Here’s a selection of [mostly] free tools to make life easier overseas.
Connect with friends, family and business associates anywhere using Skype. You can call free to anyone in the world who also has Skype. However, if you sign up for SkypeIn, their paid service—which is cheap to the US, but less so to some other countries—you can also call any phone number.
If you need a toll-free number in the US, you can sign up with RingCentral. You have to jump through a few hoops to be able to call out, but if you mainly need for people to be able to call you and also leave messages, it works just fine. The nicest thing about it is that your messages are delivered right to your inbox. I won’t say that my experience with them has been trouble-free, so I can’t recommend this service without reservation, but it’s worth at least going for their free trial.
Google Voice is the most recent addition to the voice-over-Internet-protocol party. However, most travelers in India use Skype, which is pretty commonly available in Internet cafes, at least in places that have decent broadband.
Naturally, if you are planning to call people in other countries, you’ll need to know what time it is there. Here’s a great free tool that not only has a world time clock, but also weather, astronomical tools and a calendar
Need to keep up with the current exchange rates? Use this Universal Currency Converter, which converts every currency in the world.
There are lots of resources for online language translators and dictionaries. This one has links to just about everything you might need.
Onlineconversion.com is a wonderful tool for converting weight, volume, temperature, distance, area and lots more, so this is really useful as India generally follows the British system. However, there are some really obscure measurements unique to India that aren’t included, especially related to real estate. You can find info on those here, along with an amazing number of other units of measurement.
India visa information for US citizens.
US State Department website has lots of useful information, including travel alerts and warnings. Note that their warnings are extremely conservative, and tend to stay up long after any significant danger has come to an end. Don’t ignore them, but use them as guidelines to check the situation out.
now has an Indian version. It doesn’t have as many features as the US Version, but it’s pretty helpful, especially given the dearth of decent maps in India.
More great resources for the digital nomad, complete with excellent reviews. Check this out.