What About Internet While Traveling in an RV?
How to Get Internet Access While Traveling Abroad
If you're like most of us, the idea of parting from from the internet, even for a short time, is rough. You take its existence for granted on your smartphone and you surely cannot do without it when you retire to your hotel room for the evening. But most smartphone carriers charge hefty fees once you leave the country. This article gives some suggestions on how to most economically obtain service abroad.
Decide where and when you will need to use the internet and how much.Will you need it only at your hotel? Or will you also need it on the road? Can you wait until you reach a hotspot? Or do you need it in your vehicle?
Start with your hotel.When choosing a hotel, learn if the hotel has WiFi, and whether or not there is a fee for its use. If this is important to you, this may impact you choice of hotel.
- If you can get by using WiFi at your hotel only, all you will need to do is bring a WiFi-capable laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone. Your hotel may or may not charge for this service. Aside from that, you will not need to pay any additional fees.
Decide what devices you need to connect on.If you will need internet access beyond the hotel room, consider which type of device you plan to use. It could be a smartphone, tablet computer, or e-reader.
- Consider using a Kindle 3G Keyboard. It offers free mobile internet access in over 100 countries. Though it has a monochrome screen and cannot perform every internet function, there is quite a lot it can do, including reading and sending email, Facebook, and a lot of other common sites. Its manufacture has been discontinued, but there are still plenty of used ones available for sale on the Amazon site and in other places.
Find out how much your carrier charges for internet data abroad, whether it be for per use or a plan.Compare it with how much you traditionally use over a period of time, and see which plan is good for your needs and what you are willing to pay for.
Get a sense of how much data is typically is used by different actions you perform.To do this, before your trip, experiment by first going to the data meter in the phone's settings and checking the data. Then, while on a mobile (not WiFi) connection, perform various actions you might perform while abroad such as reading an email, sending an email, visiting a web page, looking at a map, etc. After each individual action, check how much data has been added to the previous number. Do not rely on the carrier's website; these provide averages but do not reflect each individual user.
- Check your months usage from previous months. Prorate it down to the amount of time you will be traveling. For example, if you typically use 600 MB in a month, and your trip is 10 days, you can assume you will use around 200 MB over a 10-day period. Be aware that often, you may use more than usual while traveling due to the amount of time you spend on the road, the use of high-data applications such as maps, and possible lack of access at some places where you may be staying, such as a hotel.
Considering renting a smartphone for the country you are traveling to.This is an alternative to a plan on your carrier. Do a Google search of phone rental companies, and compare prices and offerings.
- If you own an older smartphone that is still functional, it may be possible to rent a SIM card for a lower price than that of a phone rental. You may have to have the phone unlocked by the carrier for this to work.
Plan differently for a cruise.If you are going on a cruise, a different set of suggestions apply. Few carriers allow their 'international data' plans to be used on cruise ships.
- If you can go for long breaks between internet usage, consider accessing internet on shore. Options include hot spots, your smart phone with an international data plan, or the Kindle Keyboard as described above.
- If you must access internet while out at sea, most likely you will need to use the ship's wifi service. On most ships, this costs 75¢/minute (give or take) if paid for by the minute. But with the purchase of a minutes plan, it can be reduced to as little as 20¢/minute.
- Satellite internet used by ships is slow, and minutes can drain quickly. To save minutes, log on, upload all you email and web pages you plan to read, then log off. If you are sending an email, compose it while offline, save it in your drafts, then log on, and it'll be sent in a matter of seconds to minutes.
- Video and voice sites, such as YouTube and Skype, are unlikely to work while using the ship's internet.
- Some carriers have arrangements with some cruise lines to offer data packages for while on board the ship. These are often very limited.
- Some routes of some cruises are pretty close to the shoreline and one's smartphone may be able to pick up the land signal and use the data allotment purchased for the land. Also, if you are using a Kindle, as described above, the Kindle may be able to pick up a signal and obtain free service.
QuestionHow does my laptop connect to the internet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGet a data plan on your phone, then open the network to your other devices.Thanks!
- Some US carriers, including T-Mobile, have recently introduced free international data in many countries. Due to competition, other carriers may follow this path in the near future. Depending on your needs, it may or may not be worth switching carriers to one that has such an offer.
- Technology is changing constantly, carriers are coming out with new plans, and prices are dropping. The information in this article has the potential to change rapidly.
- If you carry your smartphone over an international border and you do not have a free or pre-purchased international data plan, either disable your cellular data or place it on airplane mode. This will prevent you from incurring possibly hefty fees from automatic uploads.
- Not all countries are typically covered on a carrier's international plan. When arranging an international plan, be sure to ask your carrier if the countries you plan to visit are covered.
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