Technology has truly changed the landscape of everything. Travel included.
There are many who still scrimp on data roaming and strangely stand next to a free WiFi connection when they’re abroad. If you like taking your audience with you on your next vacation, make sure the followers are with you on real time. Data roaming has never been cheaper and easier than today.
When we would travel, we’d go online and try to rent a WiFi device at the country of destination. Having a WiFi device allows more flexibility on the number of users for the gadget (usually up to 5-6 people). When you break the total cost down to the number of users per device, renting a portable WiFi is most cost efficient.
Until my partner introduced me to a local vendor called Flytrack.
For our trip to the Scandinavian countries, we rented our pocket WiFi from the Philippines. You can go to http://www.flytrack.com online and order your pocket WiFi. The total cost of P8150 includes 10 days of WiFi shared between my partner and I. Also included is an insurance fee (in case I lose the device). This is non refundable but is a small price to pay just in case I fuck up. It also includes delivery cost (courier to your address and return by courier as well). If you want to scrimp on this, you can pick up (and return) the unit in designated areas. Finally, when the unit is returned in good condition, there is a refund of P1800 to your nominated bank account.
With two people using, this amount to around P270 per person per day. Not bad!
The major advantage of having a pocket roaming WiFi is that you not only stay in touch with social media (or being socially relevant) but most importantly, staying connected with family, friends, and yes, work (even if you shouldn’t).
Until lately, I’ve always attempted to use my carrier’s data plan. That means, P599.00 per 24 hours.
What they don’t tell you is that if you turn it on at say, 9PM when you get to your destination, they automatically charge you the P599 up to 6AM the following day. Their excuse? It’s the way it is.
What they DO tell you is that you need to stick with their carrier partners in the country where you’re roaming. And because the automatic carrier ability of our phone, you may not be aware that you’re “connected” with a carrier your carrier isn’t affiliated with. And that P599 a day may just end up P5999 a day!
You don’t want to receive jaw dropping charges. Remember, they wrote that in the fine lines when you signed the contract. It’s not their fault that you either didn’t read it or are plain stupid. On occasions though, some of these companies are a real ass. But it’s usually our fault.
1. Turn off your cellular data
2. Before you leave, at the airport, don’t forget to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding (under calls) > turn on and have your calls diverted to a local phone. You won’t receive any call. They can’t charge you for calls you don’t receive.
Remember, you cannot turn on this setting when you’re already in another country. When it’s too late, just make sure you turn your phone off and turn it on when you need to use it.
3. If you want to receive calls, be prepared to pay for the call you receive. Yes my dear. When the other party in the Philippines is trying to reach you, you will need to answer the phone! It’s cheaper than not minding the ring.
What most people don’t know is that once the call has been made, and is routed to an international roaming partner, and the recipient (that means you) has been reached (your phone has rung) via that route, you’re dead meat if you just let the phone ring forever. You’re paying for that call, even if you didn’t answer it. That’s because it’s not the fault of the caller who didn’t know you’re gallivanting somewhere in the world.
Social media has changed the landscape of travel. I’d like to believe that we post our travels because we share to the community our celebrations of life. Our experiences and opinions have not mattered as much today than the pre-technology era.
And here’s to sharing, commenting, liking, laughing, crying, hating and celebrating the joy of travel!