When I am ready to go on a trip, I create an itinerary on Tripit and make sure all family members back home have a copy. I also email someone a copy of my transportation tickets and other important documents I might need while away (including my passport). I have all those things saved on my ipad and phone, but if something should happen to that technology, someone could always email it to me.
Whether you are traveling alone, with a friend, or with a large group, there will be people at home wondering about your well-being and what you are experiencing. Some folks are more interested in the basics like “I’m still alive” while others want to know all the little details and experience the trip through you.
I have both kinds of people in my group of friends and family. I also enjoy reviewing what I have done at the end of each day and get full enjoyment out of each step of my travels. Each day, I compose an email of my day – a diary entry, if you will. For those who aren’t interested in details, they see an email from me and know I am still alive and kicking. For the others, they get to read the full story of the things I did, the places I ate, and the people I met. I am sure to include my impressions and thoughts along the way and often pictures.
One of the best aspects of creating this email diary is the benefit I get out of it later. I print off all the emails of the biggest trips when I get home and have made binders with a cover pictures for each of those trips. I really enjoy going back to the binders and reading a trip from several years ago. I usually remember the “important” stuff, but always find something there that makes me think “wow, I had forgotten how I felt about that.” This communication from me to those at home provides me the chance to relive that trip in my mind and enjoy it for a second, third, etc. time.
If I am traveling within the United States, I just text those who need to know that I have arrived safely. However, if I am in Europe, I don’t use my phone for phone calls or texting. I make sure I stay in a hotel that has free WiFi and use that to email all communication. I tell family when I will expect to arrive in the country and how long I expect it to be before I am checked in and able to notify them. Then I do that for free. There is no reason to tie up big bucks with an international phone call that isn’t an emergency. Of course, I have arranged for international rates just in case.
If you are a solo traveler, communication to your family and/or friends is important for both of you. Family members who are concerned about you traveling alone will be much more comfortable if they can hear from you often. If you make a habit of contacting someone on a regular schedule and they don’t hear from you, someone will know to check in on you and make sure things are all right.
Travel is a lot more fun when I communicate with others about what I am doing and hear back from them. This communication adds a peace of mind for them and me. Having the ability to know what is going on at home makes for one less thing for me to worry about while on my trip.