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How do you deal with getting data on your mobile while travelling?


by @nomads_and_drifters | 4yr  | 15 comments

Hi,
I wondered how everybody deals with getting data on their phone in each country they travel. Is there a way around it? It is always such a pain having to buy and activate sim cards everywhere. I have tried the company โ€œworldsimโ€ and had an international sim for a while, but they where terrible and ended up to be super expensive.

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@jacob_tr | 4yr

I use a product called โ€œKnowroamingโ€ its actually a sticker you place on your home sim card, and it acts as a local sim card wherever you go, and acts as your home sim card when you are home. Itโ€™s pretty cool.

Itโ€™s not as cheap as local prices, Itโ€™s about 50USD for 7 days of unlimited data in 100+ countries I think, not sure if it includes 4G, but itโ€™s nice because it swaps around networks depending on best reception, for e.g. I was on 02-UK this morning, now I am on EE. It has features like being able to call your original number and itโ€™ll forward it onto your new number, and also allows you to be reached via any local numbers you were using throughout your travels (itโ€™s an add-on of course).

Itโ€™s SUPER convenient, especially if your travelling in countries where getting a Sim card is not as simple as buying it over the counter and popping it into your phone (like Australia for e.g.) or a country where sims arenโ€™t readily easy to find / buy.

Nothing beats a true local sim card though, you get full 4G speeds, cheapest possible data etc.

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@bdc | 4yr

If youโ€™re an American traveling abroad, then the best option is T-Mobileโ€™s Simple Choice North America plan paired with an iPhone or Android that covers the most wireless bands. That plan from T-Mobile gives you unlimited 2G data in over 120 countries, and costs about $50 USD per month. Itโ€™s magical to touch down in a new country, turn on your phone, and have data before you even step off the plane - all without hunting for a new SIM card. I covered it more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-david-crane/american-digital-nomads-t_b_10826782.html

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@busdriver | 4yr

@brian3 - that is a great idea. Even more if you can put the SIM in a 3G router. Than you can even share the WiFi and still use a local SIM in you iPhone/Android phone.

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@wakkos | 4yr

Remember that now Vodafone has free roaming in Europe!

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@andyabramson | 4yr

Truphone out of the UK is ideal for mobile nomads. You get numbers in up to eight countries, and in 66 countries itโ€™s just like being in any of the eight. Cost is a bit higher but you get to keep your local numbers and when your local, youโ€™re also hitting local pops so throughput is the same as if you were using a local SIM card.

Gigsky offers a global sim for data only.

Another great option is to have a dual SIM card phone like the OnePlus2 or 3 that just came out. Keep your local number from home set up to deal with those calls for authorization of charges and to have your friends or family back home reach you onโ€ฆand use a Local SIM country by country.

As I live on iPhones buy the world edition, not simply an unlocked one in your country of choice. The world edition has all the frequencies for LTE.

Another tip is to look at the deployment of new network technology. Many countries are still 4G in USA terms vs. LTE, meaning its HSDPA or HSDPA+, which are older technologies. For example, I was in Amsterdam and conventional wisdom was to go with T-Mobile, but really Vodafone had the faster network. In Prague it was the same way. In Portugal, it used to be PT was the best for Voice in the Lisbon area while Optimum (they have both changed names) was far better on data (LTE). But Vodafone invested millions in upgrading their network and was last year the better choice, and the network wasnโ€™t as crowded, and offered better coverage in Lisbon proper.

Over in the UK, Three is the best because beyond their own towers/masts/antennaes they have half of the capacity of Orange which is now merged with T-Mobile to be EE, so in essence 3 has the most complete coverage in the UK and the fastest in the ground network.

In Spain I love Yoigo because they are the most cost effective, but Orange offers better speeds. In France Bouygues is best, but I do enjoy the ease and efficiency of Orange, where it used to be SFR which has gone to crap on iPhones and has a problem with Gmail for some reason.

In Austria last year there wasnโ€™t any prepaid LTE so I went with T-Mobile voice and data on one phone, A+ on the other and my iPad. I had coverage โ€œmost of the timeโ€ out in Wine country.

Hope this helps.

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@amyeee | 4yr

Different sims is the best way. I keep a plastic SD card holder with me at all times containing my 5 odd sim cards. Itโ€™s really handy and stores quite a few. I keep the sims active as much as possible, mostly because I have 2-factor authentication set-up for a bunch of services, e.g my Australian bank account sends a confirmation code to my mobile when I make money transfers etc. Same with my UK bank account and my NZ bank account.

Itโ€™s really annoying to keep changing my number on my different services, so I just keep it connected to the mobile number local to that country.

It was really hard making the switch from fast fibre optic to mobile data, I wrote a post about it over here: https://vanmaison.com/2016/03/27/interneting-around-new-zealand/

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@busdriver | 4yr

@amyleannewagner you could get a multi SIM card phone. I think the max I saw is a phone for 4 SIM cards. That way you can receive and make calls (roaming costs!) and also receive SMS text messages (usually free)

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@travelmore | 4yr

I have T-Mobile in the US and it is awesome. Only 2G speeds but good enough for Google maps and stuff like that. Highly recommend it.

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@adrienbetweets | 4yr

Easiest & cheapest so far was to buy a SIM card in every country.
Pay-as-you-go are pretty much everywhere these days.

Choosing the mobile network:

Some other tips:

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@borowis | 4yr

I second this. Very good list. Usually if itโ€™s more than a couple of days I get a SIM (depends on the hassle level).

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@hupineapple | 4yr

My friend just visited me in Thailand while using Project Fi. It worked for him here in Bangkok and in Singapore, but not HK for some reason. His data rate speeds were around 256 kbps, but he also got some wifi coverage automatically. You need particular phones for this as well, but maybe itโ€™s something worth considering?

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@djoneverett | 4yr

For short term travel, ie moving between countries often, Google Project Fi has usually been very convenient for me, because typically I experience a pretty seamless transition.

However, if my Nexus 6p & Fi SIM doesnโ€™t automatically connect, or finds voice but doesnโ€™t automatically get on mobile data, sometimes I needed to manually try connecting to each local provider until I found the right partner. This was a pain in HKโ€ฆ until I found out there are (unofficial) dial codes to โ€œrepairโ€ the network connection, force a switch attempt to the next network, or go back to auto-switching.
Even more convenient the app Signal Spy Pro helps monitor your current network and stats, plus has a quick interface for the dial codes - you still have to paste them in the dialer, but when you click one it auto-copies and takes you straight to the dialer.

This all made HK very doable with Project Fi.

However, keep in mind youโ€™ll have a USA phone number and it will be synonymous with your google voice number - Fi actually replaces Google Voice on the account you associate, so be mindful of that. This all is a double edged sword:
Nice to have your calls, txt & voicemail seamless across devices (eg phone, tablet, laptop via browser).
Mostly great for those of us who communicate with the US quite a lot. However, it is inconvenient for local or other non-US numbers to call you due to their long-distance (WhatsApp, Line, Wechat, etc is fine). So if you are in one location for a while Iโ€™d get a local SIM (cheaper data in some regions) and pause your Fi serviceโ€ฆ
Which means your โ€œformer Google voice numberโ€ will be unavailable while you pause service - SO if you currently have a Google voice number you actively use, Iโ€™d recommend keeping it on a separate Google account from your Project Fi, and keeping a separate Fi number. Iโ€™ve learned this the hard way and need to make the transition.
If in the future Fi offers additional low-cost forwarding numbers in different nations, ala Skype, that would be epic! Would also be wonderful if there was a dual SIM mobile device that fully works with Project Fi.

All n all, Iโ€™d say that itโ€™s nice for people who spend a lot of time in the USA.

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@geonomad | 4yr

I was just going to add the same tip. I use Google Fi a lot, but as you change countries, and sometimes even cities, it is often necessary to manually choose the correct service provider in order to enable data (or to get the best data speed). Having sorted that out, Google Fi has been awesome for me.

If it were possible to override the geo-location of my number, or assign local numbers in other countries, it would be awesome. Now, the recipients of my calls find it confusing that their caller ID box says I am calling from California and saying I will be there in a few minutes.

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@rbruce | 4yr

I buy local SIMs wherever I can, and do a bit of research to see who has the best value/MB. Three has โ€œThree Like Homeโ€ which is pretty terrible, but itโ€™s at least 2G internet while I hunt for a local option.

Siminn in Iceland has the best footprint and price for the country.
Edeka Mobil in Germany was cheapest.
Three Mobile in Ireland (20 EUR/mo unlimited)

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

sim cards are the best way at this point taking into account cost and speed.

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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How do you find people to meet whilst travelling?


by @davda1546 | 27d 26 days ago | 1 comment

We are going travelling but we won't know anyone out there, what's your best advice for meeting people and socialising abroad? We've thought about the obvious things like Meetup etc, is there anything else you can suggest from your experience?

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Wich is the better international SIM card for data only service?


by @chelocoach | 1yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Hi there!

Iโ€™m looking for international sim card services. I looked for other posts, and I know there are other alternatives, but Iโ€™m interested to have an international sim-card with only data plan, just to be used while I get a local one.

Alternatives:

ยฟAny experience using any of these services?
thnx!

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How do I ensure that getting refused entry to the UK won't keep me from getting an Australian 462 (work and holiday) visa?


in Australia by @allisonkirschbaum | 1yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

On New Yearโ€™s Day this year, I was refused entry to the UK due to not having proof of funds, an outward-bound plane ticket (I was road-tripping out with a friend via car) and not being able to prove that I had indeed canceled the lease on the apartment I had leased during a prior recent trip.

I havenโ€™t had any entry issues to any of the several countries Iโ€™ve visited after, but now Iโ€™m applying for a 462 visa (work and holiday) visa in Australia, and since Australia and the UK share an immigration info system, I want to make sure getting refused entry wonโ€™t keep me from getting a visa. None of the issues that cropped up in the UK (the proof of funds, the plane ticket, and the apartment) will be an issue in Australia, as Iโ€™ve never traveled there before, donโ€™t know anyone and will have proof of more than sufficient funds for the trip and an outbound plane ticket.

Anybody have any suggestions on how to make the approval process go as smoothly as possible?

Many thanks in advance! :smiley:

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Getting started: where to?


by @vforvalerio87 | 1yr 1 year ago | 3 comments

Hi everybody!

I just joined this community because Iโ€™m currently in a place in life where I can live the digital nomad lifestyle and I feel like I would really be missing out if I didnโ€™t catch this opportunity. I work fully remotely, no fixed hours, I currently live in northern Italy and I basically have no partner or kids.

So, the question isโ€ฆ where to? I would love to hear the advice of more experienced digital nomads!
Laptop and internet is enough for me to work but I need decent internet for conferencing and I really have to put in the hours: some days are more relaxed, others Iโ€™ll have to work all day and night.
I enjoy more temperate climates, so no torrid heat or unbearable humidity, if possible.
I like decent food but Iโ€™m very adaptable in terms of tastes: anything is fine as long as quality is good and sanitary conditions are acceptable.
I absolutely do not enjoy the club life and would just rather go hiking during the weekends and pubs (or breweries) during the evenings. Iโ€™m a social person though and I donโ€™t particularly enjoy places where people are too introverted (been in Seattle for four monthsโ€ฆ the freeze is real); I really look forward to making friends or acquaintances wherever I end up.
I enjoy decent transportation so places where thereโ€™s a viable metro system or Uber actually works would be nice.
I prefer places with a bit more of history and culture (this is one of the reasons why I absolutely loved Portugal, for example).
Iโ€™d like to spend under $3k average per month for rent, food and going out.

For now I was thinking either:

  • Staying close to home for a first experience, so something like Vienna or Berlin
  • South East Asia; Iโ€™ve been to Hong Kong a few times before, now I was thinking either Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, or possibly Thailand
  • South America, especially Colombia. I also have some people I know in Bogota and in Medellin, which I think would be a plus

When? Ideally I would leave anywhere from mid to late March and stay away for 2 or 3 months.

Sorry for the long read, I hope to get some input. Thank you for your time, if we ever meet in person I owe you a beer (or whatever youโ€™d prefer).

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Best Voip for mobile use


by @flipchan | 2yr 1 year ago | 4 comments

im looking for a voip provider that offers inbound and outbound calls to all countries.
I want to replace my swedish sim card with a voip number so i dont get charged alot while traveling, does anyone have a stable voip provider to recommend?

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What's the best mobile-data option in New Zealand for nomads?


in New Zealand by @goldsaj | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hi All! Iโ€™ve heard Spark and Vodafone are the best. I plan to move around, so I care mostly about having good coverage, and all Iโ€™ll need is around 1 GB of data or so.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Recommendations for a portable speaker system suitable for a DJ monitor while travelling? Preferring size over loudness


by @jack700 | 2yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Iโ€™ve got myself a DDJ 400 DJ controller, and the compact size makes it ideal to throw into my suitcase while I go travelling next year.

It made me wonder if there was a decent portable speaker system thatโ€™s loud (and clear) enough for light bedroom DJing I could pack alongside the 400 to practice new tracks and record mixes.

I currently have a Bose Soundlink Mini II which was surprisingly good for the job. Although I feel itโ€™ll probably damage if I keep pumping at full pelt, and itโ€™s not quite loud enough for what I wanted but not far off at all.

I ordered a pair of iLoud Micro Monitors, and although seriously impressed with the sound quality, I ended up returning them for KRK Rokit 5 G3โ€™s as they were too heavy for permanent (Digital Nomad) travelling so thought Iโ€™d get some solid DJ speakers in the meantime.

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Anyone have tips for preventing or getting over jet lag? ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜ดโœˆ๏ธ


by @artofbryce | 2yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

We just finished our first stint around South East Asia and somehow survived 3 days of way too many flights, leaving me to feel like death.

Too much shitty airplane food, not enough sleep, big time difference from Mexico to SEA.

Anyone have tips to prevent that more in the future (aside from better flight plans)? More importantly, how do I recover faster from this horror?

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How much Data are you using per month?


by @jdiefenthaler | 2yr 1 year ago | 4 comments

I am trying to figure out three things. An average of how much data everyone uses per month, a low end of how little data is used, and a high end of how much data can be used? I am not interested in your methods of acquiring data. I am just interested in how much you use as a whole. This includes both work data usage and your personal data usage.

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Getting a Russian Visa while traveling


in Russia by @shaulsolomon | 2yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

I am an English/American currently in Israel, and heading in a week to Georgia/Armenia for two weeks and then want to head to Russia for a week.
As I am only in Israel for another week, would it be possible to apply for the visa in Israel and ask to receive it in Armenia (my last stop before I want to go to Russia)?
Or perhaps there is another better option that I have available?

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Anybody with a software consultancy having issues finding clients while travelling?


by @raz | 2yr 2 years ago | 4 comments

I recently started running a software consultancy in the UK that specialises in MVP development and onboarding/marketing strategies. I found it relatively easy to get leads by attending networking events (quite a lot here in Edinburgh).

I plan to start travelling soon, though. Has anybody tried to travel while running a software consultancy? Iโ€™m really curious to find out how you handled finding new clients while doing that. Letโ€™s say that if I go networking somewhere in Asia I wonโ€™t find clients willing to spend much on a project (and canโ€™t just pay my employees less because I canโ€™t find good paying projects).

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How to avoid getting your stuff stolen?


by @matthieudrula | 3yr 2 years ago | 8 comments

Hey guys,
My question might be blunt ahah but โ€ฆ how do you get your stuff stolen?
Do you stay in hostels, or shady hotels? Or do you get robbed?
I stopped using hostel with outsiders and I pretty much only use budget hotel now.
I have heard about an app that take screenshots of your room and send it to you if it detects movement too so you can alert the hotel staff.
I donโ€™t want to make everybody paranoiac too ;).

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Am I being silly by worrying about getting Zika in Bali? ๐Ÿ˜•


by @metamas | 3yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Bali was at the top of my short-list of places to go DM for 1-3 months until I saw it had the โ€œZykaโ€ tag on Nomad List :scream: . Iโ€™m not super read-up on the whole state of Zyka, other than occurrences of infection being on a decline (for now), but I am a worrisome enough person about such things that it has got me reconsidering. Though, it still seems to not be stopping the rate of DMs visiting Baliโ€ฆ

Is there cause for large concern here, or I am just being a nut? โ€ฆItโ€™s been known to happen pretty frequently over such things :anguished: :face_with_thermometer: :mask:

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Is it just me or are Airbnb prices getting way out of hand?

 

by @srg_b | 3yr 2 years ago | 37 comments

I had this impression for a while now, but now it seems impossible to find a monthly stay over airbnb for a decent price. Just now I was looking at Utrecht which averages at 2500 euro per month for a studio. People seem to provide only small monthly discounts. In my last few trips I relied on Facebook groups for finding stay. I do have decent budget but paying โ‚ฌ1500+ for a studio in a European city simply seems ridiculous. How is everyone else finding accommodation?

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TMobile for Continuous Travel?


in Mobile, United States by @jackgopack | 3yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

TMobile advises their international plan requires me to reside in the US for 3 months of each year, however I may be there only 1 month (or less). Anyone using their plan continuously? Rigid requirement?

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How do you avoid getting charged large fees by your bank when withdrawing overseas?


by @creative_nomad_ | 3yr 2 years ago | 14 comments

Hi All,

My question is about banking when it comes to being overseas/working etc. How do you avoid getting charged large fees by your bank when withdrawing overseas?

Iโ€™m originally from Australia and do my banking still in Australia. I live in the UK and most recently was living in Vietnam where I found I had to withdrawl money just to get charged very large amounts from my Aussie bank.

How do you get around this? What can you recommend.

Thanks

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How can I monitor my data usage when I have limited amounts of mobile data?


by @littleshiva | 3yr 3 years ago | 6 comments

I use a mobile internet stick that gives me 1 gigabyte of bandwidth in a 24-hour period. If I use it all up in half that time (easy with print jobs) I have to either wait it out or use another stick. What are some of the things I can do to keep bandwidth from being used without my knowledge? (macbook pro / Yosemite) I looked in the activity monitor and safari seemed to be using a lot so I keep it off now when Iโ€™m not using it, and I paused synching on dropbox and creative cloud until Iโ€™m hooked up to wifi. Any other tricks?

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What's best internet solution for travelers? SkyRoam vs Global Roaming Data plans


by @alexmarinov | 3yr 3 years ago | 2 comments

Whatโ€™s up nomads!

What do you use to get internet for work when you travel? Iโ€™m trying to figure out the best option to get internet when Iโ€™m traveling. For now mostly in Europe and mostly for conference calls with screen sharing. Iโ€™m willing to spend $200-300 per month.

I need to:

  1. tether my laptop to my data plan on my phone, or on another device (like SkyRoam which I donโ€™t have yet, but considering)
  2. have data on my phone for essentials like Google Maps when driving around.

My US carrier is Sprint Wireless. I have unlimited data, which I can enable globally at no extra charge but itโ€™s supposedly 3G, but doesnโ€™t really work. Sprint also has a plan called Sprint Global Roaming, which offers high speed internet, but itโ€™s $30 per 1GB which can add up to $500-$600 per month given my usage.

Iโ€™m not always close to WiFi or Co-Working spaces. Iโ€™m looking for a solution that would basically allow me to get on a Google Hangout or GoToMeeting call on my laptop from my car.

Any experience with gadgets like SkyRoam or similar ones from Verizon or AT&T? How good and reliable are those?

Any ideas? What do you use?

Thanks,
Alex

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What's the best mobile-data option in Brazil for nomads?


in Brazil by @phil | 3yr 3 years ago | 4 comments

Hi everyone. I am new on this forum and will post in the introductory thread when I have some more time. My question is:

Whatโ€™s the best mobile-data option in Brazil for nomads?

background info to the question: I bought a vevo (vivo?) sim the other day and charged up around $7US on recharge.com. it seems now that I can only send text messages but cannot call other people or get internet. I will be in brazil for min 5 weeks max 3 months. sorry if Iโ€™ve posted this in the wrong section.

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How do you get a SIM card (and data plan) in Colombia if you don't know Spanish


in Colombia by @balindsieber | 3yr 3 years ago | 2 comments

I just arrived to Medellin and did not anticipate that no one would speak any english at all. (Iโ€™m used to Asia where everyone knows the basics)

I need a SIM card, I found a place at the mall where they sell them, but itโ€™s not a simple transaction and I donโ€™t speak Spanish.

Any thoughts appreciated.

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