Many of us go on vacation to get away from all the distractions and push-notifications that we get on our cellphones, computers, tablets, etc. However, some of us need to stay in touch to the real world for various reasons once in a while (keep up with the kids staying with grandma, check if you got the new job, check the score of the playoff game, etc., etc., etc…).

It is important to remember that most countries offer free wi-fi in public plazas, and buildings, and also there is always a Starbucks, local coffee shop or free-wifi at restaurants and hotel lobbies.

Now, for those who just to disconnect, just turn the phone off completely.

I understand it could be difficult to shut if off for the whole trip, since phones are used as our cameras, snap chats, IG, FB etc…

So, for the others who would like to stay connected there are couple of options:

  1. One option is to purchase a sin card once you reach the destination country. However, most cellphones nowadays can make phone calls and receive texts through Wi-Fi, so there is no need to use data with a local carrier anymore.
  2. Leave your phone on “Airplane Mode” and look for free Wi-Fi connections near-by.  Many airports, train/bus stations, coffee shops, public parks, hotel lobbies, restaurants and stores have guess Wi-Fi that you can connect to.   **Be careful as most of those connections are open and unsecured, which can lead to stolen identities and hacks.
  3. Lease a portable internet hotspot (or router) at the country you are visiting.  Most of the time you will be able to pick up/return your router at the airport or strategically located kioks in highly touristy areas.  Check the various carriers who provide this service at the country you are visiting and make sure they service the area you will be visiting.  Most routers last 8-12 hours depending on the number of connected devices and frequency of use. Prices may vary based on the country and length of rental. Most routers serve not only a town or one country, but you could use it in numerous countries.  
    •  easy to carry, can connect several devices (phones, computers, iPad, smart watches, etc), service multiple countries and locations, saves you money, no need to purchase the slow and/or expensive hotel/hostal wifi, always have connectivity and GPS on your phone

I leased a Hotspot in my trip to Japan (see Pocket picture below), my trip to Norway/Sweden and then another in Australia/New Zealand and it worked very well.  I would turn it off while not in use and used it mostly for GPS purposes and finding any last minute attractions and restaurants in the area.