It’s a fact. More and more of us are dependent on our devices. We like to stay connected to our friends, families, emails and social media, news, games, etc…. When traveling overseas, I like to access local maps, translation app, and currency app. Many hotels offer free wifi. Some cruises also offer wifi packages for purchase or free. We’re covered during those hours. When you’re out and about sightseeing, here are a few options to stay connected all day long.
- The easiest way to stay connected will be to contact your current mobile phone carrier for an international data plan. Some companies offer a very reasonable rate. Most do not. But it is quite convenient as you don’t have to figure out if your phone is locked or unlocked. You can keep the same phone number. You can make calls directly from your phone. If you’re light user or don’t mind the rates, this is probably the best option.
- Another option is to get a sim card. Some travelers land at their destination and then find a local phone carrier to buy a local use sim card. With this, you have to make sure your phone is unlocked and can use other carrier’s services. You won’t have the same phone number as at home. But usually more reasonable rates. However, you can’t use it until you have a chance to buy the card. Some countries have outlets right at the airport. Some countries, you have to buy them in town, so there will be some delay until you can find your way to one that’s open.
There are no contracts and no monthly fees usually. You buy based on the data volume and number of minutes for calls or days of usage you need.
Or, you can buy them online and have them installed before you leave home. There are global sim cards. It may come with a US phone number so you can notify your contacts in advance how to reach you. Rates are usually reasonable for calling, but can be high for data coverage. You can buy them on Amazon. There are European ones such as this here, or global ones like this. You can use companies such as Wireless Traveler, who specializes in these services and can offer assistance to help you select the right product.
3. One more option is to rent or buy a hot spot device. This option allows you to share data with other family members or travel companion. Most hot spot can support 5 devices. With this option, everyone connects to the portable device in order to get data, and make phone calls through wifi calling apps such as Skype or What’s App. Some companies have very high speed service and those charge more. Some advertise unlimited data…but will be slower speed after you reached a limit. The cons is that you will all have to be traveling together in order to stay connected to the hot spot. If some wants to go to museum, and some wants to go shopping, then, this won’t work.
But this is definitely a reasonable option in terms of rates. Otherwise, for a family of 4 or 5 or more, you will have to buy multiple sim cards and pay for multiple plans. Some companies like Sky Roam are quite simple. Just one device. One daily flat rate. Use in over 100 countries. Others like Wireless Traveler, have more options and maybe less expensive if you’re only visiting one country or don’t need as much data. Some will mail the device to your home. Some will mail them to your destination hotel. Some like Sky Roam, has airport kiosks so you can pick one up on your way out. ( ASK ME for a Coupon Code! ) When you’re done, you mail the device back.
This is a great option. Everyone keeps using their phone. No need to change sim cards.
If you’re leaning to option 2 because maybe you’re single traveler, or not everyone needs to be connected, but don’t have an unlocked phone, you can rent or purchase a global phone. You will have to get used to using a different phone though.
With all of these options, you want to make sure that whoever you buy from has good signal and coverage and services so you can actually be well connected.
Information provided here is only for that purpose…to inform you. I don’t particularly endorse one company or one service over another. Please do your own research, read reviews, and see what fits your usage the best.