Using the internet on the road…
So…the Internet may not be that important to some people traveling in vans. Some people may have chosen the vanlife experience to get away from the internet, the #hashtags and WiFi, but I personally want the Internet in my life simply because I’m traveling alone. I use the Internet when I can to stay in touch with friends, upload my photos to social media, to find places using Google maps and to upload my blogs.
I’m currently on the 3 network in the UK and I currently get 30GB in the UK and allowed to use 12GB in Europe (selected countries) as part of my package. The catch with this is you only get up to 3 months abroad and they “may” cut you off. I’ve been lucky because as you know I’ve had to fly back to the UK twice for family emergencies and a friends wedding, both times my phone abroad usage reset so I got another 3 months. I’ve have a 4G router which I used in the UK and brought this with me, I get a better stronger signal if I place my 3 sim card in this and use to tether for my Ipad or laptop.
Another way of connecting to the Internet as you all know is WiFi hotspot locations…mostly free. I have used these when I’ve needed to upload videos or download things that require faster speeds and more data. Finding these WiFi hotspots have been quite easy around Europe. Places like Hotels, Petrol/Gas stations, Cafes, Bars. I use an App called “WiFi Map”, this gives me the locations of some Wifi locations and it also has the password someone has used in the past, this may or may not work.
Once you have found a WiFi Hotspot and the password doesn’t work using the App I normally just go in and ask for the password as I need to upload my google maps because I’m looking for a place. Most times they have given me the password but have had a few people ask me what/where am I looking for lol.
I sometimes also just buy a cheap item like a coffee and ask for it then. I also use the bathroom/toilet as these are also on the list if I need to go.
As I’m on the 3 network I found out they don’t provide a service in Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia so in these countries, I had to buy a travelers sim card from various mobile network shops. You can do some research on websites and I just Google these before I entered into that country. For example, in Montenegro I bought a M-Tel sim card for 3 Euros and this gave me 3GB of data to use in 7 days. They were other options and other networks but I found this best for me, they did have to change a setting on my phone but it was fine. I only used these sim cards for the data because I would just call people using WhatApp or Facebook messenger, I would also try to make these calls when I’m connected to a WiFi network. If you require minutes to make calls back to the UK again you would have to do some research on which sim card would be best for you.