Communication: Finding Cell Phone & Wi-fi Service When on the Road

Keeping in touch when on the road is vital, as operating a motorcycle is not one of the safest activities. Lets face it, people that care about you will worry and it is not a bad thing to check in with them. A simple phone call, text message or post (facebook or blog) can help ease minds. I find the hardest part is finding service, especially when traveling in the middle of no where. Most of the places that I have stayed at have not had cell or wi-fi service at the campsite, or anywhere close by. Sometimes, I would have to go a good 15-20 miles just to get a few bars of service on the cell phone. One time, deep in the Adirondacks, the only service I could find was wi-fi at this little ice cream stand. I got a swirl cone and called my mom via skype! Always do a little planning before any trip to make sure that you have some idea of what to expect. Below are some tips for finding and using Cellular or Wi-fi Services:

Cellular Service

  • Check out your Service Providers Maps for the area you will be traveling
  • Check out other Service Providers Maps to see if service is available via Roaming
  • Keep in mind that you may have voice service, but not data service
  • Try to get up as high as possible on a hill, cell phone service works better line-of-sight to the towers antenna
  • Remember to set your phone to airplane mode when no longer in a Cellular Service Area, It will help save the battery when not connected

Wi-fi Service

  • Local Restaurants & Food Stands are great locations who usually advertise their wi-fi service with a sign
  • Gas Stations recently have been adding Free Wi-fi service, especially ones that are on well traveled tourist roads
  • Cable Companies have been putting in Wi-Fi Hot-spots all over and provide them to customers free of charge. Check with your provider to see what they offer
  • Check with your Cellular Service Provider if your service allows you to use Cellular Calling on Wi-fi
  • If you and the person you are trying to call both have iPhone’s, you can place normal phone calls over Wi-fi via FaceTime Audio


If you are going to camp in places with limited services, be prepared to unplug. Make sure the people you check in with understand that you will not be in an area that you can communicate with them and give them realistic times that you will check in. Then follow that plan. Emergency Services does not need the extra duty of checking in on you because you did not check in with your frantic significant other!

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