The biggest issue I always have while traveling is to make sure I can run my business with minimum interruptions. I’ve had some real annoying incidences when I thought I was going to be alright before I left home and got proven wrong when I finally arrived at the destination.
You would think in today’s day and age it would be way easier to stay connected through the Internet when we are on the road, but reality shows a different scenario (at least here in Australia). I think when it comes to the Internet, the U.S. has by far the most advanced network.
While we do have fast broadband, as well as satellite Internet, going mobile is like a big headache waiting to happen.
Anyway, for the purpose of this post I have looked into ways to stay connected while on the open road. While the options differ from country to country, I thought it best to focus on the U.S., since most readers of Blogging Tips are probably from the U.S.
Wireless at airports and coffee shops
Searching for any of the thousands WiFi hot spots in airports or coffee shops could be the best financial option in terms of overall cost. Networks such as At&T and Boingo offer some really affordable rates. You can either use your laptop or your mobile phone to do this, depending on the offer.
With a growing number of free to use WiFi locations, you will find at least a couple of spots in larger cities these days.
If you are into caravanning or engage on regular road trips, you might find HughesNet suitable for your needs. Being able to access high speed Internet from pretty much anywhere in the Sates, Northern Mexico and Southern Canada is helpful. Just imagine, you could pull over at the road and while you make a cup of tea check your emails.
Internet cafes have come a long way in the last decade. They offer way more portability options these days. You can bring your own laptop into most of them, as well as work with a portable hard drive like a jump drive if you prefer the lighter mobile version.
Some programs like ASuite offer full functionality for word smiths while providing a usable suite to carry around with you. Ideal for those who worry about weight when they travel.
Old fashioned telephones can still provide dial up connections to the Internet if all else fails. However, to access the net effectively with a simple phone, it pays to have a pre-paid card.
Blackberry’s have become some sort of geek machine for mobile Internet users. Everywhere we turn there are people talking about how cool their Blackberry is. For on the go solutions, a Blackberry is certainly a great option, provided there is network coverage where you go. Many companies offer Blackberry plans to suit all needs.
The sophisticated iPhone is a favorite for many phone users for connectivity reasons. I think in the end it all comes down to user friendliness and personal preferences. One thing you can do with the iPhone, the Blackberry and the Palm Treo is to surf the web with the existing data plan while using your laptop.
It’s kind of like using it as a modem I guess. This could also provide you with an affordable solution, especially if data plans include unlimited browsing. If you can hack your phone, you might have the ultimate Internet connectivity suite while on the road without depending on other locations.
Mobile phones are very popular for mobile Internet users. Depending on your data plan they can however become very expensive too. Unless you have a great data plan, I’d advise to stick with your WiFi networks or go to a local Internet cafe instead.
Is there something I’m missing? Perhaps you found a great way to stay connected while on the road. I would love to hear from you. The more options we have here, the better for all of us who love to travel and stay connected at the same time.