Travel Advice - Communicating
[ Back to other travel advice ]
Not so long ago, to contact your loved ones back home you had to brave long lines to phones, expensive calls, time delays, poor lines and dropping out of signals. The internet has changed everything about communication while travelling.
Using the Internet
There are internet cafes everywhere you look, in most countries around the world. The internet enables you to read all the email that have been sent to you, update your blog and post some photos, chat online with friends and book your next flight or accommodation, and much much more.
Make sure you check the cost of your internet time closely. If you are travelling on a budget, you don't want to have any surprises after you have been online for a couple of hours. Often there is a minimum charge, so if you get online and find that there are no new messages, you may still have to pay for 15 minutes or half an hour. If you are somewhere that the connection is dodgy, make sure they wont charge you if you can't get online or the connection drops off and you lose everything. There will be extra charges for printing, and usually extra to download photos from your camera and burn to disk. To save photos on a disk, if you can find a place that will let you bring your own blank cd and you know how to do it yourself, you may save some money and be confident that you have properly saved your images. (see the photography section for more details about storage)
Which Email Service
There are some very good free email services, such as gmail and hotmail, which are very popular. You need to look for a provider that has a large storage space, so you wont have the problem of your inbox filling up and new messages being rejected. The ability to make group lists is also handy, so you can make a list before you go of all the people you wish to email, then with a single click of the mouse you can compose a message to all of them.
There is nothing worse than being half way through a long email letter and the computer or connection crashes and you do not have a backup. If you are using gmail, they have a good feature that regularly saves the email you are working on in a draft folder while you are in the middle of writing it. If your email provider doesn't allow this, an alternative is to compose your message in a text or word document, save it regularly on the desktop, then when you are finished copy and paste the text into your email.