Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Staying Connected While Traveling Internationally

Being a digital nomad has its perks. Being able to work while traveling the world is a dream come true for modern, tech savvy gypsies and entrepreneurs. However, the reality is that being able to have an internet connection, in a foreign country, on a regular basis, is not always easy. This makes it hard to connect with clients, hard to turn in photos or writing assignments, post to websites or social media or even to make travel reservations. Here are a few tips to keep you connected around the world.

Book housing with wi-fi

Even if it is not the cheapest option, having an internet connection where you are staying is most convenient. Book your housing before you hit a new town, so that you can look online to choose a hotel, bed and breakfast, guest house or hostel with wi-fi. If you wait until you hit town to book, you may have to just take your chances.

Get a local SIM card for your smart phone

Some countries, like the US, don’t use SIM cards very often. Most brand name phones come with models with or without them. If you have a phone that doesn’t have a SIM card slot, you will have a rude awakening if you travel much. Your phone won’t work in some countries. If you can get it to work, you may pay a tremendous amount for cell and data service. If you are in that predicament, buy a second, inexpensive phone that will take a SIM. In most countries you can get a card in many different stores and have them loaded up with pre-paid service credits.

Bring your own hot-spot

Many phones and tablets can become a hotspot for other devices, such as your laptop. You can buy a stand alone battery operated pocket sized gadget to be a bridge. You can find these at electronic stores or cell companies, such as Sprint. These will save the batteries on your phone, and give an extra layer of security.

Look for McDonald’s

American fast food chains, like McDonald’s have locations in almost every country. They always have free wi-fi. You can just buy a cup of coffee, sit down with your laptop and work for hours and no one will hassle you. It is always a safe and clean place to work.

Just ask

Anywhere you are in the world, people are generally quite nice and helpful to strangers. If you need to check your email, update your website or turn in some work, just walk into any store or restaurant and ask politely if you may use their internet. “Wi-fi” is a very international word. Even if you don’t speak the language, smile, point at your phone and ask “Wi-fi?” and you will usually get some help. If they don’t speak your language, bring up the wi-fi connection box, gesture and hand them your phone. They will pick out the correct network and enter their password for you. It is amazing how well this technique works. People are usually really great.

Follow these quick tips and no matter where you go in this world, you will be able to get online. Being a digital nomad will be just a bit easier.

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