Happy Thursday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
“We’re All Connected” is the slogan New York Telephone used to remind everyone that no one is further than a phone call away. I think today the slogan would be “We’re Always Connected” or that’s at least the way it feels. Don’t agree with me? What happens in your house when the internet goes out? Everyone becomes a member of tech support, trying to reset routers and checking connections so we can get back online. Forget if it’s an external problem and you need to use your phone’s connection. (Note from Sharon: Well, if you get decent reception in your house, anyway. We don’t.)
Travel used to be one of the times you’d be able to get away from it all if you wanted to, but that’s no longer the case. There’s hardly anywhere in the world you can be disconnected, whether on an island in the Maldives, in the middle of the ocean on a cruise line or 35,000 feet in the air on an airplane. Almost wherever you are, you’re not far from a WiFi connection.
So now that you’re only a second away from being online, what are your options for staying connected while traveling outside your home country? Continue reading “What Are Your Internet Options When Traveling Internationally?”
Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
Back in 2017, Sharon and I broke up with AT&T and switched to T-Mobile as our cell phone provider. It was a big change for us and we have been saving $60 a month on our phone bill ever since. For everyday usage, we still have the same horrible reception at our house as with T-Mobile as we had with AT&T (Note from Sharon: even though there’s a frickin’ cell phone tower less than a mile form our house. What’s up with that???). However, one of the big benefits of changing to T-Mobile was their international roaming program. When we switched, this was an industry leading benefit but since then other companies have copied the program.
To remain competitive, T-Mobile modified the terms of their travel program in July 2018, increasing the number of countries included from 154 to over 210. They also started charging more for actual phone calls, raising the price from 20 cents to 25 cents per minute. You still get unlimited text and data. Since I (Note from Sharon: We) feel this way about using my (our) phone(s) to talk to people, this works out just fine:
The T-Mobile data plan is capped at 2G speeds so we were worried about being hampered with downloading data, but T-Mobile does offer an upgrade if you want to get high-speed data while overseas:
Includes up to 512MB of high speed data plus Smartphone Mobile Hotspot and unlimited calling for 24 hours in more than 210 countries and destinations. If you use all your high speed data during the 24 hour period, you will experience slower data speeds but continue to have unlimited calling for the rest of the period. You may purchase 2 passes per line in 24-hours. Once you’re out of high-speed data on your first pass, your second pass will begin, and the 24-hour period will restart.
The cost of 512MB of high-speed data is $5 per day and you can purchase two passes per day. We filed that info away in case we needed it but planned on trying to live with slow internet.
So how did the program work?
Joe and I love a good road trip. For as long as we’ve known each other (which dates back to the early-mid 1990s), besides enjoying the sites, we’ve liked playing our favorite songs and signing along, and sometimes even adding in harmony (sometimes good, sometimes not so much) along the way. In the very early years, we did that with old fashioned mix tapes.
After a decade or so, we upgraded to “Mix CDs,” which eventually gave way to “What channel do you want to listen to on (Sirius-XM, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, etc.)?” We each have our favorite; I prefer Sirius-XM, while Joe always liked Spotify because they let you make your own playlists and download songs as long as you have a paid subscription – that way you can listen to them offline, like when you’re on a plane). Now Pandora offers the same service and, get this, they’re offering a year’s subscription FOR FREE tomorrow, if you have T-Mobile service and their app.