How to Best Manage Email When Traveling
It’s always amazing to me how much I can travel and still stay connected. I can answer emails on a flight to France, I can chat with family while on a Tour in Thailand, or even (quietly) shoot off a message while meditating in Mumbai – It’s great how much we can accomplish and how “in the loop” we can be when we are away from the home or office. But, any experienced travelers will tell you it’s not always easy. Especially when I travel abroad, there are many times I wish I had known better on how to avoid the common mistakes that make it possible to miss calls, emails, and important news. If you are like me, you cannot stand the idea that you might miss something important or time sensitive. That’s why I am going to share with you some tips on how to travel and still be connected.
Make Sure You Will Be Able To Charge Up
Especially if you are new to global travel, you may not realize the myriad of different voltages and power-socket types there are out there. If you are planning to spend a decent amount of time in any one place, do yourself a favor and read up on the types of outlet and voltage commonly used there. You can order an adapter easily enough. However, if (like me) you plan on travelling a great deal, it might make more sense to go ahead and invest in a universal adapter. You should also look for an adapter that converts voltages. I prefer to forgo the single-plug adapters and use a power strip with a surge protector to be safe.
Email Clients Can Save Your Bacon
Webmail is great, but how are you going to refer to a booking reservation email when you can’t connect to the internet on your laptop? In fact, if you are not on a local provider, you may not even have a data connection on your cellphone. That’s why I always have an email client on my laptop. It’s not that you will always need offline access to your info. But, trust me, there is a perfect storm waiting for you out there if you keep all your vital travel information in the cloud. Need an email client? No problem – Mailbird is free and works awesome for Windows users
Let People Know You Are Travelling
I am always surprised how many people don’t use auto responders when travelling in their emails. Travelling can be unpredictable, and using a quick message letting people know you may not be able to get back to them immediately is the best way to prevent long delays or misunderstandings those times when you find yourself unable to respond. I suggest a short message letting the sender know you are travelling, and may not be able to respond to their email immediately. It’s also sometimes appropriate to include a cellphone number for emergencies.
Use Mobile “Tethering” or “hotspots”
Did you know that your mobile device and also share it’s data connection with your other devices? It’s true – most major mobile devices support what is commonly called “tethering” or “mobile hotspots”, allowing you to connect to the internet through your phone using your laptop or tablet. Just remember that this uses your devices data plan. If you have a limited plan, it’s best to use this feature sparingly. If you are worried, and want to avoid a shock in the form of a million-dollar cellphone bill, I suggest taking advantage of your device’s data warnings and limit settings. Most major devices include features allowing you to create usage alerts and limiters to prevent you from going over your rate limit, and incurring serious charges.
Give People Multiple Ways of Contacting You
Okay, this last tip isn’t really an email tip. But, speaking of cellphone numbers, it’s always a good idea to make sure people can reach you – regardless of internet or cellphone coverage. That’s why I always include both my cellphone number and either a Skype or google voice number. When travelling, you will probably find yourself without internet access or cellphone network coverage. However, it’s far less likely that you will find yourself without both at the same time. A VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone line like google voice or Skype ensures that when you have internet, you still have a way to make and receive calls.
Now That You Are All Set, Go See The World!
I suggest you take every opportunity and every advantage modern technology affords you (to stay connected) and head someplace you’ve never been. Just keep in mind these tips, and you never have to worry about missing something important as you do so.
Have An Awesome Tip of your own? Leave it below in the comments! We’d love to hear about how you stay connected while you travel.