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How to get SMS verifications for banks while traveling?

 

by @jackgopack | 2yr  | 39 comments

Any suggestions for seamlessly receiving SMS Verifications from US financial institutions and other sites while traveling internationally continuously? Wonโ€™t keep my US Verizon account due to cost and currently plan to use local sims at each destination (T-Mobile and Project Fi are NOT an option as they terminate for continuous roaming). In summation, I wonโ€™t have a US mobile account.

Unless Iโ€™m missing something, which is very possible, this appears to be the single most complex issue Iโ€™ve encountered in my preparations, and one that no one addresses. I would greatly appreciate any possible solution that works 100% of the time. Canโ€™t afford surprises in this regard. Many Thanks! Jack.

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@nerdontour | 18d

I tested Twilio and it wasn't sustainable. For about 7 months I've been using Hushed and it works great for all services I use โ€“ Google/Apple Accounts, Revolut, TransferWise, Amazon among others. Mind that a lot depends on the service's policy. I'm Polish and some banks are OK th at I use US Hushed number, while others (less tech-savvy) aren't.

Another emerging solution is eSIM. I already have a phone with it, but for now, telecoms are limiting eSIM compatibility to expensive subscription plans. I can't wait for MVNOs to catch-up.

For the rare occasion were Hushed number is not accepted I still have physical SIM cards and a burner phone (Samsung B2710).

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@cultofmetatron | 21d

I handled this issue by having google fi. sms and phone calls work everywhere I've been so far.

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@gabo | 20d

not that I know of.

but if you happen to fly to the US and just get it to your address that time and activate it (or else a friend does it for you and sends you the phone it was activated in) that can work

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@gabo | 20d

I heard if you use a reasonably small amount of data (no idea how much that is) then youโ€™re good. Of course that wouldnโ€™t allow to just tether all work/streaming/torrenting, but may be good for a backup sim to receive sms and occasional internet use until getting a local sim.

Good thing at least you got the google voice then.

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@jessehoogeboom | 20h

Just want to chip in and say I have been using Google Fi for almost an entire year whilst spending maybe 30 days in the US without issues. Only for texting/phone calls tho.

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@gabo | 20d

how much data have you been using to get the notice?

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@tuatini | 20d

and I can keep the google voice number for life

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@tuatini | 20d

what was great tho is that I was able to get a US phone number with Google fi and then transfer it to Google voice when I was terminated. So basically I now have a legit US phone number for free that I can use anywhere in the world

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@malaclypse | 8d

Been using Google Fi, havenโ€™t been back to the states for 7 months, and so far so good. Was using a lot of data on the unlimited plan but then switched to the pay per GB plan when I stopped using as much.

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@tuatini | 20d

ofc if you plan to visit the US every 5 months it's fine :slightly_smiling_face:

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@tuatini | 20d

That won't work. Not for long at least. It's what I did and many other before me but if you stay abroad more than 5 months without going back to the US they will send you a deactivation notice lol

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@levelsio | 21d

Nice, is Google Fi available to Europeans yet?

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@kaspernikolaj | 5mo

I have a pay as you go sim . I recharge it with the smallest amount every 6 months to keep it active . I have a duel sim phone โ€ฆ where I currently reside โ€ฆ I have that sim as my normal mode of contact โ€ฆ if I need a SMS โ€ฆ the pay as you go sim still gets the texts โ€ฆ
I also have a skype number and one of my banks sends a voice verification to Skype

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I use โ€˜Cloud SIMโ€™ which is an iOS app. You can use it to create a phone number for the UK, US, Canada or, weirdly, Poland.

Subscriptions in GBP at 99p/1 mo, 3.99/6 mos, 6.99/1 year - so in USD I guess like $10 a year.

Itโ€™ provides me with a legit UK number, so whenever I need to verify anything (banks etc), they text, I just open the app and the text is there (you can also use it for making/receiving calls, sending texts etc).

The only issue Iโ€™ve had with it is that it doesnโ€™t reliably notify you - so because of this, I donโ€™t use it as a way for people to contact me (as I could miss calls or texts) - however, when you open the app, texts have been there 100% of the time so far, always received (unlike some other cloud services Iโ€™ve used) - so itโ€™s been perfect for banks, whatsapp, whatever else because I just open it when I know Iโ€™m expecting a verification text and itโ€™s been received 100% of the time.

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@james_elkins1 | 2yr

Iโ€™ve been in Vietnam for 2 years now. I run a business which relies on text messages being sent out / we have a one time password feature, so Iโ€™m pretty familiar with Twilio, telephony, and text messaging systems.

I ported my number to Google Voice in October 2016 and itโ€™s worked great since then. I also have a US Skype Number. I usually give out my Google Voice number to US people / US banks and park myself in front of the computer when I need to take a call (this is free, Skype costs money to receive calls). I could have Google Voice forward to Skype and then have Skype forward to my local Vietnam number when I absolutely canโ€™t be in front of the computer, but that seems like too much โ€œforwardingโ€ to me and it could take a long time to connect.

When I know Iโ€™ll be out and about or when I need someone to potentially wake me in the middle of the night, I give out my Skype Number which will forward to my Vietnam Number. Google Voice cannot forward to anything but a US number.

This setup works well for all my OTP needs - Iโ€™ve successfully used it for banking, stripe, etc. I definitely suggest you port your number to Google Voice ahead of time because it can take up to 3 days, and that may make things confused if youโ€™re also traveling at that time.

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@rwtbkk | 2yr

I found HUSHED to work flawlessly. Cost about $30 a year and you get a lot of minutes and SMS. Never missed a bank or paypal code yet.

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@jason147 | 2yr

I have a business line that I had with Verizon for a long time (US). I ported that number to Google Voice ($20 for a 1 time port charge) then bought a 3 month number from Skype ($20 - this is extendable for $20 every 3 months). I will never sign up with a US provider again. Total cost for 3 months is $40. And the 3 months after that is only $20 + the cost of a cheap sim card.

I forward all calls to my original number (now with Google) to my skype number.

Works like a charm and the best part is that I can buy a local SIM card and get skype over a data plan if I am not in WiFi range.

In this way I was able to keep my original business number and no one is the wiser. I can receive calls on Skype and make calls out if I have to. I use google voice for free texting and when in other countries I often use Whatโ€™s App because thatโ€™s what locals are using.

I have used it for verification purposes no problem.

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@thepingbin | 2yr

Itโ€™s worth remembering why banks are actually performing SMS verification, as not many people know all of the use-cases, and coming up with a solution to keeping your number while traveling may break one or more of these - Which is more likely to get your payments flagged for suspicious traffic.

The obvious one:

2FA - Banks want to perform some kind of two factor authentication, so they send the one time password via an SMS, which you enter back on a portal.

However more often these days banks are also using this to perform:

Location Checks - When a bank sends you an SMS theyโ€™re generally able to do it in a way that gives them a current location for that Phone/SIM, Iโ€™m not talking about an accurate GPS location, but theyโ€™re able to see which mobile network and country youโ€™re currently roaming on.

As you can guess, if they see your card getting used in the USA, but your mobile number is currently roaming in the UK, theyโ€™re more likely to block that transaction as it simply looks strange.

SIM Swap Identification - Similar to the location one, part of the process for sending an SMS provides some basic SIM information back to the sender. So if youโ€™ve sent an SMS before, you can compare the SIM information and see if the SIM card has physically changed. This would be a clear suggestion of SIM cloning, man in the middle attacks or social engineering if this got triggered, especially with an odd location match as well.

The above can be one of the reasons why virtual numbers from someone like Twilio can be problematic, personally I would use real pre-pay SIM from your home country (or where the bank account is located) and have it in a cheap phone for this kind of SMS, just top up with a few ยฃ/$ every 3-4 months to keep it active.

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@mwp | 2yr

FYI, my google voice number actually works for most of these. The picky ones that donโ€™t all have email options for 2 factor codes (Bank of America seems to be the main offender that I recall). I did port my old cell number to google voice (and it had been used everywhere prior to porting) which may make a differenceโ€ฆThree years and no issues yet. So, fortunately Iโ€™ve found no need to keep a $$$ us cell line active or resort to anything exotic to make this work.

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@mhclapperton | 2yr

You may be right on continuous roaming although I have not had a problem yet.

But I used to use Truphone (https://www.truphone.com). It was a great service but really not cheap. They are meant for global people and have NO continuous roaming charges unless you are outside the 100 countries they serve.

How often do you get back to the US? If you do maybe once a month like I do, you will be fine.

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@jacobjay | 2yr

@levelsio Whilst itโ€™s true that virtual number are hit and miss in terms of forwarding directly to another number (because of international wholesale carrier deals always changing and simply dropping the SMS channels), if you use say a Tropo number to forward to email and/or IM thereโ€™s absolutely no issue with this technique. :slight_smile:

There are also providers who offer SMS to email gateways but for that cost you may as well keep a SIM. Note that with Tropo, you have to know how to configure it, i.e. setup a (handler.js) script that forwards an outgoing message to another medium. E.g.:

answer()
var msgText = currentCall.callerID+": "+currentCall.initialTextmessage(msgText, {network:"JABBER", to:myJabber})
message(msgText, {network:"SMS", to:mySMS})
hangup()

If you want to get fancy you could set it up to allow you to change the forwarding number by sending it an SMS from your new SIM (with a password command!), or handle voice forwarding too.

More and more banks are replacing their SMS codes with push notifications to apps, so Iโ€™d be inclined to choose a bank with that offering, as the notifications are tied to the phone, not the SIM. Of course if you have multiple app store accounts it becomes a bit of a hassle to swap accounts and update itโ€ฆ but thatโ€™s pretty minor.

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@flaki | 2yr

See my take on this, I think (unless you are using your phone excessively or never return to the US at all) you should be fine with Project Fi at least.

Apart from that try getting a bank account which provides you with a special extra factor (Estonian banks call it a โ€œpin calculatorโ€) that lets you access your account regardless of being able to receive SMSes. I donโ€™t know which (or if even) US banks have this, but you should do some research, maybe even your own bank has something like this, you just never needed it.

That said, @levelsio is completely right in that there isnโ€™t any good digital solution, receiving sms-es on virtual numbers and the likes is always a hit or miss, no matter the provider, donโ€™t risk it.

A propos, donโ€™t risk it, I can very much recommend having multiple bank accounts and multiple credit cards if you are going to start traveling. Not being able to access your money from abroad, thousands of miles away from a branch office is one of the worst things that could happen to you (itโ€™s certainly one of my biggest fears), so it never hurts to have multiple options, maybe even some of the new fintech stuff like Revolut or Monese, besides having at least two credit cards and ideally two separate bank accounts/cards.

I once had some of my credit cards expire on me in Singapore, then one of the ATMs took one of my credit cards, in total I lost 3 cards in a few weeks on a long trip. I still had 2-3 cards/methods to get cash so it was fine but finally it paid out having stuffed my wallet with multiple credit/debit cards in the past few years.

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@yujin | 2yr

I have three ways to receive SMS from US numbers remotely.

  1. Google Voice - have not had any issues with it yet in about 15 country after 4 years of using it. 2FA works ok with this from my use.
  2. Telzio VoIP (http://telzio.com/) - have used primarily with my business number; have used the SMS feature only on a few occasions so can or cannot vouch for it, but it seems to work ok.
  3. T-Mobile Tablet Plan - have used primarily as my backup international mobile data on my phone. Itโ€™s on my primary phone when traveling, but I switch it out to my burner/backup phone after I get a local SIM and service when I get to a location. This costs $30/month.
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@wooster | 2yr

Twilio would be perfect except that it wonโ€™t receive sms from short code numbers because it isnโ€™t recognized as a mobile carrier by telcos. So itโ€™s mostly useless for 2fa sadly.

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@mqt | 2yr

Iโ€™ve had the same US phone number for 15 yearsโ€”it now lives on Google Voice. It works fine with my banks and 99% of services Iโ€™ve tried that require a phone number.

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@rwtbkk | 2yr

Used to be a major problem for me too. But I got Hushed and it works great. Used it for banks, brokers, paypal and no problems. They have different plans available, so you can do 30 day, 90 day or yearly unlimited plans.

https://hushed.com/

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@harrisroberts | 2yr

I ported my USA number over to Number Barn itโ€™s a few bucks a month. My texts get emailed to me. The phone number I forward to a virtual number through Talk-a-tone app.

So texts to my old number go to my email, phone calls forward to a voip number and I use local sim for 4g.

I have lots of two-factor services and they all work fine. Signing new ones up with the number is hit or miss, but old ones (banks etc.) seem to be fine. @levelsio has been on the road longer than me but this has worked for 2+ years with no major issues.

There is a security risk that you are two-factor auth codes go to your email. If you know that your device is compromised, your best bet is to force log-out all other devices.

@jackgopack I also spoke with Verizon about this. What I like about my solution is if you go back to the USA you can port your number back from NumberBarn to any carrier.

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@jackgopack | 2yr

Thank you! Great info :slight_smile:

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@artofbryce | 2yr

Thank you for this, @levelsio! I was beginning to think that was the only option, so Iโ€™ll have to bite the bullet when I get back to Canada. Hopefully, thereโ€™s something less than the $10 I found so far :sweat: Canadaโ€™s a killer on phone bills

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@artofbryce | 2yr

Anyone have a recommendation for the best (more importantly cheapest) Android phone as a burner for this purpose? Iโ€™d honestly only also use it for testing purposes other than SMS verifications and constant Canada phone number.

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@jackgopack | 2yr

Spoke at length with all US Verizon agents in various departments (regular/ pre-paid/ international). Bottom lineโ€ฆ no solution comparable to what others have mentioned hereโ€ฆ other than maintaining my full plan. Not an optionโ€ฆ cost prohibitive.

If anyone knows of a US based option for inexpensively remedying this dilemma Iโ€™d greatly appreciate the information!

Thank you!

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@levelsio | 2yr

The ONLY long-term viable solution:

Keep your home country mobile phone subscription. Put that in a low-end backup phone that can receive SMS (like Android). Make sure itโ€™s GSM and multi-band compatible for world wide usage.

Now receive SMS anywhere.

Virtual numbers are bullshit, they donโ€™t work or stop working. Google Voice is same. Twilio same. You canโ€™t change your number every new place you go.

The simplest solution: Keep. Your. Subscription.

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@jackgopack | 2yr

So if I understand correctly, I place my current sim in an internationally adequate burner phone.
I then assume that I will need to maintain a mobile line with a minimal data access plan so looking at about $50-ish a month to keep my current subscription alive. Wonโ€™t I incur international roaming and receive phone calls (both pricey)?

I really like the concept if I can find an inexpensive way to make it happen. Any additional clarification is much appreciated and thank you so much for the informative reply. Great to encounter someone with a viable definitive solution. Thank you and Iโ€™d love to hear more when time!

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@patrickheneise | 2yr

You donโ€™t need data for SMS. My provider offered me a $4/month subscription or prepaid option to keep the number / stick with them when I told them Iโ€™m leaving the country for a while.

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@levelsio | 2yr

Same I pay $3/m to keep my number and get free SMS worldwide

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@ifdattic | 2yr

Have you tried one of virtual numbers? My home country phone number does not work outside home/Europe so I was thinking about getting some Twilio number and getting those SMSes to my email or something, just did not have time to look into it.

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@levelsio | 2yr

No, wonโ€™t work. See my post. Virtual numbers work temporarily or not at all.

The whole point of SMS verification is to have real subscriber phone numbers so that humans are behind it.

Get a home country SIM and 2nd phone!

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@ifdattic | 2yr

It was actually a question for you about virtual numbers (forgot the mention).

Did you try it? Was the apps declining to accept the number or SMS just did not arrive to that number? I think I seen some mentions that some people use that, but did not dig around too much.

Home country SIMs more or less suck, so not sure if that would be an option (will need to explore once Iโ€™m close to it).

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@haikane | 5mo

Thanks :pray: โ€“ I can stop searching the internet now, get back to work :slight_smile: . And later go find the cheapest phone in Bangkok โ€“ if people ask me I can finally say: โ€œitโ€™s a burner phone.โ€

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Hi everyone!

I have recently opened a company in Estonia, and now looking for a bank to open a private account to receive salary to. Thing is, I am a Ukrainian citizen, and the fees are huge when making payments from my Estonian company bank account to the Ukrainian private account. For EU transfers, there are no fees. Also I do not feel my money are safe in Ukraine.

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Is anyone using Charles Schwab vs N26 banks?


by @mary_oleksiuk | 3yr 3 years ago | 11 comments

Hi nomads! Iโ€™m trying to figure out all props and cons of using Charles Schwab vs N26 banks. Is anyone using those banks? If yea - what you like/dont like about it. And if income is mostly in US which one is better to open?

Thanks

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How to receive an SMS while I'm anywhere in the world?

 

by @bluedognz | 3yr 3 years ago | 21 comments

Hi Nomads

Any suggestions how I can receive sms messages to iPhone while Iโ€™m anywhere in the world? I have an Australian Telstra phone, but I also have another one out of contract which I could put on a global sim?

Calls are not really a problem, with Skype, Zoom, Google Voice etc taking care of that but Iโ€™m not sure how Iโ€™m going to get smsโ€™s. Especially for banking purposes, reseting passwords etc.

First post here, we are about to embark on a global house sitting / time share journey! Starting with 3 weeks in Bali, then 10 weeks in the Caribean, followed by 3 months in Europe. :smile:

Clark and Tegan

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What are good US-based banks for digital nomads?

 

by @ramblurr | 3yr 3 years ago | 24 comments

For some of us maintaining a US Based Bank is just a necessity. Either we never pick up residency abroad, or have a US based business for which a US based account makes life easy.

Purely online personal banking is a growing trend. Schwab has a great checking account that reimburses ATM fees and has no international fees, Simple is a new online only bank with tons of great features (though not so great for nomads abroad).

Anyone know of similar services for small business online?

Features Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Business accounts (not a human name on the account)
  • Great website experience
  • Photo Check deposit
  • Cheap / below-average transfer and wire fees
  • Cheap fees / minimum balance requirements
    I prefer storing my cash in personal accounts or investment accounts
  • Free international use of cards
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What do you do about cooking whilst traveling?

 

by @kathrynoh | 3yr 3 years ago | 26 comments

This is something Iโ€™ve not really seen addressed anywhere much but, when you are staying somewhere medium term, say 1-6 months, what you do about cooking? I figure anything shorter than that and you can make do, while over 6 months you arenโ€™t going to mind stocking a kitchen so much. But, for that medium term period, it feels like a waste to spend too much on pantry supplies and equipment but too long to get by on basics.

Anyway, Iโ€™d love to know what other people in regards to cooking. Do you eat out for all your meals, have a few โ€˜go toโ€™ dishes that you can cook anywhere with minimal equipment (mine would be omelettes) or do you adjust to the local cuisine?

Admin edit: Fixed title for spelling & compliance with guidelines.

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Anybody knows of good online banks for Europeans?


by @kfk | 4yr 3 years ago | 6 comments

Ok, I was just writing a PM here on banks and the question popped in my head. I am not a digital nomad, but I am very close to that way of living, in the sense that I donโ€™t want to commit to any specific physical location, long term investment (maybe only private pension), long term in general actually.

Now, I use Deutsche Bank. Nothing against them, but:

  • I hate to have an account manager that calls me telling me I should invest my money
  • The online banking is good but not great
  • Services are ok, but I donโ€™t use most of them and the one I would like (online everything please) are not there

So, I was wondering if any of you is happy with any of the digital banks out there? Criteria for a good online bank:

  • minimal paperwork
  • no account manager
  • 90% async communication (I call them, they call me only if the house is on fire)
  • they donโ€™t request a physical address and they DO NOT SEND PAPER STUFF to my mailbox

Anything like this?

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Have you ever been called to U.S. jury duty while traveling?


by @krompson | 4yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

My husband and I have residency in the state of Tennessee in the USA and my in-laws collect our mail for us there. We only pass through Tennessee about once a year.

Does anyone know what happens if weโ€™re called to jury duty? Is traveling a legit excuse to get out of it?

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How are you earning a living while traveling?

 

by @mattlock | 4yr 4 years ago | 22 comments

Iโ€™ve been traveling for over a year, and Iโ€™ve been working on 3 month contracts in locations abroad to sustain travel. I wanted to see what the community was like as far as digital nomads go. Are you trading your skills for $$$? and if so, how are you doing it?

(Iโ€™ve also wanted to try this, but havenโ€™t been to successful.)

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How can I have one telephone number while traveling?


by @swechris | 4yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

Hi!
I found this perfect solution https://www.didlogic.com/ that will forward phone calls to whatever SIM card you currently are using and really cheap too. Butโ€ฆ Really horrible reviews http://www.oregonherald.com/bnews/story.htm?id=1113.

What do you guys say?

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What's the best time to take birth control pills while traveling?


by @robetus | 4yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

Iโ€™m traveling with my girlfriend and she takes birth control pills, one pill every day. Can any of the digital nomadic women on here give her any tips on what time to take it to best suite global travel inside many timezones?

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Can you insure a laptop if you're already traveling?


by @danielmcclure | 4yr 4 years ago | 1 comment

Can anyone recommend an insurance company that will specifically insure a laptop for a few months or more for a UK citizen whilst already abroad for over a year and without a return date?

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How do you deal with fear of terrorism when traveling?


by @antonioevans | 4yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

I do not want to be an โ€œalarmistโ€ but today we had a recent major bombing at an airport & subway in Brussels. A few months back there was Paris. I am currently on my European part of this years trip and it is on my mind.

There are many places that are off the map for Digital Nomads and for good reason. Safety due to war or major crime. I am talking places like Syria, parts of Iraq, few islands in Philippines, a few province in Mexico, El Salvador, etc. But places that arenยดt historically unsafe do causes concern to people, specifically your back home family&friends.

As a traveler how do you deal with terrorism or major crime when it is around where you are visit? Also secondly how do you deal with at home messages from family members.

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Which are the best banks for British digital nomads?


by @isabellabrookes | 4yr 4 years ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m British, so this is aimed at other Brits but Iโ€™m sure many others will chime in with their Qs.

I normally bank with Halifax and already have a Halifax Clarity Credit Card (if you donโ€™t, you probably should - 0 international fees, baby!) but they are not willing to unblock cards or send out cards in an emergency.

Are there any UK banks that are great for digital nomads and those times where you need a new card shipped to you in Thailand/Mexico/Galapagos Islands or any other issues that might occur when youโ€™re travelling?

I assume global banks like HSBC or Citibank might be the best options but I always prefer recommendations.

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Did you acquire gadgets before leaving or while traveling?

 

by @nihilista | 5yr 4 years ago | 20 comments

Iโ€™m debating whether to buy some things prior to leaving - a nice suitcase and/or backpack, noise cancelling headphones, a Kindle (Iโ€™m an avid reader and would love to take several books with me - but love books and have never found the need to have a Kindle since I have lots of space at home for adding to my library), etc. My feeling is that these things would likely enhance my travels but are not strictly necessary, and if the nomad life turns out to not be to my liking then I mightโ€™ve wasted some money. Are these items easily acquirable on the road? Iโ€™ll be in southeast Asia to begin withโ€ฆ

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How do you prove residence to your bank when traveling?


by @perpetual | 5yr 4 years ago | 4 comments

Hello fellow nomads! How do you guys go about proving residence in a country if youโ€™re always moving? European banks will continue to send yearly statements of holdings and earnings to your old tax jurisdiction (even if youโ€™ve legally left) until you prove (address/utility bill) residence in another country. Any experience with satisfying the banks in order to keep some financial privacy while being a nomad?

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Have you used a Skype psychologist when traveling?


by @mikhail_dickey | 5yr 5 years ago | 6 comments

Have you tried to use skype/viber services of psychotherapist/coach when youโ€™re travelling?

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What troubles have you faced while traveling?


by @acdc | 5yr 5 years ago | 8 comments

Almost got caught out very badly the other week and looking for advice.

Visa
30 day visa free entry. Went to check-in at the airport, staff wanted to see a departure ticket. Thankfully I had already booked a flight out (this is often not the case, Philippines are basically flight-only options though) however due to leaving Australia I had no SIM card in my phone. Thus no 3g, or access to the itinerary. It was with the same airline however they couldnโ€™t look it up (given the complete lack of competence this probably is true). Thankfully the airport had wifi and I managed to eventually load up an email after some stressful minutes. A number of airports only have wifi near the gates not out in departures too. If I couldnโ€™t load up the ticket she literally wasnโ€™t going to let us on the flight. Wtf. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnamโ€ฆ all places I have been, had no exit flight/transit booked because was going over land, and train/bus tickets in a lot of countries arenโ€™t readily available online. None of them have ever cared.

Is this usual or was this chick just nuts? Of course when we arrived customs didnโ€™t care at all, โ€œwhen are you leaving, where to?โ€ and that was it. How many Australians exactly are smuggling themselves to live illegally in the Philippines, especially with only 7kg of luggage? Come onโ€ฆ

Money
We finally arrive Manila at 1am. Literally no ATM works. 3 different cards with 3 different banks, half a dozen ATMsโ€ฆ nothing, all โ€œerror communicatingโ€/some generic message. By this stage we were attracting a fair bit of attention having wandered the airport trying every ATM, our only saving grace was $30 I still had in cash that I exchanged at a booth, which was enough to get a taxi to accommodation 5km away. Next morning found an ATM nearby, stomach full of nervesโ€ฆ worked perfectly. We used 2x cards, both worked first go. Same bank as one of the airport ones. God knows why they didnโ€™t work at the airport (well, insert a nothing ever works or is done properly in the Philippines joke here), however I havenโ€™t read much about people carrying much cash. It seems like we should always have $100 - or more if an expensive country - in case this ever happens again? Even though I canโ€™t think of why this even happened in the first place. All the money in the world wonโ€™t help if you canโ€™t get your hands on it :frowning:

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