All of the Options: How to Get the Internet Abroad

how to get internet in a foreign country

You need the internet while abroad - to check maps, find restaurants, post photos, and do a bunch of other things. Luckily, the days of coming home to a crippling roaming bill just because you opened Facebook or checked your emails are over. Now, there are many cheaper and more convenient ways to ensure you get the internet while abroad, and in this article, we’ll let you know.

Get an eSIM

The best option if you’re travelling abroad is to get an international eSIM. With an eSIM, you can get internet access immediately after landing. All you need to set it up is to scan the QR code sent to you by the network provider. A big advantage is that eSIMs allow you to store different data plans for various countries. This makes them the best option for frequent travellers who visit multiple destinations. They can easily switch from one network provider to another to benefit from the best tariffs.

how to get internet when traveling

A good option is the Holafly eSIM. It’s convenient and can even be cheaper than some local SIM cards. If you’re travelling in a group and need to share data, you need to choose a specific plan that allows you to access the Holafly Hotspot feature. While many phones are now compatible with eSIMs, always check if your device works with this option before buying one.

Use Public WiFi

If your budget is tight, you can try this option to access the internet easily. You can find public WiFi networks almost everywhere nowadays. From hotels and airports to coffee shops and restaurants. Many cities have also started providing free WiFi in public places. However, you should avoid using this connection for personal information, such as banking or other secure or private information. This is because hackers may try to use the network to snoop on you. They may gain access to your data, including your bank details, credit card info, and passwords. If you need to access or handle financial information while travelling, consider a more secure option to access the internet.

Portable Router

A portable router is a device that allows you to carry your “network in your pocket.” It creates a private WiFi network to which you can connect your devices, ensuring your personal data is secure. Some come with a built-in SIM, while others have slots for you to insert a physical SIM. If yours uses a physical SIM, you may need to buy a local SIM to use it abroad.

how to get internet when travelling

You can buy personal routers from many companies, and some even allow you to rent, with options to pick it up or drop it off at local airports. Although you can typically connect up to 10 devices or more, many connected devices use more bandwidth, which may slow things down.

International Roaming

If you decide to use international roaming, your existing SIM card will be able to connect to the internet, even while you’re abroad. This means your phone connects to the mobile networks in your destination country and gives you internet access. It can be a good idea if you’re travelling for just a few days or less. While some companies provide offers that make roaming free or affordable, depending on the location, it can be costly in many cases. So, before choosing this option, take your time to find out what plans or offers are available to you. Ensure you double-check whether roaming is on or off during your travels.

Satellite Internet

This type of internet connection allows you to access the internet from anywhere. All you need is a clear view of the sky. However, it can be more expensive. You need to buy additional equipment, such as an antenna, router, and modem, to set it up.

how to get internet abroad

There’s also a more significant lag time compared with other forms of internet connection, and some options are just generally slower. Lastly, it’s only ideal when travelling in an RV or other type of transport that offers space for larger devices.

Local SIM Card

This is great if you’re planning to stay in a country for a while. You can enjoy the local rates while staying connected. People who use older phones that aren’t compatible with an eSIM may also prefer to go with this. You can buy a local SIM at the airport once you land. You can even buy a set amount of data upfront to be more in control of how much internet you are using. Check if your phone is ‘locked’ and can only use a certain network carrier before buying your new SIM. If it is, contact your network provider to unlock it. Remember that if you choose this option, you’ll have a new number and may need to share it with your friends and family to ensure they can stay in touch with you.

Wrap Up: How to Get the Internet Abroad

Before making your final decision, consider the network you use currently, your home country, and where you’re travelling to, to determine what works best for you. While the preferred option for most travellers is to buy an eSIM, you can choose what you find most suitable.

We hope you enjoy your travels and stay connected wherever you go!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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