|And, the most
important thing is that I’m still earning money that I would not have been
able to earn 2 years ago.
of consulting with clients one on one is difficult to maintain. In the
future, though, I can see how I can connect by videophone to clients from
anywhere, and run a session. It will require some ‘training’ of clients
in the meantime.
alone is enough reason to take your laptop with you.
of computing has developed exponentially in the last year. It’s amazing
what a real free market can do if left to develop in its own enlightened
self-interest! There are many possible packages these days, and many different
price tags, and many ways of approaching this capability. I will go into
further detail on this topic in my forthcoming eBook. For now I will describe
what I chose as the best approach after trying many other options.
In the end,
the simplest and the best telephone system for the traveller or expatriate
is Skype. Skype is free to download, register and use between two (or more:
you can conference too) Skype users. This encourages rapid spread of the
technology and uses ‘web psychology’ in the best way – give something useful
away for free and get people in. You even find some internet cafes will
let you use Skype on their computers (though not often – they like to charge
for phone calls at much higher rates).
Once you have
Skype working on your computer, you can get more serious – you can buy
credit (using PayPal, or credit card) which allows you to use SkypeOut,
that is, you can call any phone number anywhere (except some emergency
numbers), be it a landline ( 1 or 2 cents per minute) or a cell phone (10
cents per minute approximately). I use this constantly for business and
friends who don’t have Skype-to-Skype installed yet. Skype claims that
$13 credit will give you 10 hours speaking to landlines round the world.
You can go
further and get SkypeIn, meaning that you can pay about $10 for your own
phone number (for 3 months) in any of about 10 countries currently available.
I (an Australian in Mexico) have a California phone number which appears
on all my websites as if I have an office in the US, making it possible
for any American to call me at US rates. The calls go to my computer and
are answered by Skype, whether I’m there or not. Either I take the call,
or redirect it to other numbers (at Skype costs, very low) or take a voicemail.
I could also have a number in the UK, and numerous other countries round
I have been
using all these features for months and I can tell you that it works well.
It is even something you should have on your computer at home, whether
you travel or not – you can save a lot of money in phone bills. I know,
because I have saved plenty in Australia. See SkypeZones below for more
around the world
Wifi is a system
of connecting phones or computers to the web wirelessly. This too is spreading
exponentially, as places such as hotels and restaurants, neighbourhoods
and even whole cities are in the process of becoming ‘unwired’. Usually
this needs to be paid for but some businesses provide a free wireless connection.
In San Cristobal in southern Mexico where I write this, I can sit in a
picturesque café owned by a German guy who adds to his revenue by
providing internet connections through his own computers – but he also
provides a wireless network for free! So I can sit anywhere nearby within
the reach of this local network and access the internet, and Skype phoning,
while I write this article. This is enlightened! And he is not the only
one, though normally they ask you to pay a little for the privilege.
The good news
is that this will spread widely and rapidly, and further good news is that
Skype has come to an agreement with a group called Boingo who provide wireless
hotspots around the world (25000 at current count). The upshot is that
for $7.95 per month, you can access this network via Skype, meaning that
you can cheaply access any of those thousands of sites in airports, restaurants,
and hotels to access the internet or call internationally as described
You can pay
much more to do this using other systems, but this arrangement is the best
I’ve come across so far, and it integrates with what you’ve already set
up on your computer.
can you do with a laptop? (Details on these subjects coming in an eBook
You can trade
futures and stocks and shares on web platforms as you travel from place
to place – make money as you travel. This is the Holy Grail in my opinion,
and I’ve discovered how to make it work.
You can interface
with your digital camera to immediately edit, upload, and publish on the
web your digital photos and videos. Find out how to have your own ‘server’
for your photos, your websites, your business, and anything else you produce.
There are possibilities of earning money with your travel photos.
You can watch
movies on your computer’s DVD drive.
Set up your computer
system as a hi-fi system.
Set up your computer
system and your jukebox and your digital camera as a tape recorder.
Set up faxing
(in and out) on your computer so you don’t need to use commercial services.
Use the web to
find all the travel information you need, locate the hotels and other services
you want, and find the best deals, and call them immediately on Skype for
reservations. Make those travel agents obsolete! Never carry a heavy guidebook
with and without video for business or friends in real time.
Write your travel
memoirs and articles, as you go.
mini-jukebox (iPod, iRiver, etc.) to your computer, to capture all the
sound files (music, spoken, interviews, etc.) you want to listen to later.
Find out how to use your computer to charge your jukebox and do away with
the battery problem.
your digital camera and jukebox battery system to optimise the power situation
for your various devices.
Set up a Calendar
system for note-taking and reminders as you run your business
also cover the following, and more, in my coming ebook
All the details
of how you can do the things mentioned in this article, explained in a
way that’s not too technical, and easy to put into practice.
More case studies
of people actually working and travelling with their laptops.
How to set up
Skype on your computer, step by step.
The laptop computer
as a money-saving device when you travel with it – we’ll look at the economics
of it all. You can save a lot of money if you travel with a computer, in
costs of phoning, books, entertainment, etc.
What to watch
out for in terms of the best hardware to buy to optimise your travel experience.
All the equipment you need to take with you in detail. - the memory stick,
the earphones, etc. In detail, including plugs and other adaptor hardware
devices you need for travel in different places.
The sorts of businesses
or jobs that are good candidates for travel.
All the objections
to taking a laptop with you - listed and dealt with one by one.
What you can do
with internet café computers, and what you just can’t do.
to upload your photos and videos – using commercial online services or
your own ‘server’.
Using Skype to
send files, to chat, and to conference.
you find on the web for later perusal offline.
The best websites
online for the savvy expatriate or traveler.
and other mp3 and video files for later viewing.
reducing the size of files.
All the best software
you need to keep the computer running best
A full collection
of travel tips, fully updated, as they relate to computing and travel.
How to get
the real information on deals for hotels and travel by entering searches
in local languages to sidestep the big commercial English search engines
which only find the expensive services