In the past two weeks, we’ve had two deaths in the family. On top of dealing with two family emergencies on the road, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We had just gotten through Thanksgiving, and we were trying to get ready for our daughter’s birthday and Christmas.

Being away from home when tragedy strikes is never easy, but when the worst happens, there are lots of ways to stay connected with your family while you’re on the road, even if you can’t go home.

Get Unlimited Data

A lot of campgrounds have Wi-Fi, and if you’re connected wherever you are, that’s great. Use the internet to stay connected however you can. Call, text, or chat anytime you feel like you need to.

Wi-Fi map

But when you have spotty Wi-Fi, your best bet is to use your cell service, and that’s what we do. We splurged on an unlimited plan, and never looked back. I’m so glad we did. It’s one of the best decisions we made.

When it comes to needing the internet, we never have to worry about whether we’ll be connected. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the middle of the city or boondocking on public use land. We will always be connected to those we love.

It really came in handy when we were getting four updates from two different hospitals every day on the status of our loved ones. Had we been worried about our data usage or our minutes, it would have added so much more unneeded stress.

Video Chat

Android and iOS devices both have the ability to connect via video if you’re calling between the same type of device. However, if you want the opportunity to connect with loved ones when you can’t be there in person, there are a lot of free (or paid) options out there.

Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Duo, WhatsApp, and WeChat are just a few. Check them out and make sure you have something set up and ready to go. You’ll want it for more than just an emergency. It’s a great way to keep up with friends and family while you’re on the road.

Video chat

If you familiarize yourself with how to use it now, you’ll be ready to use it at the last minute. You can live stream funeral services, last minute goodbyes, and all sorts of other things you won’t want to miss. Just because you can’t be face to face doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be present.

Divide and Conquer

Sometimes, one of you may need to head home to represent your family while the other stays behind and holds down the fort. It’s not easy being separated during hard times, but that’s what we had to do.

Justin headed home in one car while I stayed behind with the kids in the trailer. That way, he could be with his family and say goodbye to his uncle while I stayed here to be with my family and say goodbye to my uncle.

Our situation was unique, we experienced two deaths in two different cities, and we weren’t able to be together to support one another. But it was important that we split up and do what we needed to do for our families, then reunite and grieve together later.

Ditch the Trailer and Go Home

If all else fails, leave your trailer in the campground and head home to be with family. Of course, clear it with the campground first so they know your trailer will be left unattended for a few days.


Then pack up and head home to be with your family when you need to be. Most campgrounds will be accommodating to family emergencies and allow you to leave your trailer unattended for up to a week, as long as you’ve paid for your time in advance and you’re in good standing as a guest.


The traveling life isn’t always easy. Being away from family and friends can be heartbreaking, especially when you can’t be there for them in times of need. But leveraging technology to work to your advantage is one of the best things you can do.

We didn’t decide to travel so we could go off the grid. We’re more connected than ever these days. Even when we’re not at home, we’re able to keep in touch with the people we love. We get to experience the beautiful world we live in while still offering support to those who need it most.

No one said it would be easy, but even after all we’ve been through the past few weeks, we still think it’s well worth it!

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