How to get portable internet for less when you travel

We all know the score, you travel so you have to turn off your data or you leave it on and get a huge data roaming bill.  Turning off your data means you are a slave to free WiFi, which is fine if you want to stay in your hotel all day, or don’t mind scouring the streets for a café that offers WiFi.  However, what about the times when you are hopelessly lost, can’t find any free WiFi or want to ensure you only access the internet over a secure connection?  No problem, there are a few solutions….

cheap portable internet when you travel 

Use a data SIM card
You can use a worldwide data SIM card in your tablet or iPad, in a portable WiFi device (more on these below) or in any other WiFi enabled device.  It will enable you to access the internet in 188 countries, for up to 85% less.  What’s more you can add data bundles to your data SIM card which give you massive savings in many destinations including Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and Australia to name a few.  You can grab a free data SIM card (just pay for the bundle or pay as you go credit.)  You will need to ensure that your device is unlocked.

Data roaming bundles

Use a WiFi Router
Don’t worry, its sounds all high tech and complicated but it’s not!  It’s basically a pocket sized device that you insert any SIM card inside, switch on and it gives you internet anywhere in the world.  You can use a worldwide data SIM as mentioned above, or you can use a local SIM if it gives you better rates. The good thing about portable WiFi Routers is that you can choose the SIM for the destination, meaning you get the best deal on data wherever you go.  Most portable WiFi devices will enable you to set up your own private WiFi connection for 10 devices, however there are some models like the Alcatel Y858V 4G WiFi Hotspot that enable you to get online on up to 15 devices.


getting internet from portable wifi

Use a Data roaming USB
A data roaming USB is great to have if you are travelling with your laptop.  Just pop a SIM card inside, plug into your computer and start browsing.  They are very much like the portable WiFi routers mentioned above but you can only access the internet on the one device (your computer), unless you use something like the Huawei E8372 4G WiFi USB which enables you to browse on up to 10 devices.

 laptop with data roaming usb

Use apps that don’t need data roaming
If you think you have enough free WiFi options to get you by the majority of the time you might just need something when you are on the move.  For example is essential on any trip as it doesn’t use data (just download the map of the country you are visiting before you leave or download it when you have free WiFi).  You can plot all the places you want to visit and where your hotel is so you can always find your way back – it’s a life saver.  Other apps like Triposo are pretty good offline travel guides and Pocket enables you to read articles offline.  These apps are all free and do not need an internet connection to operate.

You can significantly reduce your data roaming charges by following these sneaky tips!

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