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.