I think we can all agree that dealing with data roaming is possibly the only pitfall of traveling abroad. That and delayed flights. And lost luggage.
Okay, there are a few things that really drive me crazy, but data roaming tops the list.
Although you try your best to only jump on to free Wi-Fi, Murphy’s Law says that at some stage you’ll find yourself a little lost so you’ll quickly turn on roaming to look at Google Maps and boom, you’ll be returning home to a phone bill that costs as much as a flight!
But I have found a solution—and it’s almost small enough to fit in your pocket.
WiWander (pronounced Why Wander) is a Brisbane-based company which rents Wi-Fi routers to Aussies heading to overseas and they kindly asked me to take one of their pocket Wi-Fi routers for a test drive when I headed to the US in June, and it became my most-loved travel accessory.
Not only did it save me from having to hunt down a local SIM card with a good data plan when I landed (which we know isn’t always do-able depending on what country you’re in) but it meant I was able to FaceTime people from the beach—just to make them jealous, upload photos to social media while out and about—also to make people jealous—and use Uber and Google maps to my heart’s content, which was a lot.
Getting connected with the router was also so quick and easy, I had friends doing it in cab lines and bars and whenever I went somewhere with free WiFi (like my hotels), I’d just switch it off.
At no stage did it run out of juice throughout the day, although this can vary depending on how many devices are hooked up to it and how much data you’re using.
What it costs:
The data service is reliable and pricing for routers varies depending on the country visited but is a fixed, flat rate fee for each day travelled, averaging between $5 and $20 a day.
Using the router in the USA costs $15 a day, and it comes in a carry case with the charging cable, instructions and a universal travel plug.
How to book:
Booking a WiWander is simple; just jump on to the WiWander website, pop in all your travel information and it will be delivered to your house by courier at least one day before you leave. Once you’ve returned home, another courier will come to collect it. Easy peasy!
To find out more, visit www.wiwander.com.
Editor’s note: WiWander loaned me their router free of charge, but all opinions expressed are my own.
Last night, lured by the promise of discounted drinks, tasty treats and a chance to catch up with new friends, I popped along to a travel blogger shindig at Capri by Fraser in Brisbane’s CBD.
Now because of the Thor-mania that was sweeping the city, I hadn’t planned to join the crazed crowds vying for the attention of these handsome celebs but having polished off a Chambord champagne cocktail, I figured what the hell. Plus it’s Hemsy. He’s practically a national icon and currently King of the selfie so it would be rude not to try and get in on the action.
So I did. And wasn’t it an eye opener on how ruthless people will be when there’s a celebrity around.
I spent 15 long, painful minutes listening to a 14-year-old in her school uniform gush about her love for Tom Hiddleston and how Hemsy came near her but didn’t stop for a photo (Good move, Hemsy. She had stage 5 clinger written all over her).
Finally, the moment came when we were just metres away from Kim Hyde, I mean Thor, I mean Hemsy appeared before us. And everyone’s ovaries did a backflip.
Thanks to the impressive crowd weaving skills of Erin (and a little name dropping action) we ended up a photo with the man himself.
Because it was the last night the duo would be filming in our fair city, both Hemsy and Hiddles did the rounds of the waiting crowd, trying to get as many photos with fans as they could.
Hiddles, handsome as he is (and brilliant in The Night Manager … If you haven’t seen it check it out. I’m tipping him to be the next Bond so remember you read it here first) anyway, back on topic, Hiddles was taking ages to work his way around the crowd.
Eventually he made it to our position outside Capri on Fraser and once again, the squishing began promoting security to tell everyone to back up or Hiddles would keep moving. It seems that didn’t translate for some people.
With my celeb spotting complete, I headed back inside for a grand tour of Capri by Fraser which included the heated indoor pool and the spin & play room/gym which has a foosball table (my skills are a little rusty so I lost to Kenn from Ninebot) and these cool spinning chairs:
It’s a fair question, I suppose, and one that simply requires a laugh and a wink in return (so yeah, Dad, I totally borrowed money off Mum to pay for it).
The thing is, dad is a tricky one to buy for because he never really wants or needs anything–or nothing that fits within my budget at least (super yacht, anyone?)
On the off-chance your dad is like mine, I’ve put together this Father’s Day gift guide, which should help you find something for whatever kind of dad you’ve got–the traveller, the fitness freak, the movie geek, the Game of Thrones fan, and even the kind who just loves new socks and jocks!
Wanderers Travel Co Roman Duffle, $379 | Friendie PRO XT On Ear Headphones, $149.99 | Risk Game Of Thrones board game, $65.99 | Nixon Sentry Watch, $239.99 | Happy Socks Origami Socks Gift Box, $59.95 | The Connoisseur Brooklyn Collection, $10 | Interflora Taylor Succulent Terrarium, $70.50 | Lamzac lounge/sofa, $99.95 | Milkman Grooming Co Beard Care Gift Pack, $85 | Nixon Windansea Cooler Bag, $59.99 | Kokopod Gold Digger Honeycomb, $11 | Crosley Cruiser Turntable Cotton from SurfStitch.com, $91.98
Or just make him a piece of Vegemite toast and a hot coffee and give him a hug.
Brisbane delivered some early Spring weather this week so I took advantage of it as much as I could, but the highlight of the week was Sunday afternoon which was spent sitting on a mate’s back deck talking crap, eating cheese and laughing. I also popped along to the preview of War Dogs, starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, and I really enjoyed it, plus spotted a few places I’d been in Miami!
What I Wore This Week:
As many women will agree, online shopping is a godsend. In my opinion, its one of the best things ever invented, not just because it gives me an excuse to stay away from people, or because I like to think of my purchases as gifts to myself.
Mostly I love it because I don’t have to wear proper clothes to do it. No bra? No make up? No pants? No worries!
Now, Fashion Lane, an Australian-based online store has taken online shopping one step further by pulling together the best sales from 345 online fashion stores.
So instead of visiting every online store and going through their sales individually, Fashion Lane does the hard work for you and lists all the items that are available by brand name, product type and even the biggest discount.
And I’m talking BIG brands like Spell and the Gypsy Collection, Camilla (so you can cry tears of happiness like Bachie’s Alex), Adidas by Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Ginger and Smart and Zimmermann, as well as day-to-day favourites like Sportsgirl, Seed Heritage, Witchery and Uniqlo.
The team at Fashion Lane asked me to take their site for a test run and my inner #TeamStripes president whooped with joy when I found this gorgeous red and white striped C&M Camilla and Marc dress which I’d been eyeing off earlier in the season for $65 (plus shipping) instead of $129.
I ordered it through the site late Friday afternoon and it arrived by express post on Tuesday. That’s my kind of customer service!
Fashion Lane is super user-friendly; scrolling over an item will show you which online store has the item, what sizes are available and the price history of the item, including when it was last checked.
There’s even a ‘Today’s Sale’ category for items which have been reduced in the past two days, but my favourite feature of Fashion Lane is the ‘set price alert’.
With a click of your mouse, you can register to receive an alert when an item or brand you’re interested in is discounted (or in most cases, further discounted).
I’m off to decide whether to buy a pair of Camilla swimmers for summer. I mean, if you get them on sale, you’re practically making money, right?