This is one of those travel lessons I learned the hard way. I wouldn’t wish my stolen phones and sky-high roaming bills on my worst enemy (okay, maybe to some people), so take a note from my lengthy travel book and save your money for better things. Like Timtams, flat whites, and excellent Australian wine.
It’s the little things.
Unless you’re traveling on business, there is absolutely no reason to keep your roaming data on the entire time. The availability of free WiFi is growing internationally (it’s how I stayed connected in Asia), and you can save your battery life and your meager international data plan for the important things. Like taking pictures of your food and “wish you were here!” tweets and Facebook updates.
If you absolutely HAVE to stay connected nonstop (“But Hitha, I NEED to Instagram that building/cup of coffee/outfit/monkey”), or your hotels don’t offer free WiFi, allow me to recommend the XCom Global MiFi. For approximately $15 a day, you receive unlimited, super-fast WiFi connectivity. I’m serious about the speed – my MiFi is much faster than my hotel’s WiFi. Bonus points go to the support of 10 devices and secure connections. $15 a day, and zero problems.
What if your intentions are to actually speak on the phone? (A novel concept, to be sure). You have several options – Google Voice, Vonage, and Skype – all are apps on both Andriod and iOS devices, all work beautifully, and all are FREE (as long as you’re dialing back into the United States). Or, in Vonage‘s case, to another Vonage device. No using up previous international minutes, no excessive charges, no problem.
The only downside to aggressive use of your phone and XCom MiFi while traveling is keeping you devices alive (cue John Travolta in a white suit). I swear by my external battery to keep my phone’s battery in the green. The MiFi comes with its own external battery AND two internal batteries, for plenty of juice.
Picking the right adapter also goes a long way – mine will fit in any outlet (it’s been around), and also offers up 2 additional USB ports. So my technology-loving self always has enough battery power for my oh-so-connected life. Just make sure your chargers support the 110-240V range, or else you’ll need a transformer.
My necessary chargers, plug adapters, and external batteries are packed into my Rebecca Atwood pouch, tossed it into my tote, and accompany me wherever I go. Not only do I get to Instagram at my leisure (i.e. here), but I can make any coffeeshop or park bench into my office. #win
How do you stay connected abroad? Do you tote around tons of chargers with you as well? COMMENT below and let me know!
Disclosure – I was given an XCom Global MiFi to use, free of charge, during my trip to Australia. No additional compensation was given and all opinions are my own. I am a proud affiliate of XCom Global, and will receive a commission through orders made through my link. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Hitha On The Go possible!