RV Camping Lifestyle - Keeping in touch while on the road
Part of the joy of RV camping is sharing your stories with loved ones back home. But when you're on the road as a full-timer, keeping in touch with friends and family can be more than a little challenging, even with the advances in cell phone technology and Internet services.
While most RV parks have pay phones and high speed connections, how do you make the most of them without breaking the budget?
ET (Eternal Traveler) Phone Home
Keep the costs of maintaining the long distance feeling under control can be tricky. The phone option that works best for you will depend largely on where you travel and how often you wish to call home.
- Pay phones: These are becoming increasingly rare, although you should be able to find them at RV camp offices and truck stops. To keep the costs in line, be sure you have a long-distance calling card or pre-paid phone card. This way you'll never run out of change half way through your story of the black bear encounter.
- Cell phones: While these are great in an emergency, they can be expensive. While family plans will keep the costs under control, incoming calls from those not on your plan can skyrocket the phone bill. They also aren't 100 percent reliable. If you boondock in remote areas, you might not get reliable coverage. If you decide that a cell phone is for you, a camera feature can make sending photos home a breeze.
Many RV camps have WiFi or high speed Internet connections, making laptops worthwhile. If you're camping in the mountains or in a remote area where the World Wide Web isn't so wide, you can always access your email at Internet cafes, public libraries and truck stops such as The Flying J.
- Email: If you already have an established email address you should be able to access it remotely. If you're not sure how, ask your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for details. Otherwise, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail provide free accounts so you can send and receive emails from any computer with web access.
- Blogs: If you find yourself drowning in email, a blog can be a fast and inexpensive way to keep family and friends regaled with stories and pictures (from cell phones or digital cameras). Blogger offers free blog space and is easy to use. All you need is Internet access. If you want readers to be able to post comments, but be sure to set some automatic restriction on the comments; otherwise you can end up with obscene amounts of spam.
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