Some simple tips to stay connected and be available for prospects while you are traveling.
Many agency CEOs and those charged with agency new business are traveling a lot these days. I just returned from an overseas trip and it was important for me to stay connected to my own social media new business network.
My on-the-road my basic equipment consists of:
- A MacBook 13″, easier to use at airports and lunch counters. I prefer using my Mac when I write even when traveling.
- I have an iPad and iPhone (my iPhone is jailbroken which helps with overseas travels and allows me to use T-Mobile’s data and cell phone plan).
- I own a T-Mobile aircard/laptop stick but I prefer the Verizon version, that seems to have a much better coverage area. Sometimes it has been helpful that your laptop stick be a different service than your cell phone, when one has weak coverage in a particular area the other may be stronger signal.
Here’s some connection tips that I thought would be helpful to share.
- I never know what kind of internet service I’m going to get from one airport, hotel or conference facility. I always carry my T-Mobile air card. I wouldn’t leave home without it.
- As a backup for my presentations and other travel information I use Dropbox. It is a free service and I’ve found it to be extremely useful to me when I travel. I can also post large files for others to easily review.
- I absolutely love Tripit. I still use its free version which does all that I need it to do. You can easily organize trip details into one master online itinerary. It also will post trip updates through your social networks. When I arrive at an airport, one of the first things that I do is open up Tripit, touch the number for my ground transportation connection and it will automatically make the call. To many other great benefits to list here. But to say the least Tripit is one of my most essential travel tools.
- I often have sought out tips from others who are traveling to some of the same parts of the U.S. or abroad for their suggestions. I reached out to Trey Pennington for example. Trey travels often to the UK and provided some great advice. Particularly helpful was his recommendation to add the iPad 3g International plan. I purchased the 50 MB global plan for a recent overseas trip. I only used a small portion of the plan and could have gotten by easily with the 20 MB plan. You can preset the travel dates in advance and have your iPad connection ready to go as soon as you land.
- I often use Skype while traveling for video and conference calls. It is free to start using Skype – to speak, see and instant message other people on Skype for example. For very little costs subscribe or pay-as-you go for additional features like call phones, access WiFi or send texts.
- I use the Tru global phone service and app to make calls from my iPad to land line phones and to persons who don’t have Skype. Call recipients tell me that the call clarity is great. This tool was great when I made calls from the UK to the US.
- I use Foursquare often. It lets others who follow me know when I’m in or near where they are located. For example, I was in Nashville, TN recently, checked into a location with Foursquare which led to an invitation for coffee, a lunch meeting and an offer to drop by one of the agencies for an impromptu meet-and-greet.
I now have This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of tools and tactics to stay connected while traveling. I’m sure others have some additional tools and tips to add to this list. Please feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Update: Shortly after writing this post, I now have the Personal Hotspot for iPhone 4. I dropped my T-Mobile air card service. I upgraded my Verizon cell plan to include the Hotspot service for $20. I’m also able to connect my iPad through Personal Hotspot which allowed me to also cancel my AT&T iPad data plan.