How to stay connected on the road – What we use for education and fun
Hitting the open road…traveling, seeing and learning new things can be an intoxicating experience. Many of travelers use it as a time to “disconnect from the gadgets” that dominate our lives.
Our favorite FL Beach RV – Beverly Beach RV Camptown Flagler Beach, FL
But what if you want to travel and stay connected at the same time? Depending on where you go, it can be quite a challenge. Since we homeschool and travel over 100 days each year, staying connected is a necessity for our family. Here are the ways I keep our family connected while we travel.
- Campground Wi-Fi – I give many campground owners big props for recognizing that this feature has shifted from luxury to necessarily. Most are trying to provide decent Wi-Fi connections. Keep in mind they are hampered by location and what level of Internet access supplied to their location. Also, depending on the number of other campers trying to access the network speed can slow to a crawl during high usage times. This level of connection is typically good enough to send and receive emails, pay bills, etc. most of the time streaming HD video is out of the question.
Checking emails before bedtime
Tip – try to identify the Wi-Fi access points a campground and Park close as you can to it. Also many times the Wi-Fi will be strangest near the office or clubhouse. So grab that laptop and hangout at the clubhouse if all else fails.
- Wi-Fi boosters. – We actually deploy two different Wi-Fi boosters, a Wi-Fi ranger and Winegard ConnecT. These boosters can “grab open free Wi-Fi” from as far as 1-3.5 miles away.
Our newest Wi-Fi booster
So if you are close to a Starbucks or McDonalds you might be able to get a usable signal using one of these boosters. Both of our units create a secure Wi-Fi network within our RV. This can also help to pull in campground Wi-Fi if you’re not close to an access point. I have found pretty good success using these boosters. Bonus – both of our boosters can connect to cellular hotspots and create a secure Wi-Fi network with the RV
- Cellular boosters – this has become our “go to” method of staying connected. These boosters give your normal cell signal up to a 32x booster. It allows us to get a useable cell signal just about everywhere we go.
Love this weBoost cell booster. It works great!
This booster coupled with our cellular hotspots (we carry Verizon, AT&T & Sprint redundancy is another key) gives us the peace of mind that we can get connected no matter where we go. I cannot tell you how much of a lifesaver this booster has been for our family.
- Cell phones – lastly, we have our cell phones. We have been T-Mobile customers for over a year. We are on the unlimited plan with 10g of hotspot per line. T-Mobile has come a long way and we have been very happy with our speeds and ability to connect. Cell phone coverage depends on the carrier and the location.
I struggled to find cell service anywhere but standing on this rock while visiting Mount Rushmore.
Cell phones typically don’t have strong internal antennas. More than one occasion I have found myself doing campground gymnastics trying to find a cell signal.
All these methods of getting connected to the internet allows us to keep our homeschooling up to date no matter when or where we travel. Once we have a solid Internet connection we can utilize all the same educational tools we have at our sticks and bricks home. We use various methods for homeschooling from Khan academy; teaching textbooks, time 4 learning and many more.
Homeschooling in the RV!
By staying connected while we travel our kids are blessed with the biggest classroom in the country. The combined of learning a topic and experiencing and exploring that very topic is the best method for our children.
Learning at the Skeletons Museum
Think of it as field trips for every subject. Who wouldn’t want to learn that way?
Exploring the Orlando Science Center
So if you want to get out on the road more often, I’m sure our tips can help you stay connected no matter where your rig is parked!
Either way, typically the view in front of us is well worth the hassle of getting connected to the internet . . Enjoy and see you out on the road.