Staying in Touch
It is very important to stay in touch with family or friends while traveling. If you were to become sick or have an accident, access or information about your health history could be important. While you should carry this information with you while traveling, a second set at home is also important if those records are lost or destroyed.
Many travelers now carry cellular phones on their trek. These compact devices have become one of the most popular and efficient ways of staying in touch while on the road.
If you plan on traveling for long periods to destinations far from home, a nationwide plan is probably the most cost efficient for you. Many people are canceling their land-based service as they find that cell phones meet all their needs, often at a lower cost. If you are frugal with your calls and try to call when you have free air time, it can be a real cost savings.
Online services like Yahoo! and Hotmail offer free e-mail accounts. Even if you don't have a computer, you can sign up online at your local library and use your account to pick up and send e-mail from online computers wherever you go.
If you plan to travel outside the United States, you can purchase additional cell-phone coverage for Canada or Mexico. Your financial situation and the amount of time you plan on spending outside the country should be taken into consideration when purchasing these additional services.
You can also stay in touch by e-mail. Many campsites have or are adding service to let their visitors log on. If you do not travel with a computer or cannot get access at your campsite, the public library is another option. Most have computers with Internet connections. While they may limit the time you can use them, you should have enough time to send a few e-mails.