Staying Connected Cheaply While Travelling Internationally
After a recent survey we conducted, the biggest annoyance of travelling was found to be staying connected. The thought of going without internet access or checking your social media accounts even for a day is unthinkable but with the costs of staying connected overseas often being very high, what are the best ways to stay connected without getting a huge bill and heart attack to go with it? Let’s explore the different options so you can better decide what is right for you…
Global Subscription WiFi
Subscription WiFi is the newest thing around, global subscription WiFi is pretty rare. With our global WiFi accesss you can access 57 million WiFi hotspots around the world, these are all secure and encrypted so your data is safe. What’s more you will be automatically connected to the nearest secure WiFi hotspot wherever you are so you never have to go searching for it.
SIM cards (for Phones)
If you are planning on using your usual SIM card, make sure you know the rates in the country you are travelling to and ensure you turn off your data roaming. Remember that even if your phone is switched off you can still get charged as your phone might be set to automatically update. In a perfect world a dual SIM phone is great as you can use your regular SIM and a travel SIM without having to do the irritating SIM card swap. A travel SIM will give you free international roaming, cheap calls, SMS and data in most countries. This means you can answer your phone without being charged in the majority of countries and check Facebook without the fear of extortionate charges. A travel SIM card can save you up to 95% on your roaming charges.
Data SIM cards
You can use a data SIM card in a tablet, iPad, WiFi router (find out what a portable WiFi router is) or any other WiFi enabled device. You can actually use it in a smartphone as well but you won’t be able to make/receive calls or use SMS but don’t worry we have a solution for that later. A pay as you go data SIM is probably the best solution for most cases as this will ensure you can’t accidently overspend and get a huge data roaming bill. Using any type of contract SIM for data roaming is very risky as it’s harder to keep track of how much you are spending. You can get a local data SIM in each country but if you travel regularly you can end up with loads of SIM’s and you have no idea what country any of them are for, plus topping up can be a difficult if it’s a language that you don’t speak. A worldwide data SIM will give you decent data rates in the most popular destinations and a reliable internet connection with good speeds. You get a better deal if you add data bundles (up to 1GB) so you know exactly how much data you have and how much it costs. It just gives you peace of mind that you can get online anywhere for a fixed price.
Finding free WiFi is ideal but depending where you are travelling to this isn’t always available – or it’s tediously slow so trying to get anything done is seriously time consuming. There are always downsides to anything that is free (hence the reason it’s free), one thing to be careful of is unsecured free WiFi. If you don’t enter a password to access free WiFi, anyone can obtain your personal data, meaning that your accounts can be hacked. You can combat this by using a VPN. Find out how to use a VPN.
Tips to keep costs low
- Make sure you do any downloading before you travel. Have a good supply of music, movies, etc saved on your devices before you leave so you don’t have to stream anything while you are away as this burns through money.
- Where possible find offline travel apps that don’t need a data connection, you can also save an offline Google map of he places you are travelling to or use an app like maps.me. See some cool travel apps we love.
- Se automatic updates to only update when connected to WiFi.
- Know the rates of the destination you are travelling to as different places can vary greatly.
- Use a pay as you go option so you can take charge of how much you spend.
- Keep data roaming switched off and only switch it on when you need it.
- Consider downloading an app that can compress your data – this can save you up to 50% on the costs of data! See more sneaky data roaming tips.