A Brief WhatsApp Tutorial

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a free application available for any smartphone (iPhone or Android). It works on WiFi, so you do not need to have an international phone plan for this to work.

However, you DO need to be connected to the internet for it to work. 


Why do we use WhatsApp?

We use WhatsApp on our journeys to stay in touch both before the tour begins and while we are together on our journey. We communicate the schedule by WhatsApp so you have a written record to refer back to.

On tour we use it to keep in touch with each other after we have retired to the hotel and connected to the Wifi. (It beats writing and distributing a dozen or two notes under hotel room doors in case of a schedule change–and I am speaking from experience as the writer of all those notes!)

WhatsApp comes in handy not only for schedule changes, but also as a way for guests to stay in touch with each other for meeting up for meals or hangouts. It’s also a good way to share pictures on the go.

In addition, we keep these group chats active indefinitely, as a way to stay in touch with your new found travel buddies!

It’s also a perfect way to stay in touch internationally with loved ones over wifi, with the convenience of text messaging.

What’s more, if you don’t love it, you can delete it immediately after the trip.


How & When do I install it?

You must install WhatsApp and activate it when you are still at home on your cellular service, because the app will send you a text message verification to your phone number.  You cannot activate WhatsApp once you have left home (unless you have an international phone plan).

Visit whatsapp.com/dl on your mobile phone to install

Once downloaded from your app store and opened, the instructions WhatsApp gives you are straightforward. If you’d like further guidance, please see a tutorial such as this one: https://www.wikihow.com/Use-WhatsApp


Using WhatsApp when you are on tour

Please make sure you connect to the hotel’s wifi so you can send and receive messages.

Please make sure you are receiving notifications on your phone, so that you will see when you receive a WhatsApp message. On an iPhone, you would click “settings” in the lower right-hand corner and make sure both notification settings are “on.”


You can send and receive messages just like text messages on WhatsApp. We try to keep the Group Chat only for messages pertinent to the whole group; if you would like to contact someone directly, you can follow these directions (photos to follow).

  1. Click the name of the Group when you are inside the chat (located at the very top of the screen).
  2. Scroll down.
  3. Click the name of the person you wish to contact.
  4. Select “Send Message” in the menu that pops up.
  5. Alternatively, if that person has already messaged the group, click on that person’s message and a menu will pop up. From there select “Message [Person’s Name].”


How to Mute the Chat (before and after the trip but not DURING the trip)

We never want to disturb you with our informational messages while we are all in different time zones. If you do NOT silence your phone at night, we ask that you do mute our WhatsApp group so the anxiety of accidentally disturbing you doesn’t tear us apart.

To mute a group chat, click on the Group Name (like this):

and you’ll see this screen:


Click the “Notification and Sounds” selection (circled above) and you can choose how long to mute it (8 hours, 1 week, or Always). You will still receive messages but your phone will not send you notifications, so do be sure to occasionally check it.



How do I share pictures?

Once you are in the chat, if you click the “+” sign to the left of where you would type text, another menu pops up. Click on “Photo & Video Library” if you want to share a photo you’ve already taken, or “Camera” if you want to take a picture at that moment.

Do you want other’s photos automatically saved on your phone or not?

WhatsApp has a feature that allows you to save all of a chat’s photos in your camera roll. Most people are not big fans of this because it can take a lot of storage space on your phone. To make sure that feature is turned off, go to Settings, then “Chats”:



And then this menu should appear. If the toggle looks like this (with no green within the button), that means it is turned off.


After the Trip: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

We’ll keep the WhatsApp group alive indefinitely, if you choose to stay on and stay in touch. It might be a good idea to mute the group then, too.  If you want to leave, you can click on the Group Name one more time, scroll all the way to the bottom, and select “Exit Group.”