Staying Connected When Traveling

we've come a long way from pay phones to cell phones with data

“But where does the candy come out?”

Conversation with my kids this morning:

Me:  As soon as we hear from Daddy that he’s ready to be picked up, we need to leave.

Grace:  How is he going to call us since he forgot his cell phone at home?

Me:  He’ll use a payphone.

Grace:  What’s a payphone?

***brief period during which I black out***

Me:  It’s a public phone, that you put 2 quarters in and you can make a phone call.

Molly:  You know, like the one at the rec centre.

***Molly is now my favourite child for not making me feel so old***

Molly:  And sometimes they’re in those containers…


Me:  You mean…phone booths?!?

Molly:  Yes?

Me:  Go play your ipads while I weep into my coffee.


Now that I have recovered from that conversation, and have decided that I am not old – they are just young and silly whippersnappers – I am thinking about how it makes sense that they can’t even conceive of a world without cell phones.  Who can blame them, since I have been carrying one since long before they were born.  The ability to check my email or google the information we need while we are out is still relatively new – I’ve had an iPhone since Molly was 5 and the twins were 3 – but I’ll bet they don’t remember it ever not being that way.

Truthfully, as much as I like to reminisce about “the good ol’ days,” I can barely remember a time before I was constantly connected and online either.  I rely on my phone for so much for social time, scheduling, navigating, reading, research, and keeping track of information.  I’m lost without it.  And none of that changes when I am away.  If anything, I rely on my phone even more when I travel because I am managing flights, hotel reservations, shuttles, and finding the closest coffee shop.  It’s also like a security blanket.  A security blanket with an attitude, that is, when Siri gets in a mood.

Luckily now I don’t need to worry about being without my phone or having to pay astronomical roaming charges when I travel to the U.S.  I used to add a travel package onto my phone plan, but I found that it still cost a ridiculous amount of money, and I was constantly afraid to use it still, for fear of going over the limits.  But then Nerdguy found something better.  He bought a SIM card from Roam Mobility for a one-time fee, and now when I travel I just have to purchase a plan for the length of time of my trip, pop the SIM card in, and I am good to go.

The California trip for BlogHer was the third time I used Roam Mobility this year, and I never had to worry about phoning home, texting or data.  I could phone home as much as I wanted and not worry about rushing the girls off the phone.  I could text people no matter where they were from, and I had plenty of data so I didn’t have to worry about saving up my tweets and emails for when I could find wifi.

The only part that I don’t like is that if people texted my Canadian number, I didn’t get the messages until I got home.  I think I could solve that by forwarding my Canadian number temporarily for a small fee from my provider.  I just let people know my temporary number ahead of time, and that seemed to work fine.  Another option is to buy one of Roam Mobility’s Breeze Phones instead of switching my SIM card out.  This works well for people who don’t have an unlocked phone as well.

The comparison between Roam and my carrier’s US offerings is no contest.  With Roam Mobility I can get unlimited text, talk and 300MB of data for a one day plan for $3.95.  My carrier wants $5 just for the data.  And you can barely call it data because it’s only 2MB.  What can I do with 2MB?  For 40MB it’s $20.  And that’s just for data, and only for 1 day.  You can see how it would add up.  It starts to make the airline’s baggage fees seem reasonable.

A 7 day package with Roam Mobility with unlimited calls within the U.S. and Canada, unlimited texts and 2GB of data is only $27.65.

Overall, I have been thrilled with how easy Roam Mobility has made it to stay connected when I travel.  In fact, just to make sure that I don’t forget how it works, I may have to book a little weekend shopping trip over the border with the girls for the fall.  You know – for research!

Roam Mobility are super supportive of bloggers, and they covered my Talk, Text and Data for while I was in California for BlogHer.  Don’t tell them, but I was going to buy it anyway, and I was already one of their biggest fans! 

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