Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On the Road: Stay Connected

People always ask me if I get lonely while I am driving by myself for 2500 miles. Oddly enough, I never have. I listen to music most of the time. When I stop for the night, I spend my time at the hotel in several ways.  I call people to let them know I have arrived safely at that day's destination. In addition, I check the internet to find out what I have missed in the news and just relax after a long drive. I am so connected to friends that I feel like they are with me.

I always take my laptop and my iPad with me when I travel. Plenty of places that have free Wi-Fi post a sign so travelers will know that it is available. When I am on the road, I do not take the time to stop during the day to try and find a signal. Since most hotels have free Wi-Fi, I check my computer when I stop for the night. When they need to contact me during the day, people usually call.

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)

When I travel, I take my Mac so I can work on the blog and send email. I also have an iPad and use that for my HBO Go, books and games. I still take my Kindle because I can use it to read in the sun and at the beach. I would never leave any of them at home. Staying connected not only keeps me in contact with people, it also provides a valuable resource for me in researching my surroundings. For example, if I am not feeling well and need to figure what the problem is, I look up my symptoms on sites like Healthline or Livestrong. I also utilize sites like TripAdvisor to read the reviews of hotels I am considering. Google Maps lets me view areas where I want to walk, hike or shop.

I also have a smartphone, so I can use that if I need to check anything online when I stop for gas. When I first got an iPhone and was making a trip years ago, I did not have a car charger for the phone because Apple had not released them yet for that model. Fortunately, USA Today had an article about what to do with an old smart phone and offered a great suggestion. Since any old cell phone is capable of making 911 calls, I took my old phone and its charger with me. If I had been in an emergency situation, all I would have had to do is plug in the old cell and call 911 if my iPhone ran out of juice. Since my trip, Apple has now released the car charger, but I will still have the old cell phone with me on trips just in case.

(Photo taken in 2014)

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