Two years ago yesterday we drove away from Jim’s parent’s road to drive the Pan American Highway. Two years. Three Countries. Tens of thousands of miles. And yet we find ourselves back in Los Barrile on Baja understanding more than ever that the road of life is rarely certain and even less often a straight line.
As we headed south towards Baja we knew we wanted to do some campground research along the way. Although we have camped on five continents, it never hurts to view other campgrounds with open eyes when planning improvements for Camp Coeur D’Alene.
With this in mind, we specifically chose to stay at some vastly different types of campgrounds to experience each end of the spectrum, checking out bathroom facilities, camp stores, and pricing options. While we didn’t garner any huge new ideas from what we were already thinking it sure was fun!
Today marks three weeks here in Los Barriles. Although we are all set up with our “shade compound” and, in between working on camp business, have been actively joining the local scene of art shows, pickleball, and yoga, it also feels as though we just arrived and is a perfect indication of how elusive the concept of time can be. As ever, one of our very favorite parts of our crazy life is the fact that we get to meet so many interesting people every day. And, also as ever, everyone is capable of being a critic. But for any negative vibes we encounter we just sit back confidently knowing we are mastering the art of living.
Well, we have arrived at our home for the next three months. Three Weeks. Three Mechanics. Thirteen Campgrounds. Nearly 2500 miles.
Although our most recent reinvention has us less overlanders than the last couple of years, we are still firmly rootless on many levels. And these last few of weeks moving from our summer -home at Camp Coeur D’Alene, to our former state of Oregon, to our latest winter resting spot in Los Barriles have reminded us of the reality of a life lived, at least part-time, on the move.
There aren’t many things that are as exciting as a road trip, packing your car and hitting the open road. You may deliberate on what to take with you when packing, but the chances are your mobile phone will definitely be in there so here are some tips to ensure you don’t come home to a nasty big phone bill.
Avoid Roaming Charges
If you intend flying overseas to do a road trip there, you want to avoid all those exorbitant roaming charges. Check your phone and make sure that it will work overseas. Verify with the provider to ensure that your phone is operable overseas.
Look at your phone plan to see how much is it going to cost to make phone calls or download some e-mails while traveling abroad. You may want to consider buying an international data or calling package. An international plan is a good investment and you simply need to call your provider and request a temporary plan that will work in your destination of choice.
Some Data Saving Tips
- You may want to have a break from your mobile device while on a road trip where you basically just one to text one or two people to let them know you’re safe. You may buy a text package before leaving. There are service providers who will provide you with a global messaging package that starts at as little as $10 a month for 50 messages sent from any country.
- When you pack for your road trip, make sure that your chargers and adapters are packed in your close-at-hand bag so that if your suitcase gets damaged or stolen you have these devices with you so you don’t have to resort to buying these accessories at the next stop you make where the costs to purchase them will be double your original price.
- Did you know that you can save data in Google Maps? You don’t have to go into Google Maps each time you’re looking for navigation information. You may just download the area you need to visit in Google Maps and you will be saving so much data when navigating. This will save you a lot of data and it improves the experience if you’re traveling through a low reception area. To save a map to use offline, simply open Google Maps and find the place you want to save. Hit the bottom info bar and Download. Select the region’s size you want to save and name it.
- Download your entertainment. Before you take off on your trip, download entertainment before you leave. One of the best ways to do this is to make use of free wi-fi hotspots wherever you can to save data. Download movies or your favorite music when you’re in a wi-fi area and set yourself up with some good entertainment for your road-trip. Also, all the best audio streaming apps offer ways to listen to music without having to stream them using your data. Spotify, for instance, allows you to download your playlist and with Google Play Music, as an example, you can download everything – playlists and radio.
Android phone users, for instance, can have some control over their data consumption because, with Opera Max, a compression app, you can actually save data surfing on the Internet. In the app, you’ll be shown which apps on your phone have the greatest data savings potential.
Know your Data Usage
A road trip is so exciting, but not if your Android or iPhone keeps running out of cellular data before your new data comes in each month. Before you can manage your phone’s data usage, understand how much data you have used by going to your Settings and looking at your Mobile Data Usage. By following these data saving tips you can ensure that you don’t run out of data while on a lonely road.
Ensure that you’ve got all the entertainment you want and the ability to still make contact with those at home about where you are and that you’re also safe.