these days i've been keeping up with the times.. i have a netbook and a cellphone for communication, but it wasn't always so. the easiest way to keep in touch is the internet, you can access it just about anywhere, and it's possible to do so for free.
back in the days of backpacking around western Canada we were equipped with a long distance calling card and some quarters. i'd call someone back home every week and try to choose a different person to contact each time, so that everyone would know i was still alive, and in fact having the time of my life trippin around the mountains.
now i have a cellphone through koodo, it's a no contract phone plan that allows me to call to and from anywhere in Canada for the same price as a local call. it's 65 bucks a month but with little other living expenses it's very much worth my while to have. it's nice to shoot a text off to everyone in town when i travel from place to place to see who's down for a visit.
the internet is pretty well everywhere lately, we would check every public library along the way for free computer and internet access. most places give 15 minutes at a time, if it's not busy you might be able to sit down for a couple time slots to fulfill your email needs. check also community centres and other public resource centres for free internet access.
i brought a little old junker digital camera with me so that my friends would have something to see of my travels, but libraries usually don't allow capability to upload. for that i'd save my change for when i find internet cafes. the cost varies from place to place, i once paid 2 dollars on a coin op computer for 15 minutes at a laundromat in Grand Forks BC, but it was worth it to post some photos. in Vancouver many corner stores have little islands of computers set up where they charge you 1 dollar for every half-hour of usage. at least that's how much it was at the one place i'd hit up all the time on West Pender.
if you have a wireless internet device like a netbook or one of them iphone things, bigger cities have coffee shops with free wireless access for their customers. most places that have wireless also give you a place to plug inand charge your cell and computer. i decided to get a cheap netbook as a long term investment for my photography jobs and hobby. i can take it on the road and transfer data anywhere whenever i need to without worrying about plugging my hardware into someone else's machine. i suppose you could say i spoil myself nowaday, i'm a more refined tecky nomad than i was in the beginning.