Keeping in Touch and Travelling with WeChat

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm not big on new chat apps. Once I have one, I don't move to another without good reason. So when my family first started talking about WeChat, I more or less ignored them and continued with my regular messaging app....that is, until I found out how convenient it was to keep in touch with them.

That, and the fact that everyone was now on WeChat kind of made the decision to move super easy for me.

Last week, we took a beach vacation, and this app was convenient, to say the least!

J's uncle planned the entire road trip, and I obviously wanted to know what routes we were taking and where we would be stopping (for Instagram, of course!), so we got him to share the itinerary on WeChat. Just use the Discover tab in the app and you can shoot a file from your laptop directly to a chat. Simplicity at its best.

We travelled in three separate cars, stopping for food and for pictures at popular tourist spots. Calling each other all the time would have been too costly, and messaging, too time consuming. The other cars were stopping constantly, whether it be for gas, food, or just a picture opp, and it was getting pretty confusing since some people drove faster/slower than others. Thank goodness for the walkie-talkie function!
A little tip also - if you have family members who don't speak English and you can't read Mandarin/Vietnamese (this is the case with a lot of folks both in KL and Melbourne), then the walkie talkie function is perfect for you. You can still have your family chat, just with recorded voice files instead of long messages! This is what J's family does, and I think it's great that messaging companies are now incorporating functions like this into their apps.

Another little WeChat treat is the 'Chat Radar' function - where you can scan the area to see if your friends are in the vicinity. We stayed at separate hotels (and in separate hotel rooms!) throughout the trip, so when we headed out for dinner, we just scanned the area to find the rest of the family. It was so much fun, and so convenient.

And then of course, who can forget the photo sharing function! I'm head over heels for this function, because it allows everyone in the group to compile their photos in one place - that way I don't have to chase someone down for a photo they took of me that would look perfect on my Instagram page ;)

Check out some of my photos below and on my Instagram (I won't post pictures of the rest of the family for their privacy's sake), and you can get your WeChat fix on the App Store and Google Play now.

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