I have just returned from a week long vacation with my family to the Grand Canyon and for the first time ran into some real email and communication problems. In this world of global communication we can easily forget that remote locations are still using dial up connections or that hotel Internet connections can be excruciatingly slow when everyone is checking their email at the same time.
On this last vacation I found my Verizon Internet enabled phone and IMAP email account at Live.com indispensable. I found that having and online email account was a life saver and that you can just not count on being able to download your email when you travel.
Although I did intensive technology planning for my trip – making sure my hotel had high speed Internet, I never bargained that my connection speed would be so slow and that it would be incredibly difficult to work online. As I am getting ready to leave for Russia at the end of July, I am now planning again to be out of the office and work globally.
This is my action plan for stateside travel next time:
- Get a Verizon wireless card for my laptop. Then I have my own connection.
- Make sure all email accounts I use have online access – in case I can’t download my mail.
I did find that this last trip that my Google Voice account was a terrific asset. I was able to receive my messages when I wanted them, could screen callers to answer when it was convenient to me, and received transcriptions of calls via SMS to my mobile email account.
Sometimes even when you have planned in advance being away from your home computer network can be problematic, what I learned was to be self reliant.