I was chatting to a mate in Aussie the other morning, since we have moved back from Australia to New Zealand, chatting to some of my mates over there has gotten a little on the expensive side. This is one of those mates, though is a very accomplished business woman, she HATES technology even though she has a laptop, smartphone and all the other wiz-bang things we have today. Trying her to get her to use a simple thing, like the cross platform messenger KiK, was like getting blood out of a stone! FINALLY she gave in to me and the other month installed it onto her phone. This got me thinking about resources while you are travelling and where you can save a few pennies to spend on yourself and not on your devices.
Not everyone is like me, and some people actually like to unplug while they are away – Calvin is one and loves to be unplugged when he can, he normally uses me for overseas data if he wants to connect. I am one that if at all possible never unplugs. Here are a few things that I have found out along our travels…
Data and the odd phone call.
ONE: If you are away for long periods of time, just go get a local sim from the country you are currently in. This is normally the best option for making phone calls and most importantly for using data while overseas. The sims are normally cheap (most I have paid is $5 for a sim card) some places even throw them in for free with the right package. All depends on how long you are there for and how much you think you will use while you are there. Personally I have found that I use about 2GB for a month. But do yourself a little favour and research who is good and who have the best coverage in the areas that you are travelling in. Some companies are ‘metro only’ coverage and if you go outside their range – well, its user beware.
TWO: Instead of going to a cyber cafe and taking a pot luck chance that someone has a trojan or some other nasty virus on there that will record your password to pretty much your LIFE, why not try looking for the local library. The local library normally has some free data on offer. All libraries in Auckland New Zealand, for example have 200mb per day for you to use for free. No questions asked and no credit card details required. More than enough to check emails and see what everyone is up to on Facebook or Twitter and see my latest post (shameful plug there lol). If not a library then check out pubs and cafes, most offer free or cheap hook ups. You just have to keep your eyes open for the signage. Pretty sure Starbucks for example, have free data if you buy a coffee. Even most Mac Donalds these days have free wifi – it’s slow and lags but if you’re in a bind and need something again it’s FREE!!
THREE: Some hotel/motel chains offer free in-room data to their preferred clients. You know the ones who have bothered to hook up to their points programs – aka give me all your personal information so I can sell it to telemarketers, while tricking you with dangling points for freebees from a stick. Yes I know I sound cynical! Saying that I am with a worldwide chain and this is what they do – free wifi worldwide. The higher up the points chain (meaning the more you stay the higher the point chain you are) the more data they ‘give me’. I am at the highest level for this chain so we get free unlimited data worldwide at any of their motels YAY!
Free or very cheap data is out there you just need to know where to look for it.
- Right I am totally hooked to the app called Foursquare. It is for both Apple or Android. Why it is great for travel, is that if your looking for a place to have a coffee or local knowledge on whats good or bad, when your standing out front of a place Foursquare is the best app I have found so far. PLUS sometimes when you ‘check-in’ for the first time some places give you freebies. We have had free – first round of beers, free cake with coffee purchase, free postcards, free magnets and loads of other stuff. Mostly I LOVE the local tips. Also Foursquare comes in handy when you can’t remember the address of a place you stopped at, you can just scroll through all your check ins until you come across the place you are looking for and BINGO – address. I also get a kick out of getting badges from going to certain places along the way. Like I said this app is for both Apple and Android and is also FREE they just need your email address.
- While you’re travelling, your family and friends are home. You know you will want to communicate at some stage, even just to say ‘having a ball, miss you heaps’. As I was saying at the start of this post, I use a great free app called KiK. It’s a cross platform app, meaning it doesn’t matter what type of phone you have as long as it can upload apps and has access to the internet you can use it. It’s just like using your phone to text someone, you can even send pictures as well – FREE all you use is the data on your phone, so having a local sim chip is handy in more ways that just being able to check Facebook.
- Cloud apps, DropBox is the one I mostly use. This is a great way of sharing anything, photo’s, video’s or anything you can upload into you account so your family and friends around the world can see. I love this app, these days when I am on the road travelling I don’t have to email myself a photo I have taken on my phone to my laptop so I can upload it to here, on my blog. I can either access the images directly from the Dropbox site at any stage or when I connect to a wifi and I know that all the images would have automatically down loaded to both my laptop and my PC at home. Drop box has both paid for accounts and free. I have a free 50gb account. NOW you are thinking WOW 50gb for free? HOW the hell did I get that? Here is where looking about the site and reading stuff comes in handy. I found a ‘specials’ page, all I had to do was 5 of 7 REALLY REALLY easy things to do. Like link my online account to my laptop and PC – BANG 2 of 5 done, then set my phone to automatically upload to my DropBox account – 4 of 5, EASY and funny as I would have done all these anyway.
So this post is fast becoming information overload, so here I leave you, I hope it helps save a penny or two and I hope you liked this new Travel Tuesday post enough to hit the like and share buttons below. See you tomorrow I hope. Our Hump Day Wednesday post tomorrow will be on blogging and writing. Hope to see you back 🙂