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Stay Connected While Traveling | Win a Tep Wireless MiFi

Staying Connected While TravelingThese days you can’t throw a stone without hitting an article (or open your Facebook or Twitter news feed) recommending that we all need a digital detox. That may be true, but the harsh reality is that most of us, even when on vacation, are expected to check our inbox regularly. Bosses inevitably need things that you, and only you alone, can do. It’s doubly important for me to stay connected while traveling – not only do I often need up to type up an urgent communication for my university job while traveling, but I also have a responsibility to share what we’re up to on social media when we’re working with partners to showcase a destination or activity.

Obviously, staying connected while traveling means two things: access to voice communications and access to internet. I place less importance on voice communications because there are so many solutions to voice…so long as you have internet. I have a global data plan with Verizon Wireless and when I first moved to Italy, my unlimited international data plan was a perfect solution to needing to be connected and easily accessible. That unlimited plan sadly no longer exists and I pay a higher rate for a meager 250MB of international data each month. It also only allows me to be connected while on my iPhone and sometimes, as amazing as the iPhone is, I need a computer to get done what I need to.

HUAWEI Mobile Wifi

HUAWEI Mobile Wifi

Meet MiFi

What the heck is a MiFi? It’s a genius little portable broadband device about the size of a cell phone that lets you connect multiple devices to your own personal 3G or 4G network. Basically it’s like having your home modem in your pocket.

I tried out a MiFi rental on a conference trip and loved that I wasn’t burning through my 250MB of global data while simultaneously draining my iPhone battery while roaming. I didn’t have to stress out about not being about to connect the notoriously awful, or often non-existent, conference center wifi while thousands of others tried to email, tweet, and Facebook the pearls of wisdom of the speakers. Best of all, I wasn’t receiving the dreaded text messages from Verizon reminding me that global data coverage is $20.48/MB once I exceeded my 250 MB in my plan.

I loved the rental so much, that I came home an bought my own MiFi device (the Huawei E5331 21Mbps Mobile WiFi Hotspot pictured above). While the rental is great for an occasional traveler, I would have needed to rent one several times a month. In the long run, it made more sense for me to buy my own and track down a SIM card in each country I plan to visit.

Why Rent a MiFi

A fun little factoid: America and Canada are just two of an extremely small group of nations that support CDMA. When it comes to global communications, GSM is the winner. What that means in layman’s terms is that there’s a good chance that your current phone can’t even be used internationally.

Service providers like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T offer only a small selection of global ready phones that have a SIM card and can be used internationally…if you’ve signed up for a global plan. Think you can beat the system and just pop a SIM card in your GSM capable phone? Think again. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and other service providers “lock” their phones so that they can only be used on their unique networks.

That’s why MiFi rental services like Tep Wireless make staying connected while traveling easy peasy. Rent your MiFi in 3 easy steps: select your destination, select your plan, and enter your details to have it shipped to you. (You can also pick up your Tep Wireless MiFi at select airport locations. When you’re done, just drop it in the pre-paid envelop and send it back.

Tep Wireless Mifi rentals are available with service in the following locations:

Africa: South Africa

Asia: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Sri Lanka and Thailand

Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom

Middle East: Egypt and the United Arab Emirates

Americas: USA and Mexico
Oceania: Australia and New Zealand

tep2WIN a 2-Week Tep Wireless MiFi Rental

We want you to be able to stay connected on your next trip, so we’re giving away a 2-week 150MB per day Tep Wireless MiFi rental. Use the entry form below to enter to win. You can get up to 4 entries for signing up for our free monthly newsletter and following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Europe with a permanent mailing address where your Tep Wireless MiFi rental can be shipped.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Psst… please do us all a favor and drop your hottest tips for staying connected while abroad down in comments below!

Jennifer Dombrowski

Jennifer Dombrowski is a location independent globe trotter who is based in Prata di Pordenone, Italy. She works as a social media and communications strategist and is an award-winning travel writer. She is also a travel correspondent on Traveling on the American Forces Radio Network. Jdomb's Travels was named one of the top travel blogs to watch by the Huffington Post and has been featured by top publications such as CNN, Buzzfeed , and The Telegraph. Her iPhoneograpy has also been featured on publications such as USA Today and Travel + Leisure. Google+

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6 comments

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  1. Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries

    I’ve never tried MiFi before but it sounds like a really cool idea. It really can be a pain trying to sort out new cell plans in other countries, especially when all you want is data and all they want is to sell you the bundle packages that make them their highest commissions heh.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Yes, I rarely make actual calls. There are so many apps that you can call app-to-app for free, that the voice communication doesn’t really matter to me. But having data is essential to being about to effectively work location independent as I do.

    [Reply]

  2. Alex

    Renting a MiFi is definitely a good idea, I also used one for Italy but when I compared different prices (Keepgo, Tep etc) I found out that local companies in Italy actually offer better prices than those international ones. So I ended up using a Presto WiFi and saved more than a dozen bucks for a week – also got something like 2-3 Gb. Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Good tip, Alex! Admittedly, the rentals are best for ease of convenience. We just used our MiFi in Germany and it took about two days before we could actually track down a SIM card since we arrived on a Sunday evening and were in smaller villages all of our first day. But as you say, you can save by using a local plan in the country you’re visiting.

    [Reply]

  3. alicia-joy

    This sounds great. I do have the global plan with Tmobile (life-saver). But still when I do not have good/any wifi, I use a lot of data on my phone so I am often worried about using all of my limited data on my phone.

    This would help. Thanks for sharing. I had never heard of it. :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Glad to help, Alicia! Those global plans are great – the only country my Verizon global data has not worked in so far has been Myanmar. But as you say, I’m always worried about going over and it sure isn’t cheap when you do exceed your plan limit.

    [Reply]

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