Canada is home to the third-largest Cuban expat community in the world, after the United States and Canada, and Havana is one of the top destinations for Canadians vacationing abroad. There were 858,000 visits to Cuba by Canadians in 2016, and with so much cross-border action, it’s incredible how difficult and expensive it can be to call family and friends in Cuba. But government restrictions on telecommunications continue to be an issue and calling to or from Cuba has long been expensive for locals and foreign travelers.

High charges using mainstream carriers have long been the bane of people trying to reach family and friends on vacation or living in Cuba. Many have tried using calling cards only to discover that their money doesn’t get very far, thanks to high fees that can take nearly half of the value of a calling card. Fees including connection fees, balance maintenance fees, and minute rounding, all of which are designed to eat away at your minutes before you get to use them.

Today, there are finally alternatives that mean you don’t overpay for long distance calls when you call Cuba from Canada. There are now long distance calling services that you can use from your mobile or home phone without having to sign a contract, which is great when you’re only trying to reach a friend or family member while they’re on vacation or away on business. The long distance calling service G3 Telecom is app-based, so it’s more convenient to both make calls and to pay as you go or pay for a monthly subscription. It can all be done through the app or on their website and you can keep track of how much you’ve spent; there are no hidden fees and you see exactly what your money was spent on. Even better, you can look up the rates on the app before you even make the call. With the app, you just have to look up the rates from your present location and identify your call destination.

One of the big issues callers face when they’re trying to get in touch with family or friends living or traveling to Cuba is that Skype isn’t available. It’s one of dozens of websites and apps that are blocked in Cuba, meaning you have to find an alternative way to call the Caribbean island. Access to the Internet remains scarce and expensive in Cuba, even for tourists. The best way to reach friends and family in Cuba remains your mobile or home phone. It just doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg every time you want to use it.

If you want to make sure your son or daughter vacationing in Cuba checks in with you every day, try using a mobile app like G3 Telecom to save on cheap calls to Cuba. You don’t have to spend their entire holiday worrying when you can afford to hear their voice.

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