Google Voice and the Vagabonder

If you haven’t heard of Google Voice yet you are probably a normal person who leads a normal non-techie lifestyle. For you I say shame. Shame on you! Google Voice might be the best thing since the toaster (not quite as good as sliced bread but still pretty awesome).

The benefits of GV can heavily come into play for the vagabond. If you are curious about GV watch these videos…

http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html

Did you watch them yet?

Good!

Now that you are all caught up on what it can do the next step is implementation. How can GV help me while I’m traveling?

For one it gives you a single number that will never change. The ability to ring any phone in the US and Canada is huge. It can save you an absolute ton of money if you make a lot of long distance calls. Couple that with free online text messages you can slice a good chunk of change from your phone bill. This in turn can be saved and put toward your travel fund.

The biggest benefit I think is the ability to check your voice mail and texts from the web, anywhere in the world. When you’re in Japan at a cafe and you want to say what’s up to your friends back at home, just shoot them a little text via the web.

Hey, I’m in Japan having the time of my life. What are you guys up to?

That is one example of what you could say. The great part is that it doesn’t cost you a cent!

You are also able to make international calls via GV. All you really have to do is load up you GV account with some cash money and call away. I haven’t done all the comparisons yet but from what I can see, Google’s international rates are pretty decent as well. Skype has them beat on some while GV has them beat on others.

This doesn’t really relate to travel but visual voice mail or voice mail transcriptions is nothing shy of awesome. The ability to send an email or text to my phone with the voice mail transcribed into text for my reading pleasure. Brilliant!

I haven’t heard anything about this yet but I’m really waiting for Google to come out with a VOIP from the web app for Google Voice. That will really be that day!

For now Google Voice is only in beta testing and isn’t available for open registration. You have to be invited. The good news is that after a little bit of time, you get 3 invites. So if you know anyone who has Google Voice, tell them you want an invite!

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