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  1. #1

    Default Staying Connected

    Hi Guys,
    I`m loving this website, my partner and I are coming over from England for a three month road trip around the Western States later this summer and the information on this site is so helpful, but on the trip i want to keep in touch with family,and friends and also post photos online so people can follow our progress. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best methods for this?
    ie is an iPad best, or netbook. What about connectivity in the States. Will my phone work everywhere? I`d appreciate any help people could give me. Thanks very much.
    Steve Holley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default look down

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This very topic is actually the subject of the other most recent thread in the Gear-Up Section.

    You'd need to check with your phone provider to see if your model will work in the US, and if so, how much it would cost. Many times it is cheaper and easier just to use a prepaid phone you buy over here. Phone service is everywhere in cities and typically along interstate highways, but if you get into rural areas it can be spotty.

    Wi-Fi is available at the majority of hotels, many restaurants, and lots of other places - typically free. Any sort of computer should work just fine in that regard.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Using either a prepaid phone or roaming with your phone to call back to the UK gets costly real fast. The most economical way to keep in touch would probably be Skype on your laptop or netbook with public wifi. If you are going to be here for 3 months, a prepaid US phone would probably be the most economical way to make domestic calls. Do note that if you give out your US prepaid number to the folks back home so they can call you, we pay for airtime for received calls here, not just calls you initiate.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for such an incredibly prompt reply. A prepaid phone sounds like the best idea. As far as computers are concerned i just wondered whether there was one type that was easier for travel. A laptop would be a bit bulky, netbook better, I Pad best of all?
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH103 View Post
    Thanks for such an incredibly prompt reply. A prepaid phone sounds like the best idea. As far as computers are concerned i just wondered whether there was one type that was easier for travel. A laptop would be a bit bulky, netbook better, I Pad best of all?
    Thanks
    That is so much a personal preference. Whatever suits you.

    For me, I carry a tiny (8") laptop/netbook computer.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    I think a netbook is a good compromise. A laptop is too bulky, and an iPad is too limiting.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks once again Guys.
    I think that Lifemagician and GLC`s recommendations for a netbook pretty much swing it that way. Ive been looking at some recently and there are some amazing models on the market, and so small and compact which obviously makes them ideal for travel. Interesting also that you think the iPad is too limiting. I guess Apple dont get it all their way all the time!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    It's all a matter of personal preference really.

    I'm not interested in an IPad simply because it seems far more like you're buying the Apple name and a cool factor far more than functionality. I can't imagine getting any serious work done on a tablet.

    However, you can a lot of times find a basic laptop for the same price as a netbook. The netbook may be a little lighter, and you might not need the extra power, but value wise, a lot of times you get a whole lot more computer for your money with a low end laptop.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I don't know about that - you can get a brand new Asus EeePC for $250. Any laptop you find that cheap is going to be pretty rough.

    Lifey and I both have older models of the EeePC.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'm actually using an Acer laptop I bought for under $300 right now. I've had it for going on 2 years and it's served me well. If you're looking for deals, its not hard to find a basic laptop for $300, that will be much more powerful than a netbook. Certainly, if you are looking for the absolute cheapest thing, or want something really small, a netbook is the way to go. But I'd struggle to use a netbook on a daily basis, and for $50-100 more, you can usually get a whole lot more.

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