Advice for Women Travelers:
Getting info on the road
disclaimer

The Internet and cell phone networks have made is unbelievably easy to get information while traveling: it's hard to believe that there was a time not too long ago where a traveler had to lug around books, maps and printed notes so that much-needed and might-be-needed information would be readily available.

But Internet access and mobile phone access remains imperfect. Even in the USA, it's all-too-easy to find yourself unable to access online information. In addition, it can be cost-prohibitive to spend more than just a few minutes on a computer or smart phone looking up information on the web.

Here are my recommendations for what information to take on a trip, and what to have linked online for quick, easy access while traveling - and note, I travel a lot by motorcycle, which means my packing space is VERY limited, and I have a feature phone, rather than a smart phone: in other words, if you have a lot more space to pack than I do, and the latest smart phone and plenty of money for your calling plan, you may not need to do any of this, since space and money is no challenge to you while traveling):

This is the information I compile and print out to take with me on a trip, as well as certain publications I take with me:
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers for any places I plan to stay overnight (friends' homes, hotels, hostels, etc.)
  • City or state maps (my husband has a GPS - but we still find maps VERY helpful while on the road)
  • Printed copies of my passport, visas and driver's license (kept somewhere separate from those actual documents)
  • Information clearly labeled In case of emergency, please contact... and then complete information for those contacts
  • Contact information for USA embassies and consulates for any countries I'm visiting
  • Contact information for my medical and travel insurance providers, and all policy numbers
  • Contact information for all airlines I will be taking while on my trip (in case I need to get in touch with customer service)
  • Addresses for people I might want to send postcards to
  • Lonely Planet or other guidebook for that city, region or country, if I have such
   
 
 


I also encourage you to create an online space for key information that you can access as needed from a computer while you are out on the road. You can house this information for free, and password protect it on:
Some suggested info to have in this private online area, to access as you need it:
If you have a feature phone or smart phone, you can create an online space that links to key information as well. This preparation means, once you are on the road,  you don't have to spend time looking for key information online - it's just a click away. For instance:

If you on Twitter or Facebook, you might consider following or liking the profiles for the following sites, for easy access while on the road - and it also provides an easy way to tweet out or to post a complaint or a compliment as the experience is happening:

You may want to configure certain Twitter or Facebook messages to come to your phone via text message while you are on the road. I configure my Twitter feed so that I get a text message if anyone mentions me in a tweet.

You should see if your blog host allows you to send new entries via email; most will require you to configure this feature before you can do it.

I also set up my Flickr account so I could post photos from my feature phone, and that my Twitter feed would be updated as a result of such (here's how you can do that too).

WARNING: you need to make absolutely, positively sure your cell phone, feature phone or smart phone will work outside of your home country before your trip. Do plenty of online research and call your cell phone provider to ask a representative. You may find conflicting information; if your cell phone provider assures you that the device will work, be sure to get that rep's name and some kind of ID number, in case he or she is wrong, so that after your trip, you can get some kind of credit for your trouble.

Using the Internet to Share Your Adventure During Your Adventure, advice on blogging, photo-sharing, tweeting, etc.

 
Disclaimer
Any activity incurs risk. The author assumes no responsibility for the use of information contained within this document.

 

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