Staying connected

We admit that we're obsessive about staying connected through email but lukewarm on cell phones (calls or texting). That's just our bent. As a result, the information here is a "work in progress" and as we gather more information we'll add to the page.

INTERNET & EMAIL

Many campgrounds now offer Wi-Fi signals, so staying connected is possible, even under the stars and in the Great Outdoors. It's not a make-or-break deal for us but because we are often working from the road, it's nice to be able to check email, send messages, do a little research, etc. If the spot we're staying does not have a signal we usually find a local coffee shop or library and dedicate a bit of time to checking in. We especially love the libraries as they often have a section of used books for sale - we often leave with a few additions to our on-board bookshelf. While in transit we can find reliable, free Internet on the fly at:
  • McDonald's restaurants.
  • Lowe's home centres.
  • Local libraries (because we can usually settle into a comfortable work space as well).
We know there are options out there that could turn our camper van into a mobile hotspot but we're still in the investigation stage (high cost and cross-border versatility are issues). We'll update this spot as we find more information about what works for Canadians travelling across country and south into the United States.

PHONE PLANS

We're not really tethered to a glowing cell phone, so for us a comprehensive mobile phone plan (data, phone, text) has never been a priority. When we're on the road we usually just . . . turn it off. And the sky has not fallen (yet). Last time out we knew we'd be in some remote areas through Arizona and New Mexico, so we did a little research and signed up for a U.S. phone plan with our carrier, Bell Canada. The deal they offer fits our needs perfectly - 1000 local/long distance minutes and unlimited texts for 30 days for $30 with no roaming charges. They also offer text only and data plans. It makes sense to start with your own carrier - call and ask what comparable plans they offer. On other trips we purchased a TracFone (available at stores in the U.S. including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc) - a prepaid cell phone with a pay-as-you-go plan. It worked just fine but we do prefer to travel with our own phone. stayingconnectedphoto

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