Staying connected online is a must for many travellers these days. Whether it’s for blogging, uploading status messages on Facebook and selfies on Instagram, getting on the information superhighway can be an expensive affair when you are overseas. The horror stories from folks coming back from their pleasant trips only to find that the amount of money they spent on data alone just by connecting for even a minute to check their Facebook or Twitter is staggering. Here is one of them – Link
Of course there are ways around it so here’s a rundown of what to expect and prepare for when you are abroad.
1. For Single Country Trips, Get a Local SIM Card
The first thing we always like to do when we get to our foreign destination before we get a cab out to our hotel is to head to the local telco office. Most airports in the world already have this. And they even have free SIM cards with US$1 worth of cellular and data usage in the hope that you will top up more money.
For Causal and Heavy Users
2. For Multi Country Trips, Get a Roaming SIM Card
The last time we were travelling around Europe, we had to keep buying and “collecting” SIM cards. Furthermore, we didn’t finish the SIM cards balance and so it was wasted. As the world becomes smaller as a result of globalisation, costs can be saved and carrying just one number on one SIM card is a better bet.
For Causal and Heavy Users
3. Get on WiFi for Unlimited Internet
Switching on your airplane mode and getting on the WiFi at hotels, cafes and restaurants always seems to do the trick. You don’t have to fuss around with changing the SIM card and best of all, it’s free.
For Causal Users
4. Mobile Hotspots
Nowadays, hotels are getting smarter and more aware that we carry more than one device when we travel. We ourselves, have an iPhone, iPad, laptop and Kindle – all of which need Internet power! But the structures that be are putting restrictions on that by having a single login access point so only one device can be connected at one time so how do we get over it? Simply by buying another device called the mobile hotspot (Cue the groans and gasps..yes…another device to charge).
For Heavy Heavy Users
5. Postpaid Roaming with your Local Telco
From the casual to the business travellers, one can always accept ease of use with minimum fuss but that always comes at a cost. Postpaid Roaming allows you to pay a flat fee for 24 hours and have unlimited internet usage. For example, you can pay less than US$20 a day can get you unlimited data by staying on the preferred partner of your local telco in the city you are in.
For Medium Users
Note: To test your internet speed whether you are in the hotel room or at a pub, you can always visit Speedtest.net. We usually use this before we download attachments so that we are prepared to be in for a long wait if the net is slow.
Don’t forget to check Tompang when you are away to see what people are looking from abroad so you can earn some extra on the side by helping them bringing it back home 🙂