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Informative Articles

Add the New Braunfels Texas Wurstfest to Your Fall Travel
GEMÜTLICHKEIT (warm friendliness, good cheer) “Willkommen zum WURSTFEST! Prosit, und hab' Spasz!” is the slogan for this really appealing annual event. It means “Welcome. Cheers! To your health, and have fun!” Combining a unique German community...

Airport Travel Tips: Reducing Waiting Times
Key Travel Tips Following these tips will help you reduce your wait time at the security checkpoint. Before you go to the Airport •Do not pack or bring Prohibited Items to the airport. •Place valuables such as jewelry, cash and laptop...

Do Your Research Before Traveling - Travel Agents vs the Internet
When planning to take a trip, it is advisable to spend some time doing research even if you are booking through a Travel Agent. This research could save you a significant amount of money and perhaps prevent a miserable stay in a sub-standard...

Tips for saving money traveling in China
Base on our experience, most of our travel expense is on the hotel, the food and tour service are really cheap in China.what do we come here for?-sightseeing and cultural experiences on this new land! why do we have to spend more on hotels ? So our...

Tips for Travelers Who are Going to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a key destination for many travelers. It has a population of more than seven million, scattered all throughout its more than 200 islands. It is located in Eastern Asia, near China and the South China Sea. Formerly, leased to...

 
Travel Connections - Stay in Touch

Travel connections with home are easier than ever. New calling cards, cell-phones, e-mail, satelite phones, and better phone lines everywhere are making it a smaller world. Here are some suggestions on how you can stay in touch - when you want to.

E-Mail: The Travel Connections Champ

Most libraries in the United States now have internet access. When traveling the country, we often stop in small towns to use this free service. We check e-mail and even check our bank accounts. In other countries, finding internet accesss is even easier. When computers are too expensive for most people, there's demand for cheap internet access. The result is that, in places like Quito, Ecuador, there's an internet cafe on almost every corner.

Hotmail and Yahoo still offer free e-mail accounts. Sign up now, if you haven't already. Then, wherever you are in the world, your friends and family have a way to contact you and you have a way to contact them. For some reason, even though the internet largely operates by way of the same phone lines, it's more reliable than phone service in many countries.

Snail Mail

You'll may still use the Post Office when you travel. Pre-address and stamp your envelopes if you'll be writing family, friends, or whoever. Usually, it's easy to find a mail box, but a hassle to find stamps and envelopes. When you need something sent to you while on a trip (in the U.S.) have it addressed to your name, then "general delivery," and the city and zip code where you'll be in a few days. The package should be waiting at the post office when you arrive.

Phone Cards

Phone cards are a great help when traveling in the United States. The best are not even cards, but accounts that you recharge on the internet. The one we use costs just 2.9 cents per minute to call anywhere in the U.S., with no connection charge. It's only 15


cents to call my wife's family in Ecuador (It cost me over $2 per minute just 4 years ago). The only extra charge is 50 cents for pay phone use, which is mandated by law for all cards now.

You use these accounts by funding them on the internet, using any credit card. With most, you can open an account for $20. You get a toll-free number to call, an account number (usually your home phone number), and a 4-digit PIN. To place a call, you dial the toll free number, then enter your account number, PIN, and number you're calling. Many buttons to push, but then you can call Paris, France for 3 cents per minute. That's cheap! Recharge your account from anywhere there is internet access, and you'll never have a phone bill, since you pay in advance.

Other Travel Connections Tips

E-mail a list of important information and numbers to yourself, like the one to call if your credit card is stolen, or the number of the U.S. Embassy where you're going. E-mail yourself a copy of your passport, and other important documents. When you need these things, they'll be available in any internet cafe in the world.

Staying in touch is a mixed blessing. I find it less than comforting to have the protection of a cell phone when my brothers and I go into the Canadian wilderness. It means constant calls, and worries that could have been forgotten until the trip was over. My final tip then, is to call friends and family when they're not home, and leave nice messages on their machines. Then they'll know you're okay, and if they need to contact you, they can e-mail you.

About the Author

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com