Internet access when traveling abroad is a must-have for me. When I am abroad, I am still, unfortunately, usually working or (at the very least) replying to emails. I know that I shouldn’t be doing all of these things when traveling, but it’s a part of the business that I am in.
When I’m home, I’m able to enjoy top of the line WiFi boosters and fast speeds.
But when you’re traveling abroad, you need to find the best way to stay connected while traveling internationally. Every country’s infrastructure is different. You may be in South Korea one day, where they have the fastest mobile speeds in the world, and you may be in a country with poor Internet coverage the next day. Using mobile in this country, or many, will be as fast as a lot of home Internet speeds in the United States.
You may also come across countries where Internet access is very limited.
We’re going to discuss how to get a secure Internet connection when traveling, tips you can follow to stay connected and one product that may solve your Internet problems abroad.
6 Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling Abroad
1. Buy a Local SIM Card
Want one of the easiest ways to connect to the Internet? Choose a local SIM card. You’ll likely need an unlocked phone, and if you have one, you’ll need to make sure that the phone you have is either GSM or CDMA, depending on which country you’re visiting.
Make sure to look for your SIM before traveling to ensure that you have a general idea of where to go to make your SIM card purchase.
2. Scout Out Internet Cafes
Internet cafes are very popular in some countries and less popular in others. While the idea of an Internet café is starting to fade, you’ll notice a lot of traditional cafes offer free Internet access.
The replacement for an Internet café includes:
A quick Google search will help you find locations that offer WiFi.
3. Buy a Mobile WiFi Hotspot for International Travel
A mobile WiFi hotspot device for international travel is your best option if you want to travel between multiple countries. Why? You can choose a hotspot that will work in entire regions of the world so that you cann travel from country to country without worrying about losing your Internet service in the process.
There are products like Muama Ryoko – which I highly recommend – that allows you to connect to the Internet in virtually all of Europe.
While you may pay a little more upfront for your own hotspot, there are numerous benefits available to you:
- Your hotspot is a personal device, allowing you to encrypt it and protect your data.
- You can connect multiple devices.
- You don’t have to rely on a country’s infrastructure for your own personal Internet.
One quick tip: make sure that the hotspot you choose works in the country that you’re visiting. When you enter into Asian countries, for example, a lot of hotspots will no longer work. The nice thing is that there are often alternatives available.
4. Hunt Down Public WiFi Options
Public WiFi is a great option. I know there are a few options near me, but in some cities, there’s actually very good public WiFi options. One thing I recommend is using a VPN, which can encrypt your data and keep it safe.
When you use any public Internet, there’s always a chance that the data can be intercepted.
But free Internet, when you use the right precautions, is going to provide you with constant connectivity. There are a few leading places to try and find free WiFi, including:
- Restaurant chains
- McDonald’s or Starbucks
- Tourist centers
- Tourist attractions
- Town centers
- Train stations
You can even find free WiFi at coffee shops, connecting to the Internet to find the best types of coffee beans to buy and bring home.
5. Choose a Hotel With WiFi
Staying in a hostel or hotel? These are the ideal locations for WiFi. I remember when I was traveling to the south of Italy. The location was remote, and while it was beautiful, there was one issue: Internet.
When choosing my bed and breakfast, making sure that there was an Internet connection was my top priority.
I was able to find a cute bed and breakfast that had free WiFi. Mind you, at the time, the Internet was slow, but it was still usable and reliable enough.
When you look for hotels, hostels or bed and breakfasts, you can inquire if they have free Internet or not. Most locations will have this leading amenity listed on their website. Plan out where you’ll be spending your night, and you’ll be sure to have a good Internet connection during your travels.
6. Change Cell Providers
What cell provider do you use? If you’re in the United States, or many other locations in the world, you’ll have a nationwide plan. But if you look into the plans that are offered, you’ll find that you may have international options available to you.
T-Mobile, for example, has a Simple Global plan that allows you to use data in 190+ countries.
You’ll be able to use your plan virtually everywhere in the world without worrying about roaming. Free international data and WiFi calling are available, but you’ll need to be cautious when making calls. The calls can be as much as $1 per 5 minutes, but data is unlimited.
Verizon, AT&T and others have similar plans available.
If you want to be sure that you have Internet and data when you travel the world, this is a great option.
Internet is a daily part of life in the developed world. When you’re traveling to countries outside of your home country, being able to connect to the Internet means:
- Posting on social media
- Checking in on family
- Paying your bills
- Booking accommodations
- Checking sights out to see
- Researching your next destination
- So much more
Using the six tips above, you’ll be able to stay connected abroad whether you’re visiting Asia, North or South America, Europe or other areas of the world.