 '12 at 15:30

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