Recommended Products
Related Links



Informative Articles

How To Be Safe While Traveling
The most dangerous time in your life, when you are most likely to be attacked is when you are traveling in an unfamiliar area. Tourists are the favorite prey of the goblins of the world for the following reasons: They are easy to spot....

Is Purchasing Travel Insurance Smart?
To answer the question "is purchasing travel insurance smart?" let's look at what insurance is. When you purchase insurance - health insurance, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, life insurance, or travel insurance - you're not making an...

Oahu Hawaii Travel and Vacation Attractions soon to be offered with Go Hawaii Card and Hawaii Travel Industry Vets will lead the Honolulu office.
Oahu Hawaii Travel and Vacation Attractions soon to be offered with Go Hawaii Card and Hawaii Travel Industry Vets will lead the Honolulu office. Oahu, Hawaii - Oct. 25, 2005 - Smart Destinations announced the addition of Hawaii natives to lead...

Should You Purchase Travel Insurance?
The determination of whether you should purchase travel insurance is a determination of whether you want to assume nothing bad can happen during your travels, or whether should something bad happen you can adequately resolve these unforeseen events....

Travelers with Disabilities: The Untapped Market
When most people think about accommodating people with disabilities in their business they get a scared feeling in their gut and their mind scrambles to search for that all-important date when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into...

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: