Holidays on the Road: Staying Connected as a Truck Driver
- Google Calendar is a great way to stay up to date on everybody's schedules. Even if you don't have a Google account, friends and family can add to and view a calendar, depending on your settings.
- Apple Calendar is another useful calendar tool. Similar to Google Calendar you can share with friends and family. The app is optimized for Apple devices, though, so sharing with those who don't use Apple products might be difficult.
- Don't like Google or Apple? Try out some of these alternatives:
- Skype - As their messaging says, "Free calls to friends and family." You can pay for an upgrade, but the free version works just fine. This app works across all platforms and smart devices.
- Google Hangouts - Similar to Skype and mostly useful for those with a Google account. Many use this app for video chat, SMS chat and phone calls.
- Facebook - Since so many people have a Facebook account, it's easy to see what those close to you have been up to. Facebook Messenger allows users to call, chat and video call users with the app. In addition, upload photos of where you're traveling so friends and family know where you've been traveling.
- FaceTime - If you're an Apple fan you may already know about this app, and it's available for Android smartphones as well. People love using FaceTime as it can be an especially fun way to keep in touch with kids.
- Text Messaging - This is a quick, simple way to stay in touch. Don't be afraid to check in throughout the day or catch up with friends and family about what's gone on during your day.
- Phone Calls - Sometimes a good, old-fashioned phone call is all you need. Hearing the voice of a loved one almost instantly makes you feel closer to home, even when you're far away.
If you do find yourself alone during the holidays, remember there are positives to that side as well. Alone time is ideal for working on personal goals. Have some issues or ideas you want to work through? Take advantage of time by yourself to do some research or think it through. Is there a movie you want to watch that nobody in your family wants to see? If you have a few hours with nothing else to do, treat yourself to a movie or concert. Loving the scenery of your current location? Go on a hike or find a safe place to park with a great view. No matter what happens, take advantage of how your situation works out during the holidays. Family time doesn't have to be stressful, and alone time doesn't have to be lonely. When in doubt, reach out to loved ones for a quick phone call or text message. Be sure to comply with all laws and regulations regarding road safety, and do not use a hand-held mobile device while driving. For more information, view the regulation (49 C.F.R. § 392.82) here.