I do a fair amount of international travel and international data is something that I find often costs more than I expect. Verizon Wireless (my cell provider) used to have a great international plan that you could toggle on and off when you traveled for minimal cost, but it went away a number of years ago. The new plan they offer is a flat $25 for 100 MB. Use up 100 MB and they’ll charge you another $25 for the next 100.
I don’t upload a lot of pictures while I travel, but I do send and receive a lot of e-mail, and I like using GPS on my phone to get around. Using an app like Google Maps can be a big data hog, so I use it sparingly. And, according to a new survey, I may not be the only one.
Telestial, a provider of international SIM cards, data plans and cell phone packages, contracted with Serious Insights to poll American-based travelers on their top uses of data while traveling internationally. Unsurprisingly, the top response was checking e-mail (over 90% of respondents). A bit more surprising was that one of my pet peeves for hogging data, using GPS to get directions, was noted by 78% of survey respondents. What shouldn’t have been a surprise to me (but kind of was) were the almost identical number of people, 77%, saying uploading photos and video was a frequent activity while traveling overseas. That’s just not something I do a lot of when traveling, knowing that it eats up data.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that alters their behavior when traveling abroad. I’ve thought about buying local SIMs in the airport or elsewhere, but I’m never quite sure if I’m going to get screwed (and I’m not likely to go back to the airport in the middle of a vacation to try to get my $20 back if I did). I also find I never get as many updates via e-mail/text about data usage from Verizon Wireless as they promise to deliver, making it harder to track costs.
Telestial appears to be positioned to solve a lot of these concerns.
Their data packages cost as little as 10 cents a MB, less than half of what Verizon Wireless charges me. They also will rent you a hotspot, though I find I can use my iPhone for this on the fly. They also have a number of cell phone packages that come with SIMs, prepaid data and European chargers if you need more than just a SIM.
The SIM cards are rechargeable on their website so you can control the budget.
Now, for the giveaway part! The ideal product for my data usage while traveling is the $99 1GB SIM. For me, 1GB is a lot of data and enough for longer trips like my 10 days in Italy.
Telestial has decided to reward 2 Pizza in Motion readers with a 1GB data SIM ($99 on their website) so you don’t have to worry about getting charged the next time you travel internationally.
To have a chance to win, you just need to leave a comment on this post about how you use data when you travel internationally. It can be a pet peeve, your favorite thing to do, a funny/frustrating story or a tip on how to conserve data. Multiple entries are fine as long as they stick to the subject matter in some loose fashion. I’ll pick winners on Friday, April 3rd, 2015.
I reserve the right to disqualify anyone for spamming the thread or otherwise trying to upset the apple cart. All decisions by me are final.
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