Ok, so as you may have guessed, I’m one of those people that needs to be online pretty much 24/7. I know, I know, it’s awful. My boyfriend and family are always grumbling about it, and my eyes certainly don’t like it (Someone remind me to get my eyes tested). But for blogging and freelance writing, I just NEED internet. I have to be connected. However, not every country I visit has free or dependable wifi (*cough* New Zealand *cough*). If you’ve read my articles about the struggles of being a digital nomad then you’ll understand that getting internet while travelling can be a PAIN. So what do I do then?? Do I just sit in a corner, rocking back and forth, shaking from withdrawal symptoms? Sometimes, haha. Well, at least I used to before I found a solution.
How I Used to Get Internet on the Road
- Buy a local SIM. But then I had a bag of SIMs from around the world and I kept losing my actual SIM. And I had to research to see which network was the best in each country, that’s just too much hassle for me. Over it.
- Find a Starbucks or McDonalds. This is a classic. And honestly it works fine if you don’t have any major uploading to do. But if you want to upload a video or email files/photos then this just isn’t going to work. I spent hours in a Starbucks on Oahu in Hawaii trying to upload a video to my Youtube, when in reality, if I’d had better internet it would have taken maybe 15minutes and then I could have gone exploring the island.
- Use free hotel wifi. This works for me MOST of the time. But on more than a few occassions my phone has refused to connect to the hotel wifi. And a few times I’ve booked a hotel that SAYS it has free wifi and in fact it only has wifi in the common areas. Which has left me sitting in my pjs in the lobby trying to publish a post. Please see photographic evidence here.
- Use my own data & pay international roaming charges. This was the most expensive option I’ve tried. It worked but it was definitely not sustainable. And even then there were countries that my data roaming wouldn’t work in. For some reason my phone absolutely hates Denmark. I wouldn’t REALLY recommend this unless you had some absolute dream plan that gave you incredible international rates. And if you do, let me know!
- Sell my soul to the devil. Obviously not an IDEAL way to go, but very effective. A high price to pay, but it’s faster than fibre! I fully understand that this option is not for everyone and for obvious reasons I have found an alternative means of connection. I mean, there’s gotta be a better way to get internet while travelling, right?!
How I Get Internet While Travelling Nowadays
I have FINALLY moved on to bigger and better things. I’ve joined the big leagues. I’ve finally decided to be an actual professional and carry my OWN source of wifi with me at all times. Sorry Satan, I’ll be having my soul back thanks! I found out about TEP wireless from a fellow travel blogger and needed to try it out! So essentially it’s a pocket wireless device. It creates a wifi hotspot which works within a 15m radius and has an 8hr battery (20 hours on standby). I used it on my recent trip to Egypt and it was SO handy. It took no time at all to set up, I didn’t need any cables and I could connect up to 5 devices. Well, I don’t actually have that many devices, but I connected 3 and the internet speed was still great. I was able to upload videos without waiting hours – jackpot! I only have to pay per day that I use it as well, which keeps the cost down. For frequent travelers it costs £5.50 per 24hrs. I admit that the cost could quickly add up if you were using it every day, so I tend to reserve usage for when I need to do a big upload or for places where the local wifi situation is diabolical. But the speed and coverage is really exceptional. It’s so handy to just keep in my bag and it charges using my usual android phone charger so I don’t need to carry a bunch of different cables around with me. Plus, it always seems to make me super popular when people find out I have my TEP with me, because, well, everyone loves wifi!
ANYWAYS, it’s made staying connected so much easier for me. I can honestly recommend it! I know you’ll love it if the internet is important to you while travelling. Have a good look at the website and check out the reviews to see what everybody else is saying!