with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Category Archives: Staying in Touch

When we began our life on the road full-time in 1996, we hooked up to the Internet with an accoustic coupler strapped to a pay phone, hundreds of feet of phone cord stretched across the campground. Today, “look may, no strings!” we use WIFI and can connect “almost” anywhere with ease.

Okay, not really, but the struggle to connect to the Internet is much easier than when we began. Today, in this “wireless technology age”, we have more wires, cables, gadgets, and gizmos to help us stay in touch than ever before.

Whether you are traveling occassionally, part-time, or full-time, staying in touch now has bigger significance than just finding a pay phone or writing a post card. We have some advice and information to help you stay in touch on the road.

In Case of Emergency: Use Your Library Card

My local library sent out a newsletter stating the following: Making a personal emergency plan and kit does not need to be all consuming. Take it in manageable bits—add to it each month until you have all of the components assembled. There are many easy items to add from the outset to pack in your […]

Are You Still Paying for International Phone Calls?

According to a recent Harris Interactive/Rebtel Research Study, smart phone and web users are idiots and spending money they don’t have to call internationally. Despite the number of free web services available to make international calls, US smartphone owners are shelling out close to $37.8 billion a year to keep in touch with foreign contacts. […]

What Is In Your Emergency Kit?

With Southern California out with no electricity, homes burning up in Texas, tornadoes across the country, devastating heat waves, much of the Northeast under water (and more water), earthquakes, and the threat of terrorism in New York and Washington DC (which means it could happen anywhere), are you ready? Is your emergency kit been inspected, […]

Buying WIFI: The Greed of Expensive Hotels

I’ve been planning to write a scathing article about the high price of WIFI Internet connections at hotels, motels, and the like for a while, but I can’t compete with the brilliance of Respectful Insolence’s article, Good WIFI, Bad WIFI: Most of the hotels that I end up staying at for these meetings are pretty […]

Track Your Packages Online from One Site

Because we travel so much, when we order something online there is a paranoia that the package won’t arrive before we make the next trip. Package Mapper is a new service which combines the database information for tracking shipping from UPS, FedX, and other delivery services, with Google Maps. Enter your shipping number and the […]

New NPR Station Maps Help Travelers

I depend upon NPR – National Public Radio for news and information while I travel. I get national news, international news, and local news, helping me understand what is going on around the world as well as in the community I’m visiting. NPR now has a new feature to help find stations near you. The […]

Live World Day and Night Map

While it isn’t much help to the average traveler, it still is fasincating to check out the way the sun moves across the planet and see who is in the darkness of night and the bright light of day. The Opentopia – World Sunlight Map provides a live view of the sun passing over the […]

Microsoft Free Program – Virtual WIFI

I’ve started researching more information for you on wireless or WIFI networks to help you stay in touch on the road, and I ran across a very interesting free software program from Microsoft that expands your WIFI coverage, Virtual WIFI – Connecting to multiple IEEE 802.11 networks with one WiFi card. VirtualWiFi is a virtualization […]

World’s Largest WIFI Hotspot is in Rural Oregon

Biggest Wi-Fi Cloud Is in Rural Oregon from Yahoo News reports that: Morrow County, which borders Hermiston and spans 2,000 square miles, still doesn’t have a single traffic light. It only has 11,000 people, a number that does not justify a large telecom player making a big investment, said Casey Beard, the director of emergency […]

UK Wireless Service May Undercut Major Cell Companies with New Service

An article on Engadget, U.K. spectrum auction to enable low-cost fixed wireless services, might be great for travelers passing through England. It seems that next year, some small “fixed-wireless service providers” may pose a threat to major cell companies by offering low price calls in what are being called “coffee zones”. The new services will […]

Wireless Internet – Wired US Cities

The dream of living and taking your camera on the road is exciting. We’ve been doing it for ten years now, and we had to admit, it can be very exciting. It can also be boring, but the biggest challenge for living on the road is staying in touch. When we began, cell phones were […]

Computer Hardware for the Road

There are a variety of new tools and technology now available that help the traveling worker or person living and traveling on the road. Here are some common tools to help you as you travel. Tools for Connecting To connect to the Internet, whether for email or browsing, from the road, you have to consider […]

The Technology of Staying in Touch Tomorrow

Staying in touch from the road tomorrow will be much easier and more efficient if things keep going they way they are. Cell phones will get smaller, look like watches and/or fit onto shirt collars, behind your ears, or even under the skin. Computers will get smaller with screens on special glasses or watch size […]

Living from Pay Phone to Pay Phone

The idea of taking your camera on the road is a concept usually filled with the excitement of being “out there”, embracing life and the possibilities, discovering new worlds and new civilizations…but no one ever told E.T. how hard it would be to phone home. You used to fill your pockets with change, find the […]

Paper Trails and Indian Love Calls

In the movies, it seems that all you have to do to find your true love is yodel across the valley. In today’s world, you have to have a mailbox. Yodels just don’t get you very far anymore. When taking your life on the road, you have to create "paper trails" for people to track […]