For many businessmen and women, it can be hard to break away from their work and/or home computers while they are traveling, either for work or for personal reasons. However, it is possible to still use IM, even though you are not at your current computer.
Some hosted instant messaging programs allow you to take your IM program any where you want on a jump/flash drive, sometimes called a USB drive. The program is downloaded onto this mobile storage drive as a .ZIP file, and can be used on any computer. This is a great idea when you will have a computer available to you (such as in the hotel lobby or a relative’s computer), but want to use your same instant messaging program.
Another great method of using an instant messenger program while you are on the go is through your cell phone. I know there are some drawbacks — taking longer to type, battery life, etc., but if the person you are trying to reach is only available through IM, then it may be your best bet. My new Palm Pre had AIM and GoogleTalk already integrated into the phone, and I know that other phones have the ability to connect to AIM as well.