Traveling abroad almost always means that you won’t have a specific Wi-Fi connection to rely on, that’s why the alternative of having access to mobile data can come in handy. Aside from getting information about flights, having internet access can help you gain access to maps navigation which is essential if you are going to move around an unfamiliar territory, as well as provide you with translations for any foreign languages you may need. However, most of these mobile data charges can be a bit on the high end, so how can enjoy all your internet services while still saving on the cost?
Avoid using mobile data altogether
If for instance you are not hiking on a mountain somewhere, and instead you’re traveling in a more urban or developed destination, the chances of you finding a free Wi-Fi connection are high. This is especially because the provision of Wi-Fi connectivity has become one of the ways that most vicinities attract their customers to their services. It won’t be hard finding a hotel that offers free Wi-Fi as part of its accommodation package. And if that doesn’t work for you, you could always try out a public transportation, a restaurant, coffee shop or whatever popular spot that offers Wi-Fi. You’ll find that with this option, you won’t have to pay a dime to get online.
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Join Project Fi
Google’s Project Fi hasn’t taken off as anticipated, but it is still as useful when it comes to accessing data when traveling, particularly from the US. A Project Fi account in the US is offered at data rates of US$10 per GB, which are also the same rates charged in over 120 countries as well. For those traveling outside the US, you should know that Project Fi will not run on LTE but will instead make use of the 3G network. One of the great things about Project Fi is that users on regular mobile contacts have the option to pause the services for as long as three months, if they are not using it. This means that frequent travelers, will have a way of reducing their data costs.
Currently, Project Fi is exclusive to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P handsets, so if you need to sign up to Fi services, you may need to purchase one the Google devices.
Switch to a native SIM card
Don’t have internet access? why not get yourself a SIM card provided by one of the networks at the place you’re visiting? Unfortunately, this option will mostly be useful to those that own phones that are unlocked. The good thing is that you won’t even have to pre-order the SIMs, considering that these pre-paid SIM cards are sold everywhere, from shops to supermarkets. However, it may be a good idea to do your research prior, to find out what is offered by each network in the area, in terms of mobile data and coverage.
Note that these SIMs don’t generally have data roaming services included in their data packages, thus if you are traveling to multiple countries, you may need to have different SIM cards in hand. Additionally, make sure that your handset is capable of working with the different networks you plan on using, because more than often the frequency bands used for data in one country may not be the same in another.
What others ways do you ensure you stay connected online while traveling abroad? Let us know in the comments.
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