First of all, you should think of these things before going on your trip to consider what options are the best ones for you:
- Where do you need Internet and how much you will be using it? Consider if you’ll need Internet only in the hotel or if, for some reason, you will also need it in the car or in the road.
- You’ll also need to think about the kind of actions you will be using your Internet for. Will they be looking at a map, sending emails or updating a blog? How much data you’ll need will be something mandatory to know beforehand!
Options to stay online in a trip
1. Arrange a data plan before leaving
Most of carriers offer a data plan that allow to have (a certain amount of) Internet wherever you head. They usually are pretty limited, but keep you connected at least for texting, sending emails or using Youtube, Skype or Instagram to upload your beutiful travel pics. Always make sure these plans are available in the country you’re heading to and reset your device data counter before leaving, to keep track on how much you’re using.
2. Rent a smartphone when arriving
This may also be a good option and can get cheaper than the data plan abroad through your carrier. Of course, you will have to pay more than if you just use a voice plan, but it will be ready to use as soon as you get it. And if you have any issue, you will have the technical service right there in the country you’re visiting.
3. Rent a SIM card
This may be the most common option and it’s helpful if you want a voice plan at the same time. You can use it in your own phone or in a rented one and the price is not crazy, considering how much data you get. The best thing to do here is to use the SIM card with an old phone you don’t use anymore. Just in case.
4. Buy an international SIM card
Many companies that operate internationally offer SIM cards for modern devices that can be used if you’re hopping from one country to another and you don’t want to worry about your Internet every five days. Usually, they will give you unlimited access for not that much of a high cost.
5. Get a Wifi router
If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a pocket sized device where you’ll have to insert a SIM card in and will make you stay online wherever you go. They allow you to connect several devices for just one router.. You can an international SIM card or a local one, depending on your needs.
6. Data roaming USB
This is very useful if you main tool of work is your laptop. You will have to insert a SIM card, plug it into the computer and that’s it. The only thing is that these USBs are not as powerful as the router for instance, but they will get the job done.
Some tips to stay connected
- Bars, parks and public places: In many countries, if you can wait and have Internet when in public spaces, it can be a great option for not paying extra money for your roaming. Ask for the user and password and take advantage of places like cafes or libraries that tend to haven a faster connection.
- Try to book a hostel/lodge that has free Wifi. Or at least Wifi. In some of them, you may have to pay an extra fee, so take that into account when budgeting.
- Some buses, trains or intercities have Wifi that you can connect to during your route. You will see a little Internet sign if it is available at a public transportation.
- For planes, the usual thing is that you have to pay an extra fee for their Wifi, which is pretty high sometimes, depending on the airline.
Credits main pic: Bence Boros