Staying Connected

I use my phone a lot during travel.

For the last two years, I have travelled with a new friend, my cell phone. The pink iPhone never leaves me. She sits on the table while I eat in restaurants, she plays BBC podcasts as I fall asleep, directs my steps, records my caloric intake, suggests new restaurants to me and she has entertained me with Netflix sessions of Marie Kondo and Queer Eye, series that I probably would not watch at home for fear of ridicule by my husband. My wifi in the Oaxacan apartment was not strong so I purchased a few "recargadas" of data at the corner store. I change to a Mexican SIM card so the process is cheap and easy.

When I first travelled alone for longer periods of time, I took my MacBook Air. It worked for writing essays, blogs, emails and Skype with my family and friends. It stayed in my apartment and worked on available wifi. Netflix usually worked and I purchased movies from iTunes. There was no extra cost involved and life was simpler.

As years go by, the weight of technology keeps growing heavier. There are chargers for the phone and computer, an extra battery source (with its own charger) in case the phone charge needs backup, head phones (wireless, with charger). I am using a carry-on sized suitcase and my devices almost require a bag of their own. My MacBook will require replacement soon. I'm not sure that I will feel comfortable typing on an iPad. I currently use a 11 inch MacBook Air but the  new model starts at 13 inch

But my computer is my "work horse"

I have a couple of driving trips planned with Monsieur this year. Both will take us into the United States so roaming charges are an issue. We could change to American Sim cards or pay an extra charge to our service providers. I use VRBO, and Airbnb to locate accommodation so some connectivity is essential. We don't have a GPS in the car so we rely on Google maps. We used to just visit the automobile association before a road trip.

I'm not sure about my next computer purchase or the best data plan for travel.  Do you change your SIM card? What do you use for international travel? Do you use an iPad with keyboard rather than a notebook? New concerns for 21st century travel!


  1. We rely mostly on WIFI wherever we travel and thus avoid extra charges for roaming. We've been to Europe several times and have found good WIFI. We used Google Maps for navigating, and we downloaded the maps of the areas we needed to my phone before we left. They can be used off-line, and even have the voice, if you want to use that. It's been very useful to have that feature. I also take my camera and charger, plus my Surface Pro3. It's a bit heavier than an IPad or tablet, but it's what I have so I take it. My husband takes his tablet. We download books to read on our bigger devices; I don't know that I could read on a phone. We much prefer real books, but when on the go the digital options save a lot of luggage space. Like you, we travel only with carry on luggage. We're planning a trip to Europe this summer and I purchased a smaller camera to take along so I don't have to change lenses. We might purchase a SIM card in Europe to use this time.

    1. I've always had good wifi in Europe and in Mexico. I did not know how much data Google Maps used until I spoke with a Telus rep. We will be downloading where possible from now on. I'm using the iPhone camera but I really need to practise a lot.


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