Survive Without Data Plans

in Travel Advice

Traveling out of the country without a data plan isn’t a nightmare or anything to be concerned about. It’s simple once you know what to do.
As an alternative to purchasing that super expensive international data, traveling data-less can enhance your experiences abroad. I find it refreshing and liberating. The lack of this first-world “necessity” opens up perspectives and allows you to be a closer traveler.

San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua // Erika Xplores: Adventures of a Writer & Slow Traveler // Travel tips, travel narratives. Travel, hike, camp, explore. Wander curiously & Maunder On.

Next time you’re on a trip overseas follow these useful tips:

WiFi

We live in a world where internet can be found in some of the most obscure, remote places. In addition to cafes and restaurants, wifi is offered in many public parks. Take advantage of this progress. But use it wisely.

  • Dining in a restaurant or cafe is an ideal time to connect to wifi. Spend a few extra minutes lingering over your meal to communicate, map out your day, pull up a reservation, etc. Remember: always be mindful of general dining etiquette.
  • Many lodgings offer wifi with your room or for a minimal fee. This is a better solution if you can save your browsing for the end of the day. Map out everything the night before, take notes and ample screenshots (tip explained below).

Screenshots

Most phones are equipped to do this easy yet valuable task. Screenshot everything before leaving your trip. This includes reservations, emails, webpages, and maps—pretty much anything you need data to pull up otherwise. These will be stored on your phone for easy access without any need for data or wifi.

Travel without Data Plans // Erika Xplores: Adventures of a Writer & Slow Traveler // Travel tips, travel narratives. Travel, hike, camp, explore. Wander curiously & Maunder On.
Screenshot of map we used in Nicaragua

Use WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Similar Apps

Sometimes a text or phone call is necessary. Make them using one of the many apps available today that allows you to send messages and make calls for free or a nominal rate. Simply find a wifi spot to use and experience the phenomenon of being connected!  These apps are also great for staying in touch with your new friends abroad.

Learn How to Use Good Old Fashioned Maps

This useful skill is a dying breed. Many of us rely too much on our phones’ GPS to help get us from point A to point B. This is particularly true about driving. But part of the fun of travel is getting lost. Take a moment to study a map and its elements. Use it, and you might discover it’s really not that hard to find things on your own.

Travel without Data Plans // Erika Xplores: Adventures of a Writer & Slow Traveler // Travel tips, travel narratives. Travel, hike, camp, explore. Wander curiously & Maunder On.

Ask for Help

With all the looking down we do at our phones, we might forget that there are people everywhere. And chances are one of those individuals might be able to point you in the right direction, if you ask. So try it out!


Cover photo via Flickr by UltraSlo1

Map photo via Flickr by Kitty Terwolbeck

signature

Erika is a writer and content creator exploring the globe boldly and slowly one destination at a time. Her travels and rich upbringing as an Asian-American fuel many of her stories where she endeavors to write about the human condition. Although she might presently call NE Florida home, her heart remains listless for her home in Maui. She is an advocate for "experiences over possessions," a Marquez fan, and a self-proclaimed introvert.

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