Why I like Gmail for Travelers

March 6, 2008 by Chris Guld · 12 Comments  
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Gmail is Google’s free email service. You can get your own email address, for example: You can use the gmail website to create, send, receive and manage your email from any Internet connected computer. Or, you can use your client-based email program, such as Outlook, to create, send, receive and manage your email. You can even have gmail fetch emails from other addresses.

Screenshot of Gmail

There are other free email services that can do all this, but I trust Google products to work better than most. And, once you have a gmail account, you have access to all the other great free stuff that Google offers like the Calendar, Picasa Web Albums, and Blogger. I have been accused of being a Google evangelist, I just love their stuff. It seems all the seminars we teach revolve around one Google product or another. No, I don’t own Google stock! I just wish I did.

Signing up for a Gmail account is easy, just go to and click on the link to ‘Sign up for Gmail.’ As soon as you’ve filled out the form, you have a gmail account. You can watch my short video on how to sign up for gmail.

Once you have the account, you instantly have an online inbox. You can tell people your new email address and start receiving and sending emails right away. It really is that simple.

In order to receive your gmail on your computer and be able to compose and read email offline, you have a little more work to do. This capability is called ‘POP’ access which I explained in last week’s blog post. Gmail also provides IMAP access, which is another, more sophisticatd way to get email on your computer. In either case, you must first turn the feature ON in Gmail. Just click on the menu option for ‘Settings’ then the tab for Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

You’re not done yet. Now you need to tell your computer’s email software about your gmail account. Your email client software, e.g. Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Eudora or Thunderbird, needs to know where to go on the Internet to find your gmail and what servers to use to send your email. It’s not hard, but you do need to follow the directions exactly. Gmail has help on doing this for each software.

When you’re done, you now can receive your email on your computer any time you are online. Then you can read it at your leisure offline, reply to whatever you want, and compose new email offline. The next time you are online, all the email you wrote will be sent.

If you find yourself in a situation where your computer can’t get online, but you have access to some other connected computer, you can go to, log in to your account and read or send email there.

Chris Guld

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12 Responses to “Why I like Gmail for Travelers”

  1. Hotdogjones on March 6th, 2008 1:46 pm

    I love gmail…I recommend it!

  2. William A Harland on March 6th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Great information Thanks

  3. hitchup on March 6th, 2008 5:06 pm

    I much prefer hotmail. Gmail isn’t as user friendly.

  4. akmshrm on March 6th, 2008 6:17 pm

    We got gmail just before we hit the road this trip. We have just gone full time and so we needed something that we could use anywhere. I love it – even my hubby likes it. We are able to get it just about anywhere with our Verizon card and that’s important to us. It’s how we keep in contact with our kids and friends. It’s awesome………

  5. garyandbarb on March 6th, 2008 6:22 pm

    gmail is actually quite user friendly if you use the older version. I have trouble with the new version. You can’t beat the 6GB of storage that they offer

  6. Eric Loveday on March 6th, 2008 6:57 pm

    I love gmail so much that I went one step further and signed up for Google Apps for my domain.

    I set up the email on my domain to use gmail. It is sooo much better than the email program provided my the company that hosts my domain.

    I thought it was a little intimidating making all the changes to my domain with a bunch of warning messages coming up as I walked through the steps but the documentation provided by google worked flawlessly.

    Trying to be helpful here but I don’t know if my post is clear, I hope its OK.

  7. Bob on March 7th, 2008 12:09 pm

    One feature of Gmail not mentioned was that you go to Gmail webmail and have it encrypted for the entire session by using the URL of This is handy when using a unsecured WiFi network.

  8. Tony Bond on March 15th, 2008 9:05 am

    Hi, Chris.
    I stumbled upon and have found a treasure trove of information.
    I was opposed to blogs but we (my wife and I) are going to do quite a bit
    of traveling this year and I was not aware of the myriad of potential problems
    such as email delivery.
    Thank you for your expertise and information.

  9. Rick Morgan on March 22nd, 2008 5:10 pm

    I have used gmail for some time. The fact that gmail allows archiving (instead of deleting) of all email and retrieval by discussion thread is a great plus for gmail. This is good stuff!

  10. Importing contacts to Gmail on April 3rd, 2008 1:01 pm

    [...] “Can I copy my outlook contact list to my gmail contacts?” Since I recently wrote about Gmail on this blog, I figured I would answer this question here. My favorite way to answer questions is to show you. [...]

  11. Joline Stone on April 10th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Hi Chris and everyone …. a friend and I are collaborating on a project and Gmail Documents is fantastic. Check it out. It does everything except make the coffee, hehe …. Hugz … Joline

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