Communicating with home while on the road

Flying Fever

New Member
For those of you that are away from home 3,4,5 nights a week or longer. How do you communciate with your family. I guess the obvious thing would be just pick up the phone and call. I'm thinking emailing would work good. But have to drag a laptop around.

Was just curious.

I picked up a prepaid calling card from Costco (like Sam's Club on the West coast). It's got 480 minutes for $19.99! That's cheap!! Much better than paying the hotel long distance rates, cell phone, or some other "standard" calling card. E-mail is good, but there's no real-time connection unless you both agree to do some sort of instant messanging. But it's a drag, I'd much rather use the phone!!
Doug and I use any resource we can get... when we first started out, we used the internet and travel calling cards (only for the frequent travelers like agents, pilots etc).

now we use internet, cell phone and phone. doug takes his laptop everywhere he goes and i could always reach him through that, but we like to talk voice to voice and with our cellphones, it's much cheaper than long distance.. just find yourself a good calling plan and go that route!

Did you guys give a try to internet communication programs? I am not talking about I-phone and the fancy very complicated ones.

If both of you have a computer around and both has sound card in it then you can talk via the internet with a very simple proggy.

I use it for gaming mainly and I frequently talk to my teammates in Canada or wherever on the world for freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Someone has mentioned that getting on-line from most hotels is for free through access numbers. It also work just fine on a 56k modem. No need for high speed. If you have a good sound card with dupplex capability than you can listen and talk at the same time. It is almost as good as phone. Quality depends on your sound card and headsets only.

Check this program out:

It is free and very easy to install.
Both computers have to install it. you also hhave to configure your mike and test it. It is a 5 min hassle and if you have an ATP you really should be able to do it without any special computer experience. Ok with a CFI you can do it tooo

How it works:
You get on-line and start up your RW (RogerWilco) and host a session... you will see your IP address through which you host... you know the 201.23.543.123 kind of thing. Then call or instant messagge your honey and tell her the IP address. She will search for the session with that IP. Then once she found it she will click on it and there you go. Voila!!! That is all. You can even put a password on so nobody else can enter the session.

I hope I helped to save you guys some bucks or two with this.

If this wasn't clear or you have trouble with it setting up then you can ask me. you want to make sure though that your sound related stuff is installed correctly because it can mess RW up.

Usually cell phone companies offer special offers to airline pilots. I know that Sprint offers a program to us that's 24% off the rates advertised on their website.
Telephone works well domestic. Domestic I use a cell phone for free calls. International I use the costco MCI prepaid card (can be recharged) and supplement that with email.
When using a laptop at a hotel, be sure to check the hotel's phone charges. Some hotels don't charge for local call, or 1-800 calls, other hotels do! The bill can add up BIG if you log on for an hour and are incurring hotel phone charges. Also some hotels don't charge for local calls for the first 30 minutes, then they start charging, so you have to hang up and call back. Always read the fine print on the little card next to the phone, and call the front desk to verify phone charges for crew members, some airlines do negotiate free local and 1-800 calls for their crews as part of the airline's contract with that hotel.

Same goes for calling cards, some hotels charge either per minute or a small fee of $.50 to $1.75 for 'free' 1-800 calls.
If u are on the road all the time, a cell phone is definitly your best bet (more air time...).
Here's a tip if u have a laptop and a cell phone :
Most major carrier have wireless web on their plan. Get the unlimited WB and go get the USB cable and software to connect your PC. if I remember correctly. And available at Radiosha.
It utilize your wireless feature on the cell phone (not the minutes) and is about twice as fast as modems (115k). Make sure u look into it, especially that your plan is appropriate...

I love it...
Most major carrier have wireless web on their plan

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah but how much is it there? I setup a laptop that way and it was about $1.50 a min! Talk about expensive net axcess, only get 9600baud too .. eek
If I plugged a laptop into my Sprint PCS phone I think I'd get some pretty decent reception, and I'll be I could get a 28.8 connection over it in most places. If you are just sending e-mail or using AIM, possibly checking into message forums like Doug does on the road then it's no biggie, you don't need broadband.


John Herreshoff
Most major carrier have wireless web on their plan

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah but how much is it there? I setup a laptop that way and it was about $1.50 a min! Talk about expensive net axcess, only get 9600baud too .. eek

[/ QUOTE ]

I got a Sprint pcs plan, cord (USB) cost me 20$, it's unlimited no worry about doesn't use your airtime.
I get 156k...
My husband has a cell phone with nationwide coverage and he has a calling card. We also recently signed up for $30 unlimited long distance for home from AT&T so I can call him at hotels etc.

I got a Sprint pcs plan, cord (USB) cost me 20$, it's unlimited no worry about doesn't use your airtime.
I get 156k...

[/ QUOTE ]

That would be unlimited web with a Vision plan, right?
mtsu - yep that is the Vision service. I've got it on my phone, $10 extra/mo but unlimited access. It has its limitations - I can get into both my Yahoo and AOL emails to read them, which is nice on the road even if replying is a pain if not practically impossible. Also good for wx and catching a bit of news/sports scores while sitting around waiting for plane, meeting, etc.

Nextel is a cool deal, working in the engineering & construction industry, most of our guys in the office have their phones. A lot of them are regularly 'in the field' so they are a great handy tool considering they previously carried a cell AND a motorola talkabout or some other form of walkie talkie. However, they are constantly going off in the office and I will say they are a bit of an annoyance with the 'eeep' going off all the time in the halls...
I personally have the sprint plan that incorporates free PCS to PCS which is great if the whole family has sprint phones. Then no matter where you are in the nation you can make a call that doesn't go against your plan min. However unless they have the free PCS to PCS it charges them if during the peak hours.