|A software business functions comfortably from a converted touring coach. (Technomadia.com/MCT)|
Vetera n road warriors know how expensive it can be to coordinate business communication from the road. Factor in social media expectations for those making their living online, and travel costs can increase significantly. This is especially true for international travel. Following are a handful of ways you can tackle tech and communication costs while remaining mobile.
Calls: While controlling your monthly calling bill in the United States is easily handled with any one of a number unlimited carrier plans, things can get trickier when you leave the country and start having to deal with roaming charges. T-Mobile’s recent addition of unlimited texting and data in more than 100 countries for qualified plans has got to be making business travelers breathe a sigh of relief. The fact that calling from those same international destinations costs only 20 cents per minute as opposed to traditionally out-of-reach industry prices doesn’t hurt either.
A potential new kid on the cell phone block is a company called Mobile United, which is scheduled to launch sometime during late autumn of 2013. For an annual membership fee similar to those required for warehouse grocery and home goods stores, customers will be able to choose from a number of calling and data plans which have been negotiated with major mobile networks. Basic unlimited talk plans are listed for as low as $16.99 per month.
Comedian and actor Dan Nainan, author of “The Best Book on How to Become a Full-Time Stand-Up Comedian” prefers to keep things even cheaper when he’s traveling. His favorite online resource is Google Voice, which allows him to chat with family, friends and business associates from a variety of locations.
Connectivity: Nainan’s former career as an engineer for Intel required a great deal of travel and communications problem solving as well, further adding to his bag of tech tricks. One of his favorite software picks for those new to coordinating business communication from the road is Hotspot Shield.
For $30 per year, this VPN software provides additional security protection while using public Wi-Fi networks on the road, and also mimics an American IP address which makes it easier to operate in countries where accessing North American websites can otherwise be problematic. There’s also a free version, although it does come with ads that many may find annoying.
By Myscha Theriault
(McClatchy-Tribune News Service)
(MCT Information Services)