There’s nothing more frustrating than being disconnected from friends and family while traveling for an extended period of time. But thanks to advances in technology, all you need is Wi-Fi and a few cool international tech accessories to keep in touch. Check out a few tips below.
Prior to Departure
Contact your mobile phone provider to check if your phone will work overseas and ask about an international call and text rates, including roaming fees. If costs are too high, you can purchase a local prepaid phone with no contract. Alternatively, you can purchase an unlocked phone with a World (or local) Travel SIM card for use in another country.
Contact your hotel or surrounding cafe’s, bookstores, etc., to inquire about Wi-Fi access. Although there are several hotels, cafe’s and restaurants in the U.S. that offer free Wi-Fi, when traveling internationally, some hotels may charge a small fee. Additionally, the Open Signal app can help you find the closest wireless hotspots.
Check whether your airport has Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi access is the answer to most traveler’s prayers when departing, arriving or getting stuck for an extended period of time. Check out this great list of Airports with Wi-Fi compiled by Airfare Watchdog.
Connect at 30,000 to 40,000 feet on several airlines. Many airlines have started offering Wi-Fi in flight, but take note; it comes with a cost. And as CNBC reports, not all Wi-Fi is created equal. Reportedly, Virgin America, Delta, and Southwest customers have the best chance of getting Wi-Fi; while United, American, and Alaskan Airlines customers have fairly good to better chances at Wi-Fi.
Check out this great chart compiled by CNBC which details the probability of having WI-Fi access. Additionally, if you have an American Express Platinum card, you’re in luck. The Boingo American Express Preferred Plan offers complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi access. Travelers can also receive Wi-Fi access on up to four devices to more than 1,000,000 hotspots worldwide and pay no Wi-Fi roaming fees.