This bird might have learned Morse Code, I spotted him based on his pecking of the tree and was able to get several nice pictures.
Last week I ranted about cell or mobile phones, but they have made travel so much easier. Between email, phone calls and text messages I can travel anyplace in the country and my communication follows me. It is rare to be out of range, or suffer a loss of signal, though it can happen. I remember my first cell phone, paying $30 a month, for 30 minutes of time, no data, and the calls all had to be in a limited geographic area. Extra minutes were 29-cents a minute, long distance as about $1 a minute. Now we are free to roam with unlimited nationwide calling.
International travel has also become easier to remain in communications. I have a plan with my provider that when my phone connects to a phone service provider outside of the country, I get a text message. If I continue to use the service, I am charged $10 a day, for calls and a limited amount of data (the amount of data varies slightly from place to place.) This is handy, but if I am out of the country for a couple of weeks, it adds up fast. I manage this by only turning my phone on when I want it on, not leaving it on all of the time. I manage data, by setting data, and email to only work when I have a Wi-Fi data connection - and nearly every hotel offers this anymore. I carry a tablet, that only connects by WiFi, and that becomes my primary connection for email, and and web content such as blogs and Facebook. On the two week trip to Ireland, I used 9 days, or $90 worth of international service. I had about 6 days of no phone service and that is okay, it worked just fine. It was nice to get away and actually be away.
The only time this lets me down, is when I am Detroit and I get too close to the border, and my phone picks up the network across the river. If I call and bitch, they will generally take the charge off, sometimes for $10, it is not worth the time and trouble.
Over the years I have looked at unlocked phones and local SIM cards, I have looked at specialty travel phones that provide pre-paid by the minute international service. For the way I use my phone, the numbers have never made sense.
What is your strategy for staying in contact when traveling?
The Red Bellied Woodpecker!!!! I have several!!!ReplyDelete
NONE!!!!! When I travel it's just my cell phone. When I vacation...everything stands still and unplugs, including blogging. But I will say once in the Poconos I had to take a detour because of the turnpike closing down. THANK GOODNESS I had my cell phone. I plug in my address to google and I got home just fine. It basically told me where to turn, so no having to worry about missing roads or such.
We miss your blogging when you are disconnected. I have an old fashioned portable GPS unit, that has helped me find my way home. Someday I should write about out attempt to use the phone for GPS walking directions in London- dark alleys and headed in the wrong direction.Delete
That sounds like a Hitchcock movie waiting to be written toots.Delete
I DON'T! it's fabulous! it's like the olden days (the 70s).ReplyDelete
But we miss your smile (or is it smirk) and your comments!Delete
depending on the situation, it can be a smile or a smirk.Delete
We travel to get away from contact!ReplyDelete
A friend who is a mental health professional, shared one time, treating a young person for a panic attack, she/he had gone out into the wilderness and couldn't get a cell signal and melted down to an extent of needing hospitalization for a couple of days.Delete
that young person is a mental case already.Delete
Data? There was no such thing as data when I bought my first phone. It could make and receive calls, but then one day a friend using a university computer sent me a text message. I was amazed.ReplyDelete
I could call Australia wide, but it cost around $1 per minute.
I was annoyed last year to learn that my huge amount of unused data could not be used overseas. I use my tablet via my phone as a hotspot when travelling and if anywhere for a few days, I buy a local SIM card. While I haven't looked at the matter for a while, (no need to as we can't go anywhere) using our home provider overseas is very expensive.
Emails, blogs, maps, information, flights.......must have a working phone overseas.
I was a late in starting to use text messages. In the USA most of our phones are "locked" meaning they won't work with another phone providers SIM card, I have thought about buying an unlocked phone.Delete
In Europe and Schengen countries, it's now easy. Our data plan continues at no additional cost. In the USA, it's not as easy. I buy a SIM card and service and use that temporary number while I'm there. That costs me less than $50 for a month (even if i go for 10 days) but it's a lot better than paying several hundred in roaming charges.ReplyDelete
If I went to Europe more often, an unlocked phone would make a lot of sense.Delete
If I travel internationally, I call the provider and let them know. They will activate international calling for either the $10.00 a day or they offer a flat charge with limited data. I usually get the latter because I can check email and send texts and messages while I'm at a hotel. It's worked for me. A few years ago, when I traveled by car into Canada from Detroit, I actually watched the signal change on my phone in the middle of the bridge.ReplyDelete
I have family in the Detroit area, I need to go sometime soon,Delete