If you had told me as a kid that there'd be a way that I could be in Africa and talk face to face with my kids in Arkansas, I would have laughed! Impossible! We have literally used Skype around the world and back, usually for free with Wi-Fi hookup. It's awesome.
I've bought so many generic zipper storage bags over the years and none are as good as Ziploc. They are really not THAT much more expensive - especially not the first time you open a suitcase and find that they saved your bag from a leaking bottle!!