Taking off in an RV often means being away from home and your neighbourhood for weeks or months at a time. While the RV lifestyle means fun and freedom for most people, it can also be difficult to know you will not see some of your loved ones for a while. The good news is that you can take advantage of several creative solutions to stay in touch even when you’re out of sight, whether your friends and family are in Canada or somewhere else in the world.
Use Video and Chat Options on Your Smartphone
The possibilities for communicating while on the road today are so much greater than they were even 10 years ago. Whether you have a laptop computer, tablet, smartphone, or all three, you can find ways to see and speak to people you may be missing back home. Many people prefer to use their smartphone for video chat because it is smaller and more portable, making it possible to talk wherever they happen to be.
To launch video chat from your phone, you need Google Chats (formerly Hangouts) for the Android model or Facetime for the iOS model. If you already have contacts programmed into your phone, all you need to do is locate the person’s name and push a button to connect. Maybe you prefer a bigger screen when video chatting. In that case, set up your laptop somewhere in your RV and use an application such as Skype or Zoom to connect with your loved ones.
Keep in mind that technology may not always work when you need it to, especially when you are out of range and out of chance of receiving a strong signal. Just try to keep a good sense of humour about it and try again later. Your children, grandchildren, and other family or friends will appreciate the effort and look forward to the next video visit.
Some people choose to bring their pets along on RV journeys. This is certainly an option if you think your pet could tolerate spending so much time riding in the RV. If your four-legged friend does join you, be sure to have him or her join the video conversations occasionally. Your friends and family back home should get a kick out of it.
Take Up the Lost Art of Sending a Postcard or Letter
With so many electronic communication options available these days, people sometimes crave more personal contact with friends and family. After all, it is much easier to put a postcard in a scrapbook than a text message.
Children might especially appreciate receiving a postcard or letter from each new location you visit. You can even make it educational for them by including some history and geography about every new place you stop. When you are trying to connect with grandchildren across the miles, consider sending them mail-stamped Canada Post and instruct them to place a marker on a map at home to help track your journey. Scratch maps and Globe Pinning are also great sensory and visual ways to join in your travels.
Create a Private Facebook Group for People to Follow Your Travels
Facebook allows users to create private groups for just about any purpose as long as it is not illegal. Many families take this opportunity to create an online group just for their family members. Having the group available makes it easier to share news in real-time that may be a bit personal for all friends on Facebook to see.
Creating a group page to stay in touch while RVing works the same way. One of the biggest benefits of this approach is that you can update several people at once about where you are and what you are doing. You can also stay updated with family news without having to go to each person’s Facebook page individually or find their updates mixed in with updates from all your other contacts. Honorable Mention: WhatsApp does a great job of this too and is available wherever you download apps!
Buy a Cell Phone Plan with Plenty of Long-Distance Minutes
Phone calls may be less common than they used to be, but they have not completely fallen out of favour. Before you hit the road, check with your plan carrier to see whether you have unlimited minutes each month. If you do not, consider upgrading to a different plan to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can call friends and family anytime without running up a huge bill.
Summer has come to Canada at last, and with lockdowns ending, the call of the open road has never been so strong in any of us. Now is the time to get out and explore all this beautiful nation has to offer for the short season it is able to offer its best!